Companies and Their Economic Connections Are More Transparent Thanks to Big Data Intelligence

The Challenge

“Cerved posed several challenges that led us to experiment with Neo4j in 2011 and then use it in production,” explains Innovation & Data Sources Manager Stefano Gatti, “but the first challenge, and the most concrete, was to increase the efficiency of the application that identifies the ‘real owner’ of a business in order to generate a real-time response.”

The “real owner” of a business is the individual who, in the final analysis, owns and controls the company, either directly or indirectly owning at least 25% +1 of its share capital. Identification of real owners was introduced in Italian legislation in 2007 with Law 231 for the prevention of money laundering, and is of crucial importance for the world economy, from enterprises to credit institutions and public administrations.

“This is why we were looking for technologies that would make it easy for us to conduct network analysis with a view to developing new applications that would add value to the ‘links’ emerging between our data,” says Gatti.

The Solution

Internally, the Neo4j-powered solution allowed Cerved to simplify processes and cut maintenance and development costs. The introduction of Neo4j marked a change for the company’s customers too, as they now enjoy use of real-time applications and, above all, better information quality.

Neo4j’s graph platform also made it easier to create other applications based on Aracne, and adoption of Neo4j made it possible to oversee the technology’s evolution over the years and allowed it to be used by customers and suppliers.

“The transition to Neo4j technology,” says Gatti, “has at least doubled the level of service for identification of the actual owner of businesses, from an average calculation time of 12 seconds to 67 milliseconds (-99 %) in cases that require tracking of up to 15 ownership links. This allowed us to extend its use and improve the precision of the algorithm at the same time.”

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