Deloitte attacks Australian data market

Deloitte attacks Australian data market

February 20, 2009: Deloitte Australia has announced plans to invest in a significant new data centre at its Grosvener Square Sydney office in 2009 to assist with the work undertaken by its new Forensic Data and Analytic Insights divisions.

At a Sydney function to celebrate the official launch of the two new arms of the global consulting firm, Deloitte announced the major new addition to its worldwide capabilities.

Nicholas Adamo, Deloitte partner and National leader of Forensic Data, said the new data centre "will provide unmatched processing potential for our e.Discovery matters and allow for Global computer forensic engagements to be performed more swiftly and cost effectively."

Now boasting a team of 30 specialist forensic technology specialists, the Deloitte division has recently invested several million dollars in the latest e.Discovery software and associated hardware.

"We deal with a number of environments including regulatory, legal, government, statutory and corporate. But the market has moved on and our clients have far greater requirements than ever before. Forensic Data hopes to meet the challenges faced by our clients in this heightened regulatory and litigious environment," said Adamo.

Illustrating the challenges of obtaining forensic data in a manner that can be successfully utilised in litigation, Adamo highlighted the difficulties now emerging in the protracted "Project Wickenby" case undertaken by the Australian Crime Commission.

It emerged this week that this major Australian investigation into tax evasion could be threatened by incorrect procedure followed by the investigators in obtaining data off a laptop.The Australian Financial Review reported that the whole investigation is in serious jeopardy, as lawyers are challenging the way the ACC accessed information off the hard disk.

"This highlights just how important is our 20 year's experience in the discovery and recovery of relevant data from all available sources of electronic evidence," said Adamo.The Sydney data centre will also add to the arsenal of Deloitte's newly launched Analytic Insights division. This group extracts and analyses corporate data for such diverse tasks as identifying corporate fraud, predicting sales and managing logistics.

It recently helped Canada's Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to perform an in-depth analysis of more than 200 billion pieces of data from 13 years of lottery operations in Ontario. This was undertaken to analyse where the potential for fraudulent activity may have taken place.

Anthony Viel, Partner, Head of Deloitte Analytic Insights, believes Australian companies have the data but are not using it effectively.

"We’re applying forensic disciplines of sourcing, optimising and analysing data in a holistic manner. We continue to find application and generate value for our clients outside the traditional forensic space.

"Most organisations typically use less than 50% of the data they collect because they cannot access it or it is in an inappropriate form. They’re disadvantaged from a number of perspectives," he said.

"It’s like having a jet airliner and using LPG as fuel. Or boxing with one hand. In these volatile economic times, companies need to utilise and maximise existing data to create a point of difference.

"And Australian companies, I feel, are beginning to realise that their data asset can be utilised to create new revenue, particularly in the current economic climate.

"‘Knowing’ is more important in a difficult market than a good market. Making the right decision about where to invest, and managing assets, resources and opportunities, can have a profound effect on the organisation’s position in the market in the short to medium term." he said

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