Donor due diligence:
4 Types of Reputational Risk Tools in 2023
Prevent reputational damage with the right tool for your organisation.
86% of executives surveyed last year pointed to loss of income and a reduced customer base as expected fallout from reputational risks. But forming the best approach to identify those risks comprehensively and cost-effectively can be difficult.
Our complex modern information environment has made managing reputational risk all the more daunting. The quantity of publicly available online data continues to grow at a rapid rate. Internet users produce roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day. This frankly incomprehensible scope of data is an essential tool when assessing potential reputational risk, yet is impossible for teams of people to reliably sift through.
Traditional reputation management methods have depended on a host of reputational risk software tools to support human-led teams. But there are a variety of types to consider. We’ve listed out the four major types of reputational risk tools that organisations might consider to start advancing their strategies.
1. Social media monitoring tools
There’s no denying that social media plays an enormous role in influencing public perceptions around organisations. And its ever-lasting nature can have a permanent effect on one’s image. Hence, you need to consider social media when analysing the reputational risk of a subject.
Manually analysing social media data can be time-consuming and ultimately fruitless due to the sheer number of data to sift through. A social media monitoring tool is an effective method of building up this understanding.
With that said though, it’s worth remembering that these tools will require some level of manual intervention to be useful. Social media monitoring tools can deliver information on a subject’s social media presence and mentions, but will need an analyst to collate that information and make sense of it.
Making sense of that data will also involve disambiguating between the false positives that inevitably come up with social media research. Traditional social media monitoring tools use keyword-based research as opposed to advanced Natural Language Processing to verify information. This means that you will likely receive results that are not actually about or associated with your subject. For example, the tool may confuse your subject for a different person who happens to have the same name.
Many sophisticated tools attempt to categorise “sentiment” behind certain posts in order to track organisations’ reputations. But without the right Natural Language Processing technology behind that analysis a large number of posts get falsely flagged to the user or categorised as being positive or negative.
All this means that whilst some level of time and effort will be saved for your manual teams, the burden will still be on the user to drill down further into results. Hence these tools do not fully streamline the reputational risk management process.
Another issue to keep in mind is privacy. How much snooping into someone’s social media activity is acceptable without infringing on their privacy, even if it is publicly available? You can run the risk of overstepping boundaries and compliance guidelines. Doing this in itself can be a reputational risk. One way to combat this would be through sticking to social media platforms that are more overtly intended for professional relationships and profiles, such as LinkedIn.
Tools to consider
- Videris: Enables complex network mapping and activity tracking via a subject’s individual social media profiles.
- Meltwater: Enables brand monitoring through various social media feeds, primarily Twitter. Keep aware that not everyone will be talking about a brand on Twitter though, so this information will be limited in its depth.
- Brandwatch: Enables brand monitoring and brand health tracking through historical and real-time consumer data.
- Social media is a necessary part of reputational risk analysis. Yet it can be tricky to do without overstepping compliance best practices – itself can be a risk.
- A human analyst would have to be heavily involved in the information collation and reporting processes for false positives to be eliminated and insights shared.
2. Database check tools
Checking databases is essential when verifying the credentials and general background of a subject. This is a basic starting point for customer verification and onboarding that helps identify risks and limit damage from associating with an untrustworthy subject. Various tools help compile information across various databases, including legal, regulatory and financial ones.
You can also rely on these tools to provide you with information on a subject’s professional activity and network. This proves especially useful for any organisation looking to grow through new clients and partnerships, as they can get insights into new relevant and potential connections.
However, and similarly to social media monitoring tools, this is another tool type that will require a high level of manual intervention to draw actionable insights. While they effectively condense the wide variety of publicly available online data to databases, a human analyst will often have to still scour through it to disambiguate between possible false positives. This is a common issue with PEPs and sanctions, and watchlist screening tools in particular. Potentially lucrative partners and customers may be mistakenly blocked by compliance departments when they shouldn’t be, due to a false positive reporting that they were on a sanctions list.
Given the time taken to manually screen through these false positives and adverse media check for wider risks, many organisations choose simply not to on board the customers which can lead to significant opportunities being lost.
It is also worth noting that, on its own, this type of tool typically cannot provide in-depth insights for organisations to make informed decisions on their reputational risk management. Databases are restricted in the information they hold and how often they are updated, so database check tools by definition are limited in what they can discover. Used alone, they will miss many of the insights that can be obtained from analysing a subject’s public profile, particularly how they’re perceived by the public.
Tools to consider
- LexisNexis WorldCompliance Online Search Tool: Acts as a global compliance database that users can search prospective clients and partners through to inform due diligence.
- Sayari: Enables access to corporate information on hundreds of millions of companies worldwide, acting as a leading provider of critical business insights.
- Bureau van Dijk: Provides international corporate records as well as specific information on companies such as financial data and ownership details.
- Dun & Bradstreet: Uses cloud functionalities to deliver data and insights on international corporate records.
- Refinitiv World Check: Provides global corporate data to inform KYC and due diligence screenings.
- ComplyAdvantage: Uses advanced AI to detect risks of financial crime and automate due diligence processes.
- Dow Jones Risk & Compliance: Screens potential risks with AI and automation solutions to deliver actionable and verified insights.
- Companies House: This is more of a source than a tool but is helpful in being an online platform where you can search for and verify UK-based corporate records.
- Database check tools allow you to find mentions of your subject across various databases, including corporate, regulatory, legal and criminal databases.
- When picking this tool type it is essential to get something that is powered by strong technology and regularly updated. This will reduce the burden on the manual researcher who will have to screen out false positives, enabling you to onboard the right customers, faster.
3. Response management planning tools
Reputational risk management doesn’t end when a formal relationship is established. Damage prevention also involves preparing for any risks that might slip through the cracks or suddenly develop. This requires an advanced response management contingency plan.
There are a wide range of tools that fall into this category. The key element is an effective reporting capability that can quickly report on risks to all relevant team members. Real-time crisis management is achievable with the right tools and enough team bandwidth. Using Google Alerts is one step that is free and can help keep you abreast of relevant breaking news. Social media monitoring tools can also be useful here.
No matter how effective these tool types are, though, this all has the feel of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. It is far better and more efficient to prioritise effective mitigation rather than adaptation or response. Even a strong response management plan cannot shut down all the damage. In the long run, public perception will pick up on the damage, even if the plan mostly works for each incident.
Tools to consider
- Brandwatch: Offers crisis management functionalities with real-time alerts and internal communication capabilities.
- Meltwater Real-time Alerting: Sends real-time insights on your organisation, competitor, or industry.
- Signal AI Dashboards: Identifies rising threats in relevant markets and gives insight into your organisation’s reputation.
- Although valuable, long-term reliance on response management tools represents an inefficiency for your organisation.
- The most effective and efficient method is to offset reputational risks as much as possible before they happen.
4. Reputation due diligence tool
The above tools are hugely valuable search tools that support the due diligence and research process that is essential for a company’s reputation risk management. But the onus is still on the user to consolidate and compile a final research report.
Xapien is an end-to-end reputational due diligence tool and legal software platform that delivers on all of the above, optimising how due diligence can and should be carried out. Xapien is an AI and machine learning-powered platform which can automate multiple crucial steps of the reputational risk management process.
This begins with first scouring through millions of publicly available online data sources on the basis of a few provided pieces of context. It gathers in all potentially relevant data, which it then cross-references, disambiguates, and verifies. This ensures that it can deliver genuine, relevant, up-to-date insights back to the user, in a matter of minutes. Any and every piece of information that is available on a subject, and relevant is delivered in a readable, shareable report so that risks are flagged immediately and decisions can be taken upon the insights.
Xapien’s value also goes beyond reputational risk assessment. It provides a deep level of research and seamless reporting. Xapien’s profiles are critical to building deeper relationships, customising pitches, and exploring potentially lucrative partnerships. It identifies potential risks and opportunities for growth at the same time, leaving the decision-making up to you.
Unlike other reputational risk tool types that can assist as search tools but leave your organisation to complete the in-depth research portion, Xapien does both. It goes beyond search to deliver genuine research reports.
The efficiency and speed at which Xapien runs also leaves manual teams more time and resources to dedicate to analytical and decision-making efforts that really only a human can do. Xapien does the heavy lifting work for you so that you can make better-informed decisions on your risk management and organisation’s growth, faster.
- Xapien is the only tool available that automates the entire due diligence and reporting processes to fully assist manual teams on their wider corporate decisions.
- Xapien can scour through millions of publicly available online data sources within minutes to draw relevant, verified, and shareable insights.
- Xapien’s capabilities go beyond reputational risk management by also identifying growth opportunities and deepening relationships.
Upgrade your reputational due diligence with Xapien
An intelligent, comprehensive due diligence tool is the best way to boost how your organisation mitigates reputational risk. An intelligent tool not only helps you identify risks and avoid reputational damage but can help you identify growth opportunities. Organisations need a tool that does more than just search the data for them — they need one that takes it to the next level with powerful research functionalities.
Xapien brings together the capabilities of all of the previously mentioned tools into one research platform. Key features such as retrieval of LinkedIn data and Natural Language Processing to disambiguate between false positives bring the best of all possible reputational risk tools in a single platform. It removes all of the typically manual time and effort searching across different platforms, reading all the varied sources, verifying and disambiguating results, and then writing it up into a shareable report. It does that for you, in 10 minutes.
The result is better-informed, more effective, and more efficient reputational risk management, enabling you to grow with the right customers and partners, faster.
If you want to see Xapien’s powerful capabilities in action, click here for your free demo.
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