Increasing Consistency and Trust in Documents
Fast Contrast: Deloitte's text comparison tool
Checking for conceptual similarities and inconsistencies is a critical step before publication of important documents or reports – for credibility and compliance reasons. Deloitte’s Fast Contrast automates this process, providing a flexible semantic tool that rapidly compares documents and presents findings in an intuitive, flexible interface.
The need for a comparison tool
In the digital age, it is common for documents to be stored centrally and accessible to everyone. These documents may be edited by several people simultaneously, or information can be copied from one document to another. In this case, the origin of the information is no longer traceable. Throughout this process, small errors can creep in, buried within a single document – or scattered across many documents. Depending on the purpose of the documents, the cost of errors may range from embarrassment (marketing) to non-compliance (regulatory submissions) or latent risks and liabilities (contracts). Finding such errors – gaps vs. regulations, or inconsistencies between similar documents – can be a challenge. Especially when documents are lengthy and require qualified staff to appreciate the links between topics that may be worded quite differently. Hiring well-paid experts to reconcile documents is an expensive and error-prone proposition.
Conversely, similarity rather than inconsistency is a risk if plagiarism is to be avoided. Simple filters may find word-for-word intellectual piracy, but they will be fooled by texts where the author purposefully rephrased passages to escape detection. Detecting plagiarism requires comparison to a wide range of topically related works – an even more time-consuming task than searching for consistency between a limited number of documents. Inevitably, the question arises: who can perform all this work?
Our solution: Fast Contrast
Therefore, Deloitte provides the document comparison tool "Fast Contrast" in order to resolve this task in an efficient and problem-oriented way. This tool combines advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and a user-friendly interface to address the challenges described above. The typical use case for Fast Contrast is to base its comparison on a selected "trusted" document, which should be trustworthy and error-free. Fast Contrast automatically detects the language of the texts (base functionality: German and English, extendable to other languages).
The subsequent document comparison is performed on sentence level, where semantically similar sentences are additionally checked for numerical differences. The result is a sentence-level similarity score, accompanied by the corresponding text excerpts – displayed both in a ranking table as well as rendered directly on the source document (PDF). Fast Contrast comes pre-trained for general use. It can be further trained to incorporate industry or subject-matter vocabulary, further improving its reliability in analyzing specialist content. Users can submit a large number of documents to Fast Contrast for batch-processing.
What are the advantages of Deloitte's comparison tool?
Fast Contrast offers its users numerous benefits, such as:
- Speed – cuts down time-consuming document reconciliation work
- Quality – reduces human errors performing this task under time pressure
- Cost – allows highly qualified specialists to focus their attention elsewhere
- Flexibility – cross-disciplinary usability due to retraining and modular design
In this process, our goal is to increase consistency and enhance the general trust in documents. The tool can be applied in many fields. For example, the comparison tool supports to identify inconsistencies in ESG-Reports. In this way, potential reputational loss is avoided, as unintended greenwashing can be prevented from the outset. Furthermore, it is possible to compare contracts, terms and conditions, service level agreements, warranties, and many other legal documents with this tool. Protection against plagiarism/copyright infringements in dissertations or scientific papers is also guaranteed. Also, fact checking of presentations against a trusted source is ensured.
For more information on Deloitte's document comparison tool, you can download the Fast Contrast fact sheet here.