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Data + the Greater Good Meetup: Enigma

by Mary Plum

Posted March 18, 2019

At our latest Data + the Greater Good meetup, Enigma, an operational data management and intelligence company that specializes in data analytics and connected data, presented on their platform STAT – Standing Together Against Trafficking. STAT is a platform which helps facilitate information transfer across organizations who are working to identify and end human trafficking.

Enigma conducted a case study on labor trafficking, which is when individuals perform labor through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. From 2014 to 2015, labor trafficking was one of the most popular forms of human trafficking, and this is especially true in agricultural sectors.  Enigma linked public data about agricultural visa applications with a dataset that contains employers who have been debarred from foreign worker programs.

Enigma produced a map, which identifies areas where there is an overlap in high visa applications and debarred employers, allowing users to note potentially suspicious areas. Financial institutions can use this map to help them identify and focus on suspicious transactions that may relate to human trafficking.

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Enigma created a way to centralize all information across organizations regarding red flags or behavioral indicators of trafficking. This is a crucial step in enabling organizations to quickly identify behaviors and build profiles of traffickers and trafficking victims, and identify trafficking. Each organization that works to prevent trafficking does this differently and there is little communication between organizations. Enigma saw an opportunity to use technology to solve this.

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Some of the challenges that occur when dealing with behavioral patterns of trafficking include:

  • Numerous sources of information from different organizations
  • A lack of standardized language to reference behavioral patterns, i.e. organizations may call these patterns red flags or behaviors or indicators
  • Information is ‘locked’ inside PDFs making it hard to search or extract
  • Sharing information across organizations who work independently

Enigma developed STAT – Standing Together Against Trafficking to help facilitate the transfer of information between organizations in a fast and effective manner.

STAT was developed by Enigma in a collaborative manner. They worked in partnership with industry experts to understand the workflow of someone investigating trafficking. Next, they studied the data in order to work smartly and systemize it into one platform. Finally, they designed a platform that is searchable, in real time, and collaborative.

• • •

Enigma also worked with AnnieCannons, a nonprofit that helps transform survivors of human trafficking into software professionals. After Enigma designed the platform, they shared it with AnnieCannons; the organization facilitated the building the actual platform and infrastructure.

• • •

STAT allows individuals to search behavioral indicators and filter by items such as sector, type of indicator, and geography.

The goal is for financial institutions, law enforcement, and NGOs to have up-to-date knowledge at their fingertips, in an effective format, allowing them to use the information to act as quickly as possible and prevent or stop human trafficking.

Click to watch Enigma’s presentation in full. Learn more about STAT and Enigma on their website. To stay updated on Data + the Greater Good events, join our Meetup group.

Our “Data + the Greater Good” Meetup series has featured speakers from an array of nonprofit organizations, including The Met, The Whitney, New York Public Radio, ProPublica, Public Art Fund and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Read about their presentations on our blog.

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