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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Joe Sremack

Joe Sremack

BDO800 5th AveSuite 3750SeattleWashingtonUSAWA 98104

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Data - Data Experts 2020

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Joe Sremack is a standout expert and concentrates his first-rate practice on creating and executing strategies for clients involving investigations and complex technology.

Questions & Answers

Joe Sremack is a director of BDO’s data analytics practice, where he advises corporate and legal clients in matters involving complex technology issues and investigations. A computer scientist by training, Mr Sremack brings two decades of experience in expert services; structured data collection and analysis; IT assessments; e-discovery; and software analysis. The author of Big Data Forensics, he often writes and presents on transactional data systems.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a data analytics expert?

My career has taken me from black-box security testing of network devices to working internationally on software development. Along the way, the central problem I enjoyed solving the most has involved taking large sets of information and finding patterns and facts. This field has allowed me to learn about numerous horizontals across many industries at what is now the most fundamental level – the data – and solve complex, challenging problems.

What qualities make for an effective data expert in investigations? 

Rigour and scepticism are the two most prevalent traits in great data experts. Most data problems require significant efforts to profile and understand the data at a very granular level, and that requires a methodical and exacting approach to analysis. One cannot, however, stop there. One must verify the assumptions, the findings and everything else related to the data before analysis is complete. 

What impact has self-service analytics had on your practice? 

Legal clients today are extremely savvy when it comes to data. They expect us to arm them with tools so they can visually explore and interrogate the data. The days of performing analysis and sending clients a spreadsheet are over. Now, our clients expect means of collaborating with the data, using data visualisation and self-service tools to accelerate the analysis process and deepen their own knowledge of the data in their disputes and investigation matters. Ultimately, this approach saves clients time and money, and gives them a deeper understanding of the facts in their matters.

What challenges has the deluge of data in modern cases posed? How have you ensured you are well equipped to handle them? 

The primary challenge is the expectation that all potentially relevant data should be analysed. We have seen matters with tens of billions of records across 100 or more data sources, and the timeline to complete the analysis is months. Thankfully, the same types of technologies that have resulted in the explosion of new data also give us the ability to quickly collect, analyse and report on the data. The time required to profile the data – get our arms around what we have – has been greatly reduced, allowing us to make smarter decisions about our analysis strategy to support the matter. In addition, machine learning has truly revolutionised what we can analyse and how we do so.

How has the legal market’s awareness of experts and the services they offer changed from 10-15 years ago? How do you see it evolving in the future? 

The legal market has brought so many technology services in house, such as e-discovery and other data services. Only a handful of firms have in-house data analysis teams, so expert teams need to be able to work closely with both counsel and litigation support departments to provide seamless, cohesive information. More law firms and corporate legal departments will have access to their own data analysis teams, but the need for expert services will remain. The key, again, will be for expert service firms to work closely with those in-house teams.  

What makes BDO stand out from its competitors in the market?

BDO is a leading global advisory firm with teams of investigators and experts in every subject-matter area. We are unique because our team of data experts are technologists first and foremost. We bring deep technical knowledge and experience in leading and cutting-edge technologies to every matter. This helps us work with any technology and select which one is most appropriate for data-related matters.

What advice would you give to younger experts hoping to one day be in your position?

In any technology-related field, you must always be learning and adapting. Naturally, you must stay on top of new technologies. You must also, however, understand what impact that technology will have on you and your clients. Get comfortable with all the change that entails, because it will be constant.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Having the opportunity to mentor young professionals over the past decade or more, and seeing the great people they have become and the tremendous achievements they have had.  

Global Leader

Data - Data Experts 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Joe Sremack is a standout expert and concentrates his first-rate practice on creating and executing strategies for clients involving investigations and complex technology.

Biography

Joe Sremack is a director of BDO’s data analytics and automation practice, with a primary focus on developing and implementing solutions to assist corporate and legal clients in matters involving complex technology issues and investigations. Mr Sremack’s experience is in structured data collection and analysis, IT assessments, electronic discovery and software analysis. A computer scientist by training, Mr Sremack has led numerous disputes and investigations matters involving systems investigations, data analysis, source code analysis, data compliance assessments and the evaluation of technology solutions. He has assisted clients across the US and internationally in such matters as financial crime investigations, regulatory compliance assessments, intellectual property theft and antitrust disputes.

Author of Big Data Forensics, a technical guide on performing investigations of large-scale, clustered data systems, Mr Sremack frequently presents and writes on topics involving transactional data systems.

Prior to joining BDO, Mr Sremack held leadership positions at several expert service and advisory consulting firms.

Mr Sremack holds a senior position within BDO’s data analytics and automation practice, and he has worked with clients across a wide range of data-intensive industries. He regularly works within the healthcare, finance, technology and energy sectors, having also served clients in the hospitality, non-profit and telecommunications sectors. He has assisted clients with investigations, regulatory compliance matters, data quality examinations, robotic process automation, source code analysis and IT assessments.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The “fantastic” Joe Sremack is very well regarded for his data expertise and practice, which focuses on IT assessments, electronic discovery, and data and software analysis.

Biography

Joe Sremack is a director of BDO’s data analytics and software robotics practice, with a primary focus on developing and implementing solutions to assist corporate and legal clients in matters involving complex technology issues and investigations. Mr Sremack’s experience is in structured data collection and analysis, IT assessments, electronic discovery, and software analysis. A computer scientist by training, Mr Sremack has conducted numerous investigations and assessments – including the three largest Ponzi schemes in history – involving systems investigations, data analysis, source code analysis, data compliance assessments and the evaluation of technology solutions. He has assisted clients across the US and internationally in such matters as financial crime investigations, regulatory compliance assessments, intellectual property theft and antitrust disputes.

Author of Big Data Forensics, a technical guide on performing investigations of large-scale, clustered data systems, Mr Sremack frequently presents and writes on topics involving transactional data systems.

Prior to joining BDO, Mr Sremack held leadership positions at several expert service and advisory consulting firms.

Mr Sremack holds a senior position within BDO’s data analytics and software robotics practice, and he has worked with clients across a wide range of data-intensive industries. He regularly works within the healthcare, finance, technology and energy sectors, having also served clients in the hospitality, non-profit and telecommunications sectors. He has assisted clients with investigations, regulatory compliance matters, data quality examinations, robotic process automation, source code analysis and IT assessments.

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