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6 Steps Toward More Efficient Internal Investigations

By Jeffrey Wolff

Internal investigations are becoming increasingly complex. In a world where everything continues to grow, from the number of people to the amount of data, it is not surprising that the number of internal investigations also continues to increase, as is the scope of internal investigations.

In order to survive as an internal researcher in this constantly changing work environment, you must be open to changes and new techniques.

In this blog, I’ll discuss steps you can take to make internal investigations more efficient.

1. Provide an independent internal investigations department.

Having your own internal investigations department has several advantages. An internal investigations department has the advantage that an investigation can be handled internally, which can limit the risk of leaks. This is very important for the privacy of those involved and the reputation of the company.

An investigation can also be started more quickly if there is already a designated investigator. Obviously, it is not possible for every company, organization or administrative body to have an internal research department. In that case, a third party must be engaged to carry out the internal investigation. This can be a research agency or law firm, or a forensic accountant, for example.

2. Collect and evaluate the data on one platform.

By using one platform on which all data is collected, and in which the investigators can all work together, you ensure that you maintain an overview. The platform must offer the possibility to make all data optimally searchable and to categorize the data in several ways. This ensures a more efficient working environment and an easier way of working.

3. Ensure that one investigator is appointed as administrator.

The administrator should be able to access all necessary files and documents. Limit the ability of other investigators to view documents as much as possible. By designating one administrator of the data, the potential for invasion of the privacy of those involved is reduced. With this person responsible for removing irrelevant (private) data in advance and distributing the culled data among several investigators, you can reduce the risk of privacy violations. Such a division of responsibilities is called a division of duties, in which the distinction is made between collecting and preparing the data for review and, on the other hand, assessing the content of the data.

4. Remove irrelevant data before the review takes place.

By removing irrelevant or redundant data as quickly as possible, investigators can gain a better overview of the (possible) relevant data. They can use this knowledge to adjust the scope where necessary. By doing this before a review takes place, a lot of extra work can be avoided. By automatically classifying the data and having the text analyzed by software (text mining), irrelevant data can be found and removed in the preliminary phase.

5. Look for evidence with advanced search techniques that make searching easier.

By using a platform that contains advanced search functions, targeted and efficient searches can be made. This way of searching quickly leads to results that cannot be achieved with manual assessment. Some platforms even offer the possibility to have the software automatically search for relevant documents, making finding evidence in large amounts of data even faster and simpler.

6. Find a partner who will help you throughout.

In order to improve the process of an internal investigation, technology is needed that matches the activities of the investigator. By using a single platform where you can collect, analyze and assess data, it is possible to conduct research faster and more efficiently.

The use of eDiscovery (legal truth-finding in digital data) is one of the developments of the past decades that is increasingly used in internal investigations and legal proceedings to deal with growing data volumes.

Learn more about how IPRO can help your organization increase efficiency in internal investigations.