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Tackling fraud and waste with Data Virtualization

In many organizations, getting a complete view of their operations is a challenging task. Information is scattered across multiple locations and multiple systems – each providing a glimpse of operations but, usually, not enough to be able to draw a complete picture of what is happening throughout the organization. In many organizations, this can lead to inefficiencies and the resultant higher operational costs – or even missed opportunities because no-one has enough information to grasp the significance of a new market or opening. In some cases, this fragmented view of operations can lead to fraud as the unscrupulous take advantage of the lack of a cohesive view and exploit the ‘information gaps’ to their advantage. Examples of this are insurance claim fraud, mortgage fraud, Medicaid and Medicare fraud, and so on.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a cabinet level department within the United States federal government. The department was established to increase access to affordable housing, strengthen communities through economic development, fight housing discrimination, and tackle homelessness issues. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is an independent entity within HUD whose mission is to detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse and promote the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of HUD operations. It accomplishes this by conducting and supervising audits, investigations and inspections relating to the programs and operations of HUD.

HUD-OIG chose to use the Denodo Data Virtualization Platform to quickly and efficiently provide a unified view of its disparate data sources to reporting and predictive analytics systems.  HUD-OIG’s data is spread across hundreds of structured and unstructured sources, and they needed to provide a unified view and standardized access to these internal as well as external data sources from other federal agencies and web sources.  Leveraging the Denodo Platform, they are able to unify all their data sources and standardize access to data consumers while minimizing replication.  The deployment will enable HUD-OIG to reduce costs by minimizing manual data extraction efforts and deliver timely and comprehensive data to consuming users and systems.  In the future, the agency also plans to use data virtualization to feed unified data into predictive analytics and statistical analysis systems that will analyze real estate trends and provide insight that can help prevent fraudulent activities.

Paul Moxon