Hit the easy button with Hearsay Compliance: Lexicon functionality

Hit the easy button with Hearsay Compliance: Lexicon functionality

Each blog post in this 4-part series highlights a core benefit of Hearsay’s compliance functionality.

Managing an electronic communications program can be complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. As a partner to organizations in the financial services industry, we’ve integrated compliance features seamlessly within our platform in order to help firms navigate the complexity. This blog post series highlights the core compliance features that we believe are non-negotiable for any firm in the industry with a social media presence.

In this article, we focus on lexicon functionality. In a regulatory environment where aggressively larger fines are being levied for non-compliance, a smart lexicon can prevent unwanted financial and reputational damage.

Some software solutions leverage AI-enabled lexicons; but with the inner workings of the solution hidden in a black box, and covered by intellectual property protections, they can be shrouded in mystery. We discuss this more in a previously written blog post.

Other solutions use very simple lexicons—only matching on exact words. While easy to explain, this approach can miss the nuances from the natural use of language.

At Hearsay, we’ve incorporated the advantages from both types of lexicons, such that users can easily understand flagged content, while also monitoring for nuanced language. Our lexicon functionality evaluates four keyword types that aim to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of flagged activity, so compliance teams can focus on monitoring for the right risks.

Keyword type

How it works

Exact Match
Exact match keywords look for instances where the exact term shows up. This is most useful when there are specific terms you would like to flag on, such as, the names of products, or idiosyncratic phrases.
Starts with
Starts with keywords are ending-agnostic, to cover instances of words with various suffixes. For example, “recommend” would flag for “recommended” and “recommending,” allowing you to keep your lexicon list light without requiring you to include every possible iteration of a term you’re looking for.
Logical keywords are the most powerful, and allow you to harness contextual uses of language. Hearsay uses “AND” and “AND NOT” to specifically look for a more natural use of language. For example, a potential complaint of “I want to speak to your supervisor,” could vary by exact content and word order, but a logical term of “speak AND supervisor” would pick it up regardless of specifics, providing the ability to monitor for risks in a more flexible way.
Regular Expression
Regular Expressions (or regex) look for language patterns, to hone in on specific types of information. For example, Hearsay uses regex to look for credit card numbers, social security numbers, or driver’s license numbers to protect against these types of personal information flowing into public spaces.

In addition to these different keyword types, the following functions within the platform allow you to fine-tune the use of your lexicon:

Blocking lexicons prevent a word from even flowing into the supervision queue. This is useful for words that are never permissible for your organization. For example, if you want to ensure that the word “advisor” is never used to prevent breaches of Regulation Best Interest, including it in the blocking lexicon would accomplish that.

Additionally, Hearsay allows specific words to be applicable to specific types of activities through detect-in functionality. For example, there are certain risks inherent in private messages, but those risks may not be present in outbound posting activity. Detect-in functionality can apply a separate set of lexicon terms to each of these activities to target their inherent risks.

Any robust monitoring system should monitor for items that aren’t picked up by your lexicon. Hearsay also includes sampling functionality, which allows you to set a customized percentage of activity for monitoring regardless of content, buttressing your supervision program and keeping your program compliant. 

At Hearsay, we understand the importance of monitoring activity for risks to your organization, but we also understand the importance of doing this in the most efficient way possible. The features above were designed to target your risks without triggering unnecessary alerts.

If any of these challenges resonate with you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Hearsay representative to discuss how we can help you and your organization ease the heavy regulatory burden on financial services companies in the social media space.

Bill Simpson
By day, Bill Simpson is Hearsay’s Director of Compliance, helping deliver technologically compliant solutions to Hearsay’s global customer base. Once he logs off (or sometimes before he logs on!), he can be found tending to his BBQ pit, playing with his two boys, or enjoying collaborative storytelling via tabletop RPGs.

Interested in reading more?

Interested in reading more?