The Australian Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) initiative is a government-funded scheme that encourages small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative solutions for government policy and service delivery challenges. One challenge identified last year was “tracking the effect and value of information products” in the field of criminal and financial intelligence. To understand more about BRII projects in practice and their application to enhancing technology within financial information-sharing partnerships, FFIS has invited Atraxium to explain their work:
Across major financial centres, large proportions of reports of suspicion submitted by regulated firms are of negligible value to law enforcement investigations. Feedback to the private sector on those suspicious reports can be extremely limited, which can undermine the ability of those private regulated firms to adopt a risk-based approach to tackling financial crime, as required by the FATF standards.
Financial information-sharing partnerships are improving feedback and dialogue on reporting and intelligence, often by bringing analysts into direct communication on cases. However, to allow feedback at a larger scale, technology solutions will be required to facilitate, share and record feedback on the value of intelligence. At Atraxium, we are working to develop such a solution.
Part of the problem is that, even within government and across a wide variety of forms of intelligence, producers of intelligence face considerable challenges in knowing how their intelligence products are used and what the value is to their end users.
This problem was identified by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) via the BRII challenge, and five requirements were highlighted to address the problem:
Technology can motivate intelligence users to unlock the potential of feedback to the producers of intelligence. This has application within government agencies but, also, between public and private sectors operating within the partnership approach to tackling financial crime.
Atraxium is an Australian start-up that is one of two businesses that was awarded a BRII proof of concept grant. The Atraxium platform aims to enable producers of intelligence products to upload and share products that clients can view and provide feedback via an interactive interface. This feedback can then be analysed within the platform to assist decision making about resource allocation.
To support widespread and effective use of the technology, we recognised that a major part of the project was to change behaviour. We need to encourage feedback by understanding how users work, from product preparation to end consumption. This has led us to focus on three major design challenges.
Firstly, we need to understand how different people are motivated to provide feedback. Not all users will feel compelled to provide feedback based on the same behavioural ‘triggers’, or just because it’s a good thing to do. Where one user sees value enough to drive action, others may not. Our approach has been to utilise behavioural insights to design for different types of user motivations; users are humans, humans are complicated.
Secondly, resources are often stretched and volumes of intelligence continue to increase, putting pressure on analysts. Giving feedback takes analysts’ time away from other tasks. To encourage feedback behaviour, potential barriers need to be either minimised or removed completely. Our design approach has been to remove and reduce ‘friction’ in the user experience as much as possible.
Thirdly, we needed to recognise that outcomes for an intelligence product are unknown at the time of initial consumption and can take some time to materialise. Even if outcomes are known, since distractions are ever-present, some users will inevitably forget to provide feedback. To respond to this challenge, we are developing a product that is structured to the life-cycle of intelligence, providing reminders and tracking the use of products throughout an investigation – not just the final result.
You can read more about our approach here.
We are now testing the technology experience against these fundamental design principles, and welcome a dialogue on our approach and their application to technology enabling financial information-sharing partnerships.
If we can develop the technology in a way that takes account of the very human challenges that exist to providing feedback on intelligence, then this approach can potentially help both public and private intelligence analysts to be more relevant, efficient and effective. Such technology will be key to increasing the capacity and scale of public/private financial information-sharing partnerships.