Many organisations have taken a keen interest in the Panama Papers dataset. Whilst for many individuals and companies in the dataset there is no evidence of wrongdoing others have been implicated in tax evasion, fraud and sanctions evasion amongst other crimes. Unsurprisingly many within Financial Services and other sectors are scrambling to assemble project teams to identify whether their Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML) and other processes have missed anything. Partly this is in response to requests for reports of ‘links’ to Mossack Fonseca from the regulators.

However what constitutes a ‘link’, Where should these teams start and do they have the necessary skills and capabilities in house to meet these requests? Vendors from all over the data spectrum have seized on the Panama Papers as the data marketing gift of a life time (often with extreme caution!). Filesystems vendors such as Hadoop distributors, document stores, graph databases, Triplestores, Ediscovery vendors and even Data Quality vendors have thrown their hats into the ring as contenders. Which is ‘best option’ to use however?

Well this partly, as always, depends on requirements. Whilst many have reasonable experience of direct screening approaches, experience of applying indirect screening approaches or network analysis is often limited. Interestingly two portals have emerged using related but fundamentally different technologies to address screening amongst other requirements. The ICIJ portal uses graph database Neo4j with visualisation component linkurious, whilst Ontotext have launched a graphDB packaged RDF based solution with links to geonames and dbpedia.

One focuses on standards, interoperability and ease of integration with other Linked Open Data sources, whilst the other focuses on network analysis fundamentals, performance, scalability and ease of use. Both are interesting and valid approaches, whether they suit your requirements as an organisation to screen against Panama Papers entities is another question however…..

To find out more about and the answers to many other Connected Data questions come to Connected Data 2016 on July 12th in London. The conference promises to be the event of the year in the Connected Data space with speakers from NASA, BBC and Financial Times amongst others.  Not an event to be missed!

panama portals