Watch lists: How do you find Abdul Rasheed when you’re looking for Abdul Rashid? – GCN

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s Juliet once asked.

Quite a lot, it turns out, especially for analysts trying to match non-Latin names against western watch lists and financial databases. Name-matching can pose serious challenges for law enforcement and financial compliance officials accustomed to an English-language view of the world.

Analysts have to contend with multiple transliteration variants of foreign names, name order variations and misspellings. Moreover, traditional software approaches for name resolution can miss matches or retrieve information that is not pertinent to the subject matter. It is no longer just about matching Jimmy L. Smith with James Larry Smith but also Abdul Rasheed with Abdul Rashid or Zhang Jing-Quan with Jingquan Zhang, experts say.