The Importance of Social Intelligence on Today’s Investigations
(What Netflix, Dart Boards and Neanderthals have to do with it?)
Like many products and services, investigations have evolved with new technology and changes in human behavior. The influence of technology on investigations is as big as the impact that Walkman’s had on the boom box and Netflix had on Blockbuster. Quite simply, investigations today are more effective, faster and far less expensive than in the past.
Years ago, surveillance could be described as throwing a dart at a dartboard with a blindfold on. Now, when a social intelligence investigation is conducted before surveillance, we are removing the blindfold.
But buyer beware – don’t confuse social media investigations with social intelligence investigations. Social intelligence investigations are as similar to social media investigations as human beings are to Neanderthals.
Social media investigations can be characterized as the digital equivalent of a database locate, and providing a simple report of the subject’s profiles and websites. In contrast, social intelligence investigations are more in depth, actively finding information that is impactful for the case overall, while also optimizing field work such as surveillance.
Every year, digital footprints are growing. Since COVID, people have leaned into the digital world and increased documenting their day-to-day hobbies and activities online. An ‘online’ lifestyle has grown more normalized in all age ranges, not just the typical young-adult demographic that has traditionally spent the most time on social networking sites. Human social networks are increasingly digital in nature, and as people ‘live’ more online, they leave a digital footprint that can be analyzed for insights into their daily activities and ongoing issues.
Starting with a social intelligence investigation can and often does reveal information on habitual activities like places of worship, fitness habits, and upcoming activities, such as concerts and sporting events. Possessing this knowledge allows for the investigation to be scheduled in a manner that targets timeframes that have greater opportunities to observe a subject’s activities.
Social intelligence investigations should be the foundation on which all investigations are built. These investigations uncover critical information about a subject or event prior to sending an investigator into the field. Social intelligence is not simply locating a subject’s online activity, it’s parsing through it for relevant information that can be impactful to claims or litigation on a case-by-case basis. While social media investigations cover observations and reporting, social intelligence investigations go one step further with analysis. ISG utilizes a specialized team called the Evaluation and Analytics Unit (EAU) that evaluates and analyzes all cases, then creates a strategic action plan, if needed, to assist clients with the next investigative solution to achieve their objectives.
When surveillance is paired with a social intelligence investigation, we have seen up-to a 30% increase in productive surveillance outcomes vs. when surveillance was conducted without the insights gained from a social intelligence investigation. At ISG, our social intelligence and field investigations are completed by experienced team members, each with a specific skillset, working together to produce the best outcomes.
The bottom line is social intelligence and field investigations are both important, but it’s highly recommended to begin with social intelligence and use the actionable information received to improve outcomes on field investigations to produce the best possible outcomes.
Ready to get started? Here are additional benefits of ISG’s Social Intelligence program:
- 80+% of Social Intelligence investigations identify actionable intelligence
- 35% reveal conflicting information from the initial claim report or confirm that the initial information was false
- When surveillance is conducted with social intelligence, there’s a 30% increase in productive surveillance outcomes
- 2% of investigations determine that the subject of the investigation is incarcerated or recently deceased
- 98% cases are completed in same day as they are referred
- 100% are subjected to rigorous quality assurance assessments