Saturday, 7 August 2010

Forecasting in background screening projects (private person activity forecasting)

At last the weather is comfortable and I'm ready to proceed with the series of previously announced articles.

I hope you remember that my last statement was "if only we could reconstruct business or personal strategy of the subject, then we would be able to predict subject's activity in the future".

We have several important data sources to analyze:
1. Subject's goals and targets
2. Subject's best practices
3. Subject's risks (excluding external environment)
4. Subject's timing

Let’s start from private person activity forecasting (in general it is simpler than company forecasting):

When background screening project is over we have a lot of structured data about subject's future: when he will celebrate his birthdays, when his children will go to school, when he'll have to update his driver's license, when he will have to repay his debts, in what period of time he will resign etc.
Usually professional investigators and risk managers (at least in my area) pays this step of analysis little to none attention. In a scheme above I mentioned only main milestones, but it is reasonable to add Subject’s wife & parents birthdays, passport expiring dates etc.

Dealing with background screening projects of Russian citizen in most cases I pay attention only to health risk, criminal risks (relations with criminal authorities), credit risks (unpaid or huge debts), family risks (divorce, fornication etc.) and corporate risks (if the Subject is a shareholder).
When these risks are identified, it is reasonable to proceed to

This section is the most difficult to analyze and even hard to explain for non-native English speaker. The aim of this section is to identify behavioral patterns of the Subject including (but not limited to): How long he used to stay at the same company (e.g. 2.5 years)? Does he study a lot after graduation (e.g. the Subject completed about 12 courses of business education, approximately 1 course a year)? Is he targeted on a long-termed partnership or makes money with unknown persons (e.g. for the last decade he was involved in 7 new partnerships but still makes business only with his close friends)? Was the subject ever claimed as a wife cheater?

In general I think that best practices can be divided into several sections:
1. Finance management practices (how the Subject deals with his personal or corporate finances)
2. Family & friends relations management practices (how he treats his relatives, friends, lovers etc.)
3. Corporate management practices (how the Subject manages his companies)
4. Personal development practices (how the Subject manages his personal skills, health, assets etc.)

It is reasonable to mention ones again that the aim is not to dig the data but to identify behavioral patterns of the Subject.
If we have enough raw data and preliminary analysis results are valid we can make the following type of the Subject’s best practices descriptions:
FINANCIES: When the Subject experience lack of personal finances he used to take a bank loan (he doesn’t ask his friends or business partners to help him and prefer to keep his problems to himself). He is said to be a bad debtor for personal loans but is strict in repaying corporate debts. If in 2011 he will have to get additional funds for his child application to the university he will have to ask foreign bank for a loan (Russian banks will refuse because he is listed as a bad debtor).
When all possible (taking into consideration project’s limits) best practices of the Subject are identified it is reasonable to proceed to the final part of the job – “Subject goals and targets”


I think it is a good place to stop for today – I’ll be glad to see your comments and questions because the methodology I have started to present is a matter of discussion and I’m not sure that there are no better ways of the Subject’s behavior forecasting. That’s the way I do it.

The final statement I’d like to add is that even if it looks like the unified scheme for forecasting either Russian or the US private person behavior it is almost impossible to do this job unless the analyst understands the environment of the Subject.

Wish you a good day.

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