5 Things to Look for when Choosing Investigative Software

About five years ago I started the CROSStrax project. The goal, design and implement investigative software that will direct the course and content of an investigation. Now, having gone through research, development, and practical testing, it’s easy to see what the key elements are to great investigation case management software.

So what do we know? Case management software manages information related to an investigation. manages information related to an investigation. Investigative software should perform basic tasks, such as, storing case information, managing billing expenses, employee and vendor records, and much, much more. At this point in the game, you should be looking for a cloud-based system, allowing access from anywhere in the world. Remember though, if the system is creating more work you or your organization, it’s simply counter productive. While I started thinking about the key functions to look for in case management software, the variables to look for became clear,

  1. ease of use,
  2. automation,
  3. and resources.

To sum it up, a one stop shop for investigation case management software that saves time and get’s things done.

Look Closely for These Five Feature

1. Report Design and Generation

Make sure the software you choose has a standard workflow in mind when it comes to investigative reports.  The software should allow your investigators access to input all of the data while the system is responsible for the aggregation, segmentation, and generation of the final report. This process will create a more efficient investigation while maintaining a consistent work product.

2. Automation

In designing CROSStrax we immediately looked at what could be done via automation. Three things we identified immediately were connections via API with our database information provider, various Internet sites to perform Internet Mining Investigations, and accounting software to automate the billing and expense process. These tasks alone shaved hours off man-time that now could be used to perform other more labor intensive tasks.

3. Data Breach Prevention

Your efforts here will demonstrate to your clients that your organization has taken anticipatory steps to address data security threats. The continuing problems of lost and stolen laptops containing critical information on hard-drives illustrates that corporate policy designed to safeguard portable data only works when employees follow the rules. By choosing a cloud-based case management system, you take back control of your security protocols, but remember, security protocols are only as good as the investigative software you choose, so choose wisely!

4. Help Desk Reports

It’s hard to get a client and if your clients aren’t happy, business will eventually suffer. Complaints should always be resolved as quickly as possible. Make sure your case management system keeps comprehensive records of all customer complaints, from the initial problem to the eventual solution.

5. Task Management

With the “do more with less” theory of business, it’s hard to always remember everything. Make sure the system you choose for case management has a comprehensive and integrated task management system. The tasks should allow you to schedule to co-workers, have due date reminders, and email notifications. In CROSStrax we put the tasks on the user dashboards for easy visibility.

Final Thoughts

Choosing investigative software is no easy task and you have to make sure that your decision is what’s best for your business or investigative process. By making the five features above a priority, you’re sure to choose software that will create a more efficient, client ready, and consistent work product.

  • Have you been using case management software, what are your thoughts?
  • What software have you been using and what are some positives and negatives?
  • Is there something you would like to see in case management software?
  • Price-point? Costs? Too high or just right for what you get?

Leave your questions, ideas, or general conversation in the comments below.

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