Dataminr’s real-time AI platform, Dataminr Pulse, detects the earliest signals of high-impact events and emerging risks from more than 200,000 public information sources—including social media content, internet-connected sensors, blogs, audio feeds and the deep and dark web.
We spoke with a corporate investigator at a major American retail company with close to 1,500 store locations in nearly all 50 states about how the company uses Dataminr Pulse to protect its assets and over 30,000 full-time and part-time employees.
The corporate investigator handles complex multi-market investigations, as well as threat investigations and loss prevention. The focus is primarily on physical security, but more and more the role is spilling into cyber security—an expected shift given the increasingly blurred lines between the physical and digital domains.
“Everything I do now in terms of investigations has some sort of digital touchpoint. Some of those intersect with traditional info security systems, some of them are involved with the vast array of social media and third-party selling sites,” said the investigator.
Dataminr’s real-time AI platform, Dataminr Pulse, gives them the ability to quickly identify and act on the full spectrum of those risks.
“Dataminr Pulse lets me sort open source information from the thousands of potential data points that I, just frankly, would not be able to look at—even if I had a team of a hundred people, which I can assure you I do not,” the investigator said.
The corporate investigator puts the real-time Pulse alerts into two main buckets: brand protection and critical events.
Brand protection includes brand mentions, threats against the company, customer service issues and complaints about in-store conditions that don't filter through the retailer’s social media or other PR teams.
Critical events pertain to happenings in and around store locations. The retail company uses Pulse alerts as a starting point and then works to verify potential threats before informing business leaders.
On August 3, 2019, as the corporate investigator was turning her car into a shopping center, she received a cell phone alert via the Dataminr Pulse mobile app. The alert stated that there was an active shooter at a store in El Paso, Texas, close to one of the company locations.
The corporate investigator pulled into the parking lot, informed the company vice president of the ongoing situation, then contacted the area security protection leader in charge of security and safety for that particular store.
“Dataminr notified us a full 10 minutes ahead of law enforcement,” said the investigator. “That allowed us to start a dialogue on the active shooter situation before the police came in and ordered us to lock down.”
As a large retailer, loss prevention is one of the corporate investigator’s main priorities. She relies on Dataminr Pulse to help spot and mitigate losses by using its real-time alerts to detect the reselling of stolen goods or the sale of counterfeit products.
In April 2021, the retailer received a Dataminr Pulse alert about its gift cards. They were being sold on a third-party site. When the investigator saw the amount of the gift cards, it quickly became clear that they were fraudulent. That triggered an investigation, where the corporate investigator discovered that more than $200,000 in fraudulent gift cards—from the large retailer and others—had been sold over the course of 12 months.
“That one Dataminr alert eliminated an entire network of potential fraud and gave us insight into the ultimate fencing location,” the investigator said.