Investigators frequently need to establish if two or more individuals or businesses connected to an investigation are associated with one another in any way. Identifying an association may mean identifying if two people know one another or may involve identifying an array of links between a large group of people within an organized crime group. Investigators seek to determine existing relationships between individuals for a myriad of reasons, including mitigating fraudulent insurance claims, identifying members of organized crime groups, and identifying members of terrorist cells.
Link analysis is a data analysis technique used by investigators and intelligence analysts to evaluate relationships between entities, including people, businesses, and objects. Social network analysis uses network theory to determine links between individuals suspected of criminality, identifying any association between offenders, kinship, and sexual relationships.