Release Notes: Here's What's New in Your Ontic Platform

Release Date: July 19th, 2020

Entity User Experience Improvements - Enhancement 

What it is:  Improvements to the Entity user experience at the card view, details view, navigation, completion score, edit process, connections graph, metrics, and more. 


Why it matters:  Provides more context, improved efficiencies, and more insights where you need it when exploring or hydrating Entities in the platform.

How it works:  There are a series of enhancements highlighted below:

Entity Card View Details:   From the 9-box navigation click on “Entities” dashboard and view the card layout of your entities and profiles. On the card view, we have redesigned the card with a cleaner layout: a) display ‘entity type’ and BOLO status b) ‘last activity’ will display the latest signal received on the entity and when it was received. 

Entity View Details:   From the 9-box navigation click on “Entities” dashboard and then select an Entity to view details. Here you will notice a few changes:

  1. A New Entity Completion Bar / Score: a dashed green bar below the name of the entity on the left highlights how complete the data has been hydrated on this entity. A hover over the bar will provide a level for completeness (low, medium, high, very high). This score is based on an internal Ontic algorithm comparing this entity to others and weighting the fields that are most important to help assess threat risk.

  1. A Left Hand Vertical Navigation: the main navigation elements that were previously viewed horizontally (Details, Public Records, Connections, Files, Notes, Timeline, Research, and Assessments) can now be seen in the left vertical column on the screen. These navigation functions remain unchanged. The numbers in parenthesis indicate the counts associated within that tab. In the rightmost column of the entity page you will find sections to view ‘Suggested Actions’, ‘Intelligence Status’, ‘Workspace’, ‘Last Updated By’, ‘Created By’, ‘Recent Locations’, and ‘Recent Activities’. Each of these functions remain unchanged with the exception of a new Suggested Actions which will be described below.

  1. Metrics: A new navigation selection was added called “Metrics” (the bottom link in the left hand navigation column) will enable you to view specific metrics associated with this entity.  When you click on this link you will land on a metrics dashboard with widgets associated with this entity.  These metrics can help provide valuable insights on each entity as you assess their risk profile.

  1. Edit Entity Details: In the 3-dot menu option under the avatar image of your entity you will find an option to click on “Edit Entity Details”. On the next page you will find all the sections in the left nav that can be directly edited. 

  1. Suggested Actions Widget: this can be found in the upper right  hand column of the entity details page. These include new signals that have been discovered on this entity that would require action to review and append to the Entity. If a number appears over the gavel icon, this would indicate the count of new criminal activity signals received for review. Simply click on the corresponding area to begin that process. These signal counts will only appear after intelligence signals have been turned on. You can check the activation status of those signals by reviewing the ‘Intelligence Status’ widget below that would highlight the status for Premium Intelligence (if applicable), Criminal Activity (if applicable per contract), Identity, and Location signal monitoring (if applicable).

  1. Edit Entity Details In-Line: On the entity details page in the ‘Associated Principal’, ‘Tags’, ‘Security Overview’, ‘Identifiers’, ‘Address’, ‘Vehicle’, ‘Social Profile’, ‘Education’, and ‘Employment’ sections you can hover over the line of information you would like to edit, click the “pencil icon” on the right right and edit in-line directly without leaving the page. Using the same steps you can also add information (“+” icon), view more information at a glance (the “encircled i”) icon, and delete the record (trash can icon). 

  1. Vertical Timeline View:  in the left hand navigation click on the ‘Timeline’ link. On the next page you will see two links in the horizontal navigation for a ‘Horizontal’ and ‘Vertical’ view. Click on the ‘Vertical’ to view the timeline in the vertical format. You will notice some design improvements separated by time to make it easier to view the chronological history of changes related to that entity.

Entity Connections Network View - New Feature

What it is: The ability to view entity connections in a dynamic and interactive graph view with associated filters.


Why it matters: Provides a powerful way to visualize connections and link analysis within the platform. You can see the relative distance between entities, profiles, groups, businesses, observations, and investigations to help discover relationship patterns through rich filters.

How it works:  From any Entity Details page click on the “Connections” link now located in the left vertical navigation. On the next page you will see a series of Tabs that now include ‘Network View’.

The default view will be the Tree View for visualizing connections.

Tree View:  in this view you will see a hierarchical style view that will display the levels of connections associated with your entity. First level (direct) connections will appear in the first row of the chart. Indirect connections will appear as dashed lines in subsequent  tiers. You can zoom in and zoom out of the view to take a closer look at connection details. On the right you will find various ways to filter the connections associated with this entity. Each checkbox will narrow this view to only those endpoints that share the same connection attribute. 

As you hover over each connected line you will see the specific connection attribute highlighted and a corresponding color that will match with your filter options on the right. You can further filter your connections by clicking on the “Filters” option on the right that expands to a wide array of additional options to help isolate associated connections.

You can also change the view options associated with the Tree View that will change the amount of content display on the graph itself.

To change to Graph View, toggle to the graph view icon located in the upper right.

Graph View: once you click on ‘Graph View’ you will see a spider graph that visually highlights connections between entities. When you click on one of the black lines that represents a connection between two entities, that line will turn bold and a card will appear highlighting the ‘connection type’ details. The graph view is dynamic and interactive and can be zoomed in / out and nodes are clickable. In the upper right corner you will find the ability to filter the view by clicking on the ‘filter icon’. You can also click on the “Connection Type” button which will allow you to narrow down the view and dataset by selecting the appropriate filters.

Including connections between entities, observations, and investigations (if applicable per contract).

Metrics: Dashboards & Widgets - New Feature 

What it is: The ability to view metrics and report insights on Entities, Signals, and Assessments across the Ontic platform. Additional categories and metric fields will be added over time.


Why it matters: Can help answer questions and tease apart discrete metrics to help you discover new insights and visualize charts to frame an analysis and tell a story. Initially, we will provide you with pre-built templates that will house a series of metric widgets we have developed. You also have the ability to create your own distinct metrics widgets that can be displayed in a metrics dashboard that can be shared with others.

How it works:  From the 9-box navigation in the left column under Dashboard click on ‘Metrics’.  You can begin  by clicking on “Add Dashboard” if no dashboards have been preloaded for you. The first step is to name the dashboard and select the type. You are now in the new dashboard and are ready to add metric widgets. 

Add Widgets: On the next screen click on “Add Widget” to begin the process. Here you can name your widget and select “Chart Type” from a list of available options. Next you will be asked to select the “Field” which will indicate the value you would like to have represented within your widget. Once selected you can choose the size of your widget (which will change the width of the widget, not the height) and click the blue “Get Preview” button to visualize what the widget will look like. Once you are satisfied with your widget click the blue “Save” button in the upper right corner. This widget is now part of your new metrics dashboard. You can repeat these actions a number of times as you build out your dashboard by clicking on the upper right corner of the screen where you will find a 3 dot menu that enables you to add new widgets, edit, share, delete your dashboard, rearrange your widgets.

Rearrange Dashboard Widgets: From that 3 dot menu after you click on “Rearrange Widgets” you will notice that you can click on a drag each widget to its desired location on the dashboard. Up, down, left or right. The section to move will be highlighted in pink. Once satisfied with your layout, click on the blue “Save” button in the upper left.

Metrics Dashboard Filters: on every metrics dashboard page you will find a navigation menu that will enable you to filter your metrics by time, or by filter types available on your entity dashboard views.

Metrics from the Entity Dashboard:  From the 9-box navigation click on “Entities”.  In the upper right of the dashboard view on the next page click on the 3-dot menu and click on “View Metrics”. Here you can view the metrics associated with all of your entities (and can filter to narrow the results as you would with the card based dashboard view).



Intelligence Feeds UX & Workflow Improvements - Enhancement

What it is:  A collection of enhancements to the Intelligence Feeds ranging from user experience features to workflow improvements.

Why it matters:  Provides you with more flexibility when consuming and interacting with Intelligence Feed signals. You will be able to take clear workflow actions on each feed, take advantage of the robust filters, and view more actionable insights on each signal.


How it works:  There are series of enhancements highlighted below:

From the 9-box navigation click on Intelligence Feeds. 

  1. Intelligence Feed Cards - these cards present information more consistently now. 

    • Content Source: At the top of the card you will see more consistent titles that highlight the source of the content and the time that the signal was created. 

    • Entity Context: If the name of the entity is present you will see the number of comments, tags, and notes created which indicate volume of activity. These icons are not clickable. A high volume entity may be one to pay extra attention to.

    • Workflow Details: In the lower half of the card if workflow details have been entered those will display in a grey rectangular box that provide more contextual insights valuable to you and your colleagues. A deeper explanation of Workflow Actions are provided below.

    • Actions: At the bottom of the card you will see actions that can be taken on the card (as applicable).

  1. Mark Read / Unread - specific cards (blocks of content) can be marked ‘Read’ or ‘Unread’ by clicking on the blue circle at the button at the bottom of each card. If the blue circle is clicked that denotes that the content has been read and the circle will turn grey. To mark unread, reverse the action.

  1. Social Media Sentiment - on content that comes from social media, we now display the sentiment score. This score can be manually changed by clicking on the sentiment icon and changing the score to positive, negative, or neutral.

  1. Feed Card Actions -  at the bottom of many of the feed cards you will find ‘feed actions’ that can be taken. For example, the ability to accept or reject a detected image match or the ability to associate or start a new investigation. These actions can be located at the bottom of the card.

  1. Workflow Actions - at the bottom of each card you will find a 3 dot menu that will expose a set of actions that can be taken on that specific signal. One such action is the new “Edit Workflow” feature. Once clicked it will allow you to:

    • Choose a status for this signal (new, in progress, closed)

    • Select a priority (low, medium, high)

    • Apply any tags to this signal

    • Choose to assign this signal to another Ontic user

Once applied you can filter the entire feed column against these workflow selections to help you curate content based on these attributes.


  1. Feed Column Filters - at the top of every feed column you will find a filter column that will expose a variety of filter options. Each column based on the type of feed created will have its own unique set of filter options. Each menu option will reveal more specific and granular filter options you can choose to help further narrow down the content to be displayed. Clicking on ‘Workflow’ for example will help filter the column based on specific workflow selection made earlier on specific pieces of content. You can also filter the feeds based on any custom fields you have created or were created by an admin for signals (which can be unique for each signal type). These can be a powerful tool to help curate the information that would be most relevant to you on any given day. Note: the filters will only apply during the time that you are on the page. They will not persist after you navigate away in most cases.

Intelligence Feed Filters_Ontic

  1. Feed Signal Details - in a feed column click on any feed card. This will expose a full screen of details on that specific signal. The left column will display the original feed and signal. The middle section will house details on the feed and feed actions at the bottom. The right side will highlight any information on any associate profiles noted in the signal itself. 

The workflow section in the middle can be edited by hovering over the ‘Workflow’ which will highlight the blue pencil and expose workflow fields. If custom fields were applied to this signal type they would display here as well. For the profile section on the right you will have more context and visibility on individuals highlighted in the signal itself. From here you can take a series of actions including: adding the profile as an entity, viewing details on the profile, researching the profile, and adding notes.

To return back to the original feed, simply click on the blue link name of your feed located in the upper left corner of your screen.

Feed Signal Details

Intelligence Feed Foreign Language Translations - New Feature 

What it is: The ability to translate original foreign language content into English in an Intelligence Feed.


Why it matters: Global social media content and international news can sometimes originate in a foreign language that is difficult to decipher if it's not in English. With a click of a button you can now translate those posts instantly. The only exception is “Twitter Search'' which is based on a live stream of Twitter data that is not stored. Social media post filtered by boolean topic queries can be translated directly.  

How it works:  From the 9-box navigation click on “Intelligence Feeds”. From here you see foreign language content in one of the feeds you have created. At the bottom of the card for that piece of content click on the “Translate” link. This will automatically translate the content into English. To revert back to the original language  simple click on the “See Original” link below the content.

List of international language translations supported.

When you would use it: When you have difficulty reading content in a foreign language and you need it translated into English.

Intelligence Feeds Dashboard Creation Process - Enhancement

What it is:  An improved way to create Intelligence Feeds Dashboards. 

Why it matters:  It provides more clarity on the types of feeds to include, enables you to select filters during the creation process, allows for the ability to edit multiple feed columns on one screen, and execute batch actions once the dashboard is completed.


How it works:  From the 9-box menu click on Intelligence Feeds. In the upper left side of the screen you will see a 3-line hamburger menu. Once clicked you will see a blue link on the lower left that says “+ Add New Dashboard”. That link will take you to a new screen that will walk you through a step by step process to create a new feeds dashboard:

Once your feed types are selected (multiple can be chosen at once), you will land on a page where you can configure each dashboard represented as unique tabs on the screen. Each edit selection will change the content preview on the right.

Once saved, the dashboard can be edited, shared (which has not been relocated to this 3-dot menu), or deleted. Additionally, new feeds can be added and batch actions can be executed simply by clicking on the 3-dot menu in the upper right corner of the screen.

Batch Action: enables you to execute the same action(s) on multiple feed cards at once. This will save you time from having to individually select cards one at a time to take the same action (ex: marking a piece of content as Read). To enable, select “Batch Action” from the 3-dot menu on your feeds dashboard located in the upper right. Now select each of the cards you would like to take action on. These cards will be highlighted in blue. Once you have selected all of your cards, choose from an action above (mark as read / unread, archive, or choose from a workflow action). 


Mobile Assessments - New Feature 

What it is: The ability to conduct a threat assessment on an Entity from anywhere.

Why it matters: Assessments are no longer limited to the desktop. If an assessment needs to be executed remotely it can be done now within the Ontic mobile app.

How it works: Open the Ontic mobile app on your phone. Select an entity by “Viewing” or “Searching” for one. Once that entity is selected you will see TABs at the top of the screen for “Details”, “Assessments”, and “Notes”. Once you tap on “Assessments” you will be presented with a list of assessments you have created. Simply tap on the assessment you wish to conduct and “Start Assessment”. Complete the forms presented and once finished tap “Next” and the assessment will be submitted. You will be able to see the assessment history with each entity, and resume started assessments. All assessment details will also sync with your desktop Ontic platform with additional metrics available for each assessment rubric.

Smart Web Clipper (Chrome Browser Extension) - New Feature

What it is:  An Ontic chrome browser extension that enables simple 1-click ‘pinning’ of research content from multiple designated sites into Ontic with attribution and meta data that can be carried forward and easily applied.


Why it matters: Streamlines the research process and strengthens Ontic as the system of record for Protective Intelligence.  This feature exponentially increases the scope of information an analyst or researcher can seamlessly bring into Ontic, even for sources that have been traditionally very tedious to use because they do not offer APIs for more automated data pulls. 

How it works:  First you will download the chrome browser extension located in the Research section of the 9-box navigation menu called “Smart Web Clipper”. To download the extension, simply click on the “Get Extension” button on this page which will take you to the Google Chrome Store to download and install the extension.

The chrome extension will appear on your chrome nav bar as the Ontic logo. Click on the logo and login to your company’s domain.

Name the research activity you would like to catalog your clipped content to.

Next, while logged into Ontic platform you can browse a defined list of websites that the browser extension has been activated for. At the time of this release we support Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and LexisNexis. As you hover over blocks of content on those pages you will see a small Ontic logo appear. Simply click on that logo icon (a green checkbox will appear) and the data on that portion of the page will be automatically captured by Ontic. 

You can continue to do this multiple times across multiple designated websites and pages. Once complete, you simply return to the Smart Web Clipper page from the 9-box menu and click on the “Import Activity” button (shown on the screen capture below) and the browsed data will be imported directly into the platform.

After the content has been imported you can hover over each content block to expose the blue “Apply” button. Clicking this button will enable you to apply this content to a new or an existing entity (depending on where you initiated the clipper research actions from).

When you would use it: You are researching something outside of the Ontic platform and you discover a valuable piece of information you would like to add into Ontic. For example, you may perform a Facebook  or LinkedIn search of a person of interest and come across interesting information. With the browser extension you can easily add information from outside Ontic to an entity. 

Observations: Edit and Associate to Entity Enhancement

What it is:  The ability to edit an Observation, associate to an Entity, and assign Custom Fields to be used during incident submission (both for the desktop and Ontic mobile app).


Why it matters: Provides flexibility to add more context to an Observation.


How it works:  From Ontic platform navigation bar (or your Ontic mobile app) click on the blue button “Add” and select “Observation”. Here you can now associate an entity if known to this Observation. 

To Edit an observation, simply select an observation from your intelligence feed and click on the “Edit” link at the bottom of the card. Once you click on the blue link all of the submission details on the observation will appear as editable fields. Once the changes are made, the observation can be submitted again. Optionally, if you happened to click on an observation in a feed, the detailed view will also have an “Edit Observation” link at the bottom of the screen that will perform the same actions.

Observation Custom Fields - to add additional (custom) fields to the observation submission form first navigate from the 9-box menu to ‘Administration’ and click on ‘Custom Fields’. Here you will see tabs for four options.

Click on Signals. On this page you will see a blue box on the upper right of the screen to “Add Field”. Once you click on this link you can add the description for your new label (field), the input type that you would like someone submitting an observation to use and the choices you would like to have displayed. Finally, at the bottom you will see a dropdown for “Select Visible for Types”. This is where you can select what type of signal you would like this custom field to be applied to. In the case of creating a custom field for an observation, you would check the box for an “Observation” in the dropdown menu. As a result, this custom field will be displayed on every new Observation during the submission process.

Location Maps - New Feature

What it is:  A new map / geo / location based view in the Ontic platform.

Why it matters:  Provides a new way to visualize information stored within Ontic to provide location based insights. Over time we will continue to add more functionality and interactivity to further enhance the experience.


How it works:  From the 9-box menu under Dashboard click on “Location”. On this page you can search for a specific location where you can zoom in around a perimeter. You can also filter based on layers of content that can be displayed on the map. Insights from fixed location cameras can be viewed as well in a separate tab.

Add New Entity - Enhancement 

What it is:  The ability to add more details on a Person, a Group, an Event, or a Business across any part of the Ontic platform. 


Why it matters:  provides a way to add as much information as you have available all at once at the start of the creation process for a Person, Group, Event, or Business. 

How it works:  From anywhere in the Ontic platform click on the blue “Add” button located in the masthead on the upper right. In the dropdown select “Add Entity”. On the next screen you will see tabs for a Person, Group, Event, or Business. If you start with Person, you will see exposed fields that you can populate with the information that you have. As you scroll below you can select additional categories and populate the relevant fields you have information on. You can follow the same process for a Group, Event, or Business as well. In the right column, similar Entities might appear (from within the Ontic platform) based on the information you provide. This helps avoid the duplication of an Entity that may already exist in the database.

Image Upload: Crops and Rotate - New Enhancement  

What it is: The ability to crop and rotate original images as they are uploaded anywhere into the Ontic platform.


Why it matters: there are times when an original image that you have of a POI may be off center, require cropping, or need to be rotated to improve the view angle when it gets uploaded into Ontic. The end result is a clean image that can be used as an avatar photo or stored in the Ontic file library.

How it works:  From anywhere in the Ontic platform where you are able to upload a photo (for example when you are uploading an avatar image of an entity), first click on ‘change avatar’ over an existing photo of the entity on the entity details page. On the subsequent screen drag or select an image to upload. Once the image has been loaded you will see a crop / rotate icon in the upper right of the image. Click on this icon to crop or rotate the image. Drag the image against the tiles or zoom in to place the image as you would like it centered. Optionally, slide the blue dot to rotate the image as you would like it stored within Ontic. Click on “Save Avatar” once complete.

Handwriting Recognition in Document Search - New Feature 

What it is: The ability to scan for handwriting / notes in uploaded documents stored within the Ontic platform. 


Why it matters: allow you to locate important documents that may be buried deep within an entity's library of documents and files based on written notes. Ontic has expanded our Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to include handwriting recognition.

How it works:  From anywhere in the Ontic platform click on the search bar located in the top center of the masthead. Click on the ‘Entity’ dropdown menu and select “Documents”. Type in the word that you are searching for from within files stored within the Ontic platform. If there is a match, those entities and the name of the associated document will display. Click in to find the file and the preview of download the document.

Rules: Signal Rules - Enhancement

What it is: The ability to create rules that trigger actions when a new signal matches certain conditions. 


Why it matters: Signal Rules will help automate workflows in Ontic and save users time. They will also help to flag high priority signals and trigger alerts. Signal rules help teams manage inbound signals and focus their energy on signals that matter most at the right time. 

How it works:  From the 9-box navigation in the right column under Administration click on Rules.  You can begin by clicking on “Signal Rules” and “Create New Rule.” Currently Signal rules only apply to signals associated with an Entity or Profile. After selecting the conditions for which entities the signal rule applies to you will select the type of signal(s) you want to trigger an action, and then you can select the action(s) for Ontic to perform. 

When you would use it: When you want Ontic to automatically flag certain signals or trigger alerts based on objective criteria. For example, if a vehicle of a very high threat entity is sighted within 5 miles of a known location of your CEO then Ontic will automatically send an email alert and mark the entity as BOLO.