Frequently Asked Questions
What is a (mobile) web app? How do users download it?
A web app is a website that, when downloaded and installed on the home screen of a mobile device, operates just like a native app. A web app also works on a desktop or laptop where it operates just like a website.
How does the NWFC™ system benefit from Artificial Intelligence?
We get it. Everybody these days says they use Artificial Intelligence.
But does how they use it actually provide real value for their cleints? Unfortuntaly, some providers brag about using "A.I.", and it turns out to be a hollow branding exercise.
By contrast, we focus first on how we can best add value, and only then decided that a subset of A.I., called machine learning, could meaningfully support our core value.
In fact, we worked with experts in artifiical intelligence for over two years in deciding on and building the algorithms, including machine learning, that add unique value to the structure and adaptability of our system. We call this core technology Intelligent Digital Elicitation™, and it's what creates the interviews our users access via the app.
Not only do make sure that our algorithms add value, we have placed value on the fact that they are "explainable." While we protect our trade-secret process and algorithmic approach, we are not a "black box" and have worked hard to ensure the outcomes of our system can be both tested and explained to our valued partners and clients.
What makes an ideal customer for NWFC™?
The best fit for our solution are managers of risk and organizations who:
• Want to stay ahead of increasingly costly incidents;
• Appreciate that preferred methods of workplace communication have changed;
• Are concerned about negative exposure to regulations such as SOX, HIPAA, OSHA, etc;
• Have unfortunately suffered a loss (financial, safety incident, breach, etc) that resulted in a costly lawsuit, investigation, fine, workplace violence incident, breach, theft or fraud. More important, the investigation revealed that the incident could have been mitigated or prevented if staff could share actionable concerns in a more convenient and effective manner.
Can I customize the app?
Yes, the NWFC™ web app can be customized with your logo as well as reference and directory links in the menu.
Can I customize the questions in the app?
The questions and answers available in our system are already customized by groups of experts with deep experience in investigations, intelligence gathering and elicitation.
That said, some aspects of our system are customizable, such as location selection, required questions, etc.
We are happy to discuss specific requirements you may have, but often find that significant customization is not necessary or appropriate to our core capability. For those who have very specific needs we are happy to discuss using our core technology to build a new intelligent system to address their unique business case.
How do you support implementation/change management?
We take pride in acting as full partners with clients through the imeplementation, awareness campaign and change management process.
We provide a robust set of resources to support clients, everything from draft "5 minutes staff meeting minutes" to a dedicatd FAQ that users can access to be reminded on why and how to download and use the app.
What is the cost?
We provide yearly subscriptions based on total staff members and total number of "intelligent reporting systems" (safety, security, ethics, etc) that are deployed.
That said, we recognize that each client is unique and will work with you to ensure that our agreement/fee is a reasonable reflection of the needs of your workforce.
How do I know someone submitted a concern via the app?
InSight Dashboard™ users are notified via email as soon as a new concern is submitted or as soon as a user submits an update/answers a follow-up question sent from the dashboard.
What is a desktop app? How do I download it?
A "desktop app" is simply a web page that looks like and functions just like our mobile web app. Rather than downloading it, users access it via a URL or a desktop shortcut provided by their employer.
How do you handle legal holds and discovery?
This is addressed via a manual process and services contract so that member(s) of our team can focus entirely on supporting your specific needs when these issues arise. Related, our logging process supports clear reporting of reports, actions, etc.
Is NWFC™ GDPR & CCPA compliant?
We are well on our way to addressing GDPR compliance, and are contunuing to build both the policies and procedures required for our international clients subjec to this requirement.
As a boutique company based outside of California, the new CCPA regulations do not apply to us.
Who are the experts that create the tailored interviews?
Our experts are carefully chosen based on their deep experience with investigations, intelligence gathering and relevant subject matter experience. More important than just understanding the topic, we focus on elicitation expertise, a process that uncovers vital details and context from cooperative users who themselves are not necessarily experts in the topic they want to discuss.
Our approach is very different than providing users a set of generic questions and also very different from the "interrogation" approach of many in law enforcement. We believe the experience our experts bring to bear results in far superior quality for an intitial reporting process, supporting better outcomes for all concerned.
How do clients view and manage reports?
Our InSight Dashboard™ is built to focus on quick, context-focused review of incoming reports and ease of two-way interaction with those who shared concerns.
We recognize that you have better things to do than spend all day deciding how to sort and search data. So we built in core capabilities that allow you to handle basic workflow requirements quickly and get on with your day.
Is it NWFC™ anonymous for app users?
We make every reasonable effort to protect the anonymity of our users. This begins with our choice of a web app over a native app, which collects less identifying information about the device owner. Like existing hotline mechanisms, we also adhere to the best practice of not requiring users to login. (While requiring a user login has some advantages, those advantages are typically not core to our use case.)
Our dedication to helping protect user anonymity also includes the ability for earch user to select whether or not to provide their contact details, whether they are sharing their concern for the first time or are following up/answering a question about a concern they previously shared concern.
That said, as experienced intelligence officers and investigators we of course realize that content of a report, something we cannot view, can include details that can help identify the person who shared the concern or those descibed in the report.
With this in mind, ultimately protecting anonymity is up to the user and, secondarily, the client/dashboard user(s). As such, users must consider factors such as: 1) the device and network they use to share the concern, 2) the deccision on whether or not to provide contact information and 3) on the details they share about their concern.
Can users download the app from iTunes or Google Play?
Not at this time. Users access our app by downloading via text to download or via a URL/link that is specific to their company/facility. Users on a desktop or laptop either go direct to the app via a link/URL or desktop shortcut provided/installed by their company.
Who can see reports submitted via NWFC™?
Reports are sent directly to client-side InSight Dashboard users or the client API. For InSight Dashboard users, they are immediately notified that a new concern has arrived via email.
Our InSight Dashboard™ is deployed with role-based access, which means that cleints select which members of their team can view, respond and log actions by concern type (safety, security, ethics, etc.)
Why don't employees speak up more often?
Great question. In fact, that question is at the core of why we built NWFC™.
We have a great quick-read guide "The Top 5 Reasons Employee Don't Speak Up About Workplace Issues, and How to Fix It." Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to send you a copy.
Bottom line, however, here is what we have found:
1. Existing reporting channels (forms, phones, etc) are inconvenient.
2. Concerns about anonymity when making a call or sending an email with their employer-issued device.
3. Whether users believe managers will take action and if changes will be made in response to them sharing their concern.
4. Telephone calls are no longer the single-best solution.
5. Users are looking for a more meaningful, guided experience.
Can I submit a workplace concern directly to NWFC™?
Sorry, no. We do not accept concerns on behalf of clients. Our role is to provide a best-in-class reporting tool to our clients, who own the data for which we are a custodian.
That said, our network of experts can likely help if your company/organization has a specific invetigations need. Contact us via email@example.com and we would happy to refer you to a vetted expert(s).
Is NWFC™ secure? Is the data encrypted?
Protecting the integrity of data in our system is our highest priority. This is why our system encypts an interaction from the point at which the first question is answered. Our system encrypts data at rest and in transit, a best practice. Beyond encryption, our AWS-based system uses a single "cloud instance" per client, which reflects the "security-first" approach of our system.
We have a technical data sheet available via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions regardingn our infrastructure.
Looking for an on-premise solution? Let's talk about how we can support that need while maintianing the requirement for some level of user anonymity/confidentiality.
How is it anonymous for staff if they use their work computer/phone?
Our system does not require staff to use your employer-issued computer or smartphhone.
While we make every resonablle effort to protect anonymity, if users access our system using their employer's infrastructure there are likely ways for IT and Cyber security professionals to determine who submitted the report. This is no different than any other sytem and, frankly, there is no way around this.
Why is it important to have an app, rather than just a webform or phone call?
Providing a great user experience is vital to making sure that staff will follow through when making the important decision to speak up about a workplace concern.
A recent study showed that automated interviews on a mobile device improved disclosure, precision and satisfaction. In addition, a recent survey we conducted on reporting workplace sexual harassment indicated a clear preference for gudied, app-based reporting via a third party.
Today's workforce generation doesn't want to make a call or fill out a long form where many questions don't apply to their issue. So, while they might use an outdated mechanism to share a concern, do you want to take that chance?
What is the benefit of a web app vs a native app?
We chose web app over an app (the kind you might download from an app store) for two main reasons:
First, it collects less identifying information about a user's device, helping protect anonymity.
Second, almost regardless of the type of smartphone, desktop or laptop, a web app provides largely the same user experience across devices. This helps reduce friction when people decide to share a concern. It also helps with how fast we can deploy feature updates to our system.
Are price discounts available?
In short, yes!
We offer discounts for mutli-year contracts, for participation in our referral program and for some non-profit organizations, depending on use case.