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Case Study

From Weeks to Hours

How Knowledge Graphs and AI Transformed the Risk Management Business

From Weeks to Hours: How Knowledge Graphs and AI Transformed the Risk Management Business

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Every U.S. business with global operations is required to know with whom they can’t do business. There are more than you might think, and the numbers can change overnight. Failing to predict who becomes sanctioned accurately can result in large federal fines. So when a multinational was alerted to 400 unexpected new sanctions, executives afraid of losing weeks to digging through reports one by one turned instead to a trusted partner for analyzing their exposure with GraphGrid Connected Data Platform (CDP) – and had an answer in four hours.

To put this in perspective, the U.S. Treasury updates and issues new sanctions multiple times monthly. Tracking the entire universe of sanctions – essentially a requirement for multinationals such as banks, large equipment manufacturers, logistics companies, and more – can require downloading and sifting through 21 different files and thousands of names. And that’s just for the current sanctions.

Avoiding fines requires predicting whether a partner or customer will be added to the list, which can require sifting through terabytes of loosely related data that exist in the digital wild – from news stories to social media posts, videos, and even ads. Should we lend to this distributor? Should we ship through this freight forwarder? These are the big questions that executives need accurate information to answer with clarity, and the question is how to get it fast.

In this case study, we’ll review how a consulting firm serving multinationals transformed its risk analysis operation with GraphGrid Connected Data Platform, improving customer outcomes while also paving the way for entirely new lines of



Improve data analysis capacity and shift from reactive to proactive risk management.


Develop new intelligence by capturing data in knowledge graphs.


Reinvent the business model and scale growth to previously unforeseen heights.



Improve data analysis capacity and shift from reactive to proactive risk management.

For banks and multinationals, managing risk is a big enough job that even the most expansive teams have difficulty keeping track of all the moving parts.

Solving for sanctions risk can become a lower-tier priority for most analyst teams, resulting in a mad scramble when Treasury issues new alerts. Consultants can help global producers and financiers spot the risks before they become apparent.

The trouble is, consultants may not have it any easier. One firm had its team of 100-plus analysts starting their days with at least two and sometimes many more hours of manual scouring of news and social media sites for signs of troubling developments: a related entity retweeting a fundraiser for a charity known to be connected to a sanctioned entity, for example.

The idea? Develop an open-source catalog of entities and people related to those who’d already been officially sanctioned and track their activities, flagging for incidents that presented a high risk for future sanction. Every new “find” created a potential opportunity to develop a report that clients would pay for.

If that sounds like good business, you’re right – it was – but only up to a point. Analysts staring at screens can’t scale, and that matters for serving banks and multinationals in an increasingly interconnected world economy.

More relationships mean more risk and greater odds for suffering the painful financial consequences of falling out of compliance.

To protect its clients and upgrade its business, the consultant decided to sharpen its efforts with knowledge graphs using Graph- Grid CDP.


Develop new intelligence by capturing data in knowledge graphs.

Initially, the firm planned a full year to design and deploy the new system. The timeline accounted for customizing CDP to ingest a vast array of data sets beyond just the near-weekly delivery of new alerts from the U.S. Treasury.

Social media feeds, news feeds, and much more would be ingested into CDP, where key relationships between core entities (i.e., sanctioned people and organizations) and affiliated entities (i.e., siblings, supply chain partners, lenders, and more) would be defined.

As a cloud-native platform for standing up knowledge assets, CDP is designed to quickly define knowledge graphs and the nodes (i.e., people, places, or things), edges (i.e., the type of relationships, such as the leader of a related organization or a sibling of a sanctioned person), labels (i.e., categories of nodes, such as an organization), and properties (i.e., useful context for actions taken) that define them.

In this way, CDP allowed the consulting firm to expose context as new data was ingested into the underlying graph database. Clients could see and act on relationships as they evolved.

Remember the bank from above? Executives there told the consulting firm their internal team would have needed several weeks to determine the risk exposure in their global client base when Treasury released 400 new sanctions.

GraphGrid CDP saved countless hours by first ingesting the new data and then using the knowledge graph to identify potentially troubling relationships. Analysts reviewing the results were then able to determine the most risk-relevant additions based on the new data and report back to the bank within four hours. The value of those insights in saved person-hours alone is difficult to measure.

With CDP’s cloud-native, global architecture, the consulting firm can scale to serve the bank as it grows and deals with even more complex relationships. The knowledge graphs can see and report on evolving relationships as new data is ingested, putting crucial information into the hands of analysts faster.

Knowing this, the consulting firm expected to invest significant time and resources into tailoring and training CDP to capture context for its banking and multinational clients. Instead, the process took roughly six months to go from design to live – and is still regularly producing new insights today.


Reinvent the business model and scale growth to previously unforeseen heights.

Banks aren’t the only beneficiaries of this system. The multinational with a supply chain stretching across three continents and ten countries, including two in regions where sanctioned entities are more common, is just as at risk as any global lender.

The greater the depth of understanding of the relationships between entities, the more valuable the firm’s knowledge graphs become.

The key is giving more access, more frequently, to the clients that need it most. As a customizable, cloud-native tool, GraphGrid CDP gave the consulting firm a simple method for standing up new knowledge assets for clients on-demand, a sharp departure from the firm’s original business model of selling one-off reports when clients requested help.

The firm has grown substantially since and now provides subscription access to risk-relevant data captured in knowledge graphs powered by GraphGrid CDP. Annual recurring revenue has soared as a result.

A new publish feature in CDP has allowed the firm to go even further, sharing carefully scrubbed data via API in public-facing knowledge graphs that clients may access for combining with their own internal intelligence. Clients get smarter while the firm expands its earning opportunity. Everyone wins.