CEO Interview: Reflections on one year of simplifying diligence and investigations.
A year has passed since we officially launched our investigations and diligence platform and what a year it has been. We interviewed our CEO, Stewart Kelly to discover the story behind the last twelve months.
What have been your biggest lessons of the last year?
One of the key takeaways has been seeing how many similarities there are between the different investigative tasks and activities. Even though every individual case or investigation seems unique to the person who's submitting them, there's actually so many commonalities - many more than we anticipated.
The degree to which tasks can be repeated, streamlined and scaled through the platform has been bigger than we expected. This has influenced the direction we've taken the platform - to be able to manage not only one-off investigations, but also large-scale repeat tasks, whether it's document retrieval, site visits, or even human source enquiries.
The other thing we’ve observed is that practitioners are crying out for change - for processes around gathering non-digitised data to be made easier, more efficient and more transparent. The industry is in the middle of a transformation, driven by a growing regulatory environment, but also by demands directly from customers and other stakeholders. The comment we hear so often is that this change is long overdue - information needs to be easier to access and we are delighted to offer a solution.
And how has the data landscape changed in the last year?
As each year passes there is more and more data available for researchers online. But as more information goes online, the more confusing and unreliable it becomes. The need for non-digitised data is growing as it fills in the gaps left by conflicting, contradictory information from open sources - cutting through the noise and answering the most important questions.
Of course, bad actors are aware of the data landscape and will go to extreme measures to prevent negative information from permeating online. As investigators, you're always going to need to dig deeper. That's not to say there isn't value in what is online - there's huge value in it. But it’s the combination of online and offline data that brings the most powerful and insightful results.
What have been the biggest accomplishments to date?
First and foremost, it’s been a huge accomplishment to help fellow investigators reduce the complexity in their everyday work. Throughout my time in the industry I’ve seen research processes become more and more complicated. Being able to simplify those and reduce the administrative burden is such a positive outcome.
Secondly, seeing our vision materialise has been a real highlight. It's one thing to come up with a theory about a new way of doing diligence and investigations, it's another to apply that consistently in a commercial context. To have clients use the platform, some of whom are very large organisations, and for us to be integrated into their team processes has been very rewarding.
Finally, bringing together the team has also been a great experience for me personally. We started out as a small group of founders and are now a team of committed people with diverse backgrounds, experience and perspectives. With so much energy in the team, I’m confident there are lots more accomplishments to come.
And the biggest challenges?
That we can’t grow fast enough to keep up with demand! I’m sure every start-up founder would say this but even lightning speed doesn’t seem fast enough sometimes.
Would you change anything?
Only one thing, I would have done it all sooner!
What’s on the horizon for the platform?
There is a lot in the pipeline and we're really excited about new platform tools, features and functionality that will be released in the final quarter of the year. Clients will benefit from the ability to further standardise workflows in a truly powerful way with our systematic approach to global investigative data.
If you’d like to see the Ground Truth platform in action, get in touch today for a demo.