What if all Arnold Schwarzenegger needed was entity resolution?

04.04.2023 | Enda Shirley

Douglas Quaid (a.k.a Arnold Schwarzenegger) needed entity resolution. He is the main character in the futuristic movie Total Recall, set in 2084. Although he doesn’t know it, Doug is also Carl Hauser, a secret agent who worked on Mars. Mayhem ensues, culminating in Doug/Carl going up in flames. If only Doug/Carl had “resolved” his situation earlier, he could have saved himself. What Doug/Carl needed was entity resolution.

“If I am not me, then who the hell am I?” – Douglas Quaid


Entity resolution technology analyses and connects data points across multiple sources, identifying matches and links between different entities. The different personas of Doug Quaid, using data points such as fingerprints, biometric data, and employment records, would easily (yes, easily—it is 2084!) have linked Quaid’s construction worker identity on Earth to his secret agent persona on Mars, thus revealing his true identity as Carl Hauser.


If only it were that easy, I hear the financial crime fighters back here on 2023 Earth say!


In the real world, entity resolution is solving external and internal challenges for transaction monitoring in industries such as financial institutions, insurance, government, retail, and healthcare.


Externally, nefarious individuals and organized crime groups conspire to obfuscate data. They create false identities, like Doug Quaid, and they ensure their true identities are hidden behind complex webs of connected entities.


Internally, customer information is duplicated. This duplication is often unavoidable and exacerbated by product lines operating in siloes or growth via acquisition and mergers, leading to complicated and out-of-sync technology systems. The result is the same – numerous entities that add complexity to anti-money laundering data analysis, risk detection, and investigator efficiency.


Can we achieve in 2023 what Schwarzenegger struggled with in 2084 – genuine entity resolution?

Yes. The solution lies in delivering a single connected user experience that identifies matches across disparate data sources at scale. This form of entity resolution, resolving, and linking connections, coupled with strong visualizations and intelligent risk assessment capabilities, is an extremely powerful tool for improving efficiencies and increasing detection rates. It could have helped Doug Quaid uncover the truth about his identity!

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