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Australian software helps track down Myer’s con man

Thursday, 3 July 2014 | By Broede Carmody

Australian software was the key to uncovering the backstory behind a man who was fired by Myer over a misleading CV.


Andrew Flanagan misled a recruitment agency in order to obtain a role as a Myer executive and subsequently lost his job. It was later revealed he had lied about previous experience for other positions.


Using visualisations software Encompass, journalists were able to see the connections between Flanagan, former roles at other companies and failed businesses.


Investigative journalism was an unexpected but welcome use of the technology, says Encompass chief executive Wayne Johnson.


“It’s a software solution which allows lawyers, bankers and accountants to rapidly gather the information they need to do their job,” he says. “It came about because the cost and timing of putting together the full picture of what you need to know about a person can be really quite costly and very time consuming – even if you have access to that information.”


Johnson says Encompass collates information from a variety of sources, including ASIC, land titles and bankruptcy records. Users can research a company, person or property.


“The strength of the product is that it brings together the things you’d otherwise miss going through a 25-page report,” he says. “It really changes the dynamic of how that sort of corporate, legal information is brought together and is used. Things which are visual are so much more effective for people to understand.”


Encompass launched in Australia two years ago, and now plans to expand in the US and UK.


“Our product was designed from the beginning to solve an international problem,” he says. “We pivoted a few times and now the product has really matured out by staying close to what our customers say they need.”


Johnson’s advice to Australian businesses thinking of expanding overseas is to be innovative and flexible.


“You have to keep thinking like a startup and that means you have to test, review, and get that balance of creativity and innovation. It’s a great space to be in.”