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Audio Surveillance Should be Seamless and Precise

The ways we communicate have always been varied and vast. From body language to speaking different languages, we’re always discovering new ways to express ourselves.

The platforms we use to communicate are almost as vast. When our offices moved to our homes last year, this became even more apparent—and more challenging for compliance teams to monitor. When remote work was no longer the exception but the rule, the data sources that teams needed to monitor greatly increased.

In a new series, we’ll explore a variety of data sources and how Relativity Trace arms compliance team with appropriate tools to ingest and analyze content. Our hope is that this information will empower your team to strategize and prepare for these data sources as you build and fine-tune your communication surveillance procedures.

Today, we’ll focus on audio data types. But take a look at the graphic below to see just how many sources are covered by Trace.

Can You Hear Me?

From December 2019 to April 2020, Zoom increased from 10 million users to 300 million. Forescout Research Labs reported in the financial services industry specifically, Zoom installations on Windows devices grew more than 92 percent in a period of four weeks. The message is clear: Voice and audio are expanding rapidly and it’s more important than ever to find ways to monitor for continued regulatory and code-of-conduct compliance. Many communications channels like Zoom, WebEx, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams, were adopted or expanded to increase productivity with workforces no longer reporting to a collocated office.

With increased channels and activity comes the need for efficient surveillance. Earlier this year, Market Watch 66 from the FCA provided specific guidelines around what types of conversations and communications must be recorded by regulated firms: “Recording obligations apply to conversations and communications made with, sent from, or received on, equipment provided or permitted to be used for business purposes.”

Finding non-compliance and code-of-conduct violations in an efficient manner becomes more difficult as employees move between channels based on what feels most convenient. You need to be able to easily follow a conversation from Slack to phone and back again, to understand the full story. But often, analyzing and tracking audio presents a new set of challenges.

Seamless Audio Surveillance

Audio content can be one of the most informative data sources available, but when it comes to communication surveillance and compliance work, it can also be the most challenging and manual. Audio data needs to be transcribed before an automated system can categorize and analyze it alongside written communications. When done manually, the transcription process is both time-consuming and often still not 100 percent correct. Even with human review of audio data, capturing nuances and coded language can be imprecise. It can be difficult to review these audio communications as holistically as other eComms.

The solution is a communications surveillance platform that integrates audio and electronic communications so that everything is searchable and unified in one view. Rather than only being able to listen to the audio conversation, transcription is the ideal way to review these communications so users can move through them as quickly as written data, without disrupting the flow of their work. Being able to do this efficiently and precisely is key to pinpointing risk quickly.

Hosting your audio data in the cloud, Relativity Trace offers a SaaS-based, seamless audio surveillance solution to better meet the growing need for audio surveillance. The software also enables the user to quickly view keywords and jump to the relevant sections in the file based on a specific term. The user can search for a keyword across a group of audio files and any relevant files will be shown, saving time and effort from manually listening to hours of audio.

With Trace’s unique approach, voice and transcription are linked in a karaoke style where you can move between the two, with transcription available in 26 languages and dialects. The transcript is populated next to the audio recording and only the riskiest parts are served up for review. Because of the integrated audio surveillance provided, your compliance team can choose to listen to parts of the conversation that has been pinpointed as risky—rather than the entire call. Using Relativity Trace’s audio capabilities, you can automatically generate transcriptions that are displayed alongside the recording itself—so if data is flagged by the system, you can review the conversation and understand the full context.

Reducing false positives and identifying non-compliant behavior is key no matter the source of data—especially since employees move between platforms. Although audio communications provide a certain set of challenges, remote work makes it vital for compliance teams to remain regulatory by finding ways to monitor them. Cutting down on time with automatic transcription and pinpointing only the riskiest content for review, Trace provides a seamless audio surveillance solution.

See How to Up-level Your Audio Surveillance with a Trace Demo

Cassandra Morrison is a senior specialist in content marketing at Relativity, with a special focus on the needs of in-house corporate legal teams.