Expanding OpenScreening, powered by OpenSanctions KYB

Analyze and explore the relationships between beneficial owners, sanctions and politicians with OpenScreening, powered by OpenSanctions KYB data.

How can you see previously hidden relationships between 25 million beneficial owners, 26 million companies, politicians, sanctions targets and networks of companies? One tool, OpenScreening, seeks to do just that by combining technology and data on millions of beneficial owners worldwide from three leading organizations: Open Ownership, Linkurious and OpenSanctions.

Combined data from OpenSanctions and Open Ownership about companies linked to a sanctioned individual.

The proof-of-concept OpenScreening tool has been massively expanded, and it now brings together several very large data sets on beneficial ownership, PEPs and sanctions. In addition, OpenScreening presents data on targets as well as their interrelationships, all in an easy-to-understand and powerful graph browsing tool. You can use it for free at the Linkurious website.

The OpenScreening tool is powered by a new data product called OpenSanctions KYB. KYB stands for ‘know your business.’ Just as KYC means ‘know your customer,’ It is becoming increasingly important for companies to know as much as possible about the counter-parties they’re doing business with; that business may be on a sanctions list, or they may have a beneficial owner who is under sanctions.

OpenSanctions KYB brings together our open data on sanctions, PEPs and other sources with the beneficial ownership data of one of Open Ownership, the leading advocacy organization working to make company information public. In OpenSanctions KYB, we expand Open Ownership’s data archive on more than 9.7 million beneficial owners and 8.8 million companies with additional data from several corporate registries and beneficial ownership databases that have been imported by the OpenSanctions team.

OpenSanctions has long championed the use of structured data for financial information. This is one of the main reasons we are developing and promoting the Follow the Money open data model for anti-corruption investigations. Follow the Money (FtM) made it far easier to combine our dataset with Open Ownership’s for this project, and our long-term vision is for a number of open data providers to make more powerful products powered by FtM.

As part of the KYB project, we’re publishing bulk data for 12 different jurisdictions (and two international datasets) in FtM format. Unlike OpenSanctions’ core datasets, the KYB catalogue has not undergone internal de-duplication, rather, data is encoded exactly as it is published by the respective authorities. The KYB datasets are used by OpenSanctions to enrich and expand our profiles of sanctioned people and companies, but they can also be used for understanding and documenting the corporate structure of non-sanctioned entities. The KYB datasets provide the raw material for a variety of use cases, including advanced graph analytics, risk analysis using machine learning and powerful due diligence backgrounding.

Company ownership data explains how economies function, large or small. (Photo by Kris Woods)

Understanding the effects of international sanctions has become far more important internationally following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, efforts to evade sanctions are also becoming more sophisticated, so the tools we use to detect these efforts also need to grow more powerful. We believe federated data efforts like OpenScreening, powered by OpenSanctions KYB datasets, are a step in the right direction.

Our thanks go to the teams at Linkurious, who have provided their excellent graph analysis software to power OpenScreening, and to Open Ownership, for their farsighted understanding of what can be done when like-minded organisations work together with structured data.

If you would like to make use of the OpenSanctions KYB data in your organization or conduct your own proof of concept using the resource, please get in touch.

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This article is part of OpenSanctions, the open database of sanctions targets and persons of interest.