Leveraging Channels - Reference Channels versus Collaborative Channels

Product Apr 23, 2019

The past few posts have discussed how Polarity’s 3rd party integration framework operates, so today we wanted to talk more about how you can take better advantage of Polarity’s Collective Memory by utilizing our Channel Framework.

What is a Polarity Channel?

Channels in Polarity provide a way to organize Entities and Annotations into logical groups. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to different channels to customize the intelligence you receive.

Why do I Need Polarity Channels?

Organizations strive to submit information into common knowledge repositories. However, the repositories are generally meant for longer term preservation of information that is of high confidence. In the process of performing analysis, analysts may make any number of judgments based on information at the time, that are not meant for long term retention and/or are of lessor confidence in the early goings of the analytic process. In other scenarios, analysts may have information that is of high confidence, but lack the repository from where judgments can be easily recalled. In summary, these are the core rationalizations for Polarity channels:

Exist as a context-rich repository for shorter term analytic judgments
Allow for situational referencing of lower confidence artifacts
Enable awareness and recall for annotations that have no authoritative or accessible repository.

By encouraging users to capture a brief summary of their analytic judgements in Polarity as an annotation, the collective memory of an organization is expanded. When subscribed to a relevant Channel, Polarity automatically informs users of relevant contextual information based on those annotations enabling

Types of Channels

Channels can typically be categorized into the following types:

• Reference Channels – A Reference Channel is a Channel that has been pre-populated with information that has relevance under certain conditions and workflows. Information in these channels tends to be static or evolves slowly. (Example: Country Codes, Zip Codes)

• Collaborative Channels – A Collaborative Channel is organically contributed to over time with the experiences and judgements of analysts that subscribe and contribute to the Channel. Information within these Channels is dynamic and expected to evolve over time. (Example: Contacts)

There are no hard and fast rules for when to create a Polarity Channel. If the user values remembering the relationship between Entities and Annotations, then creating a Channel to manage those relationships will provide a surefire mechanism for enabling situational awareness and recall within Polarity.

Channels and Roles

The value proposition of specific Channels will vary based on the role of the analyst and their workflows. Take for example a Reference Channel that identifies phone numbers as an entity and overlays the identity associated with the phone number. This phone number Channel has very little value for a security analyst that is reading email that already has the associated identity in a signature line.


The same Channel however, may be extremely valuable when the identity information is not present on the screen. For example, if an analyst is evaluating phone records as part of an investigation.


In cases where the Channel has limited value given the workflow of an analyst at the time, the analyst can unsubscribe from the Channel until the Channel is needed again.

In conclusion

Polarity gives an analyst the flexibility they need to make better decisions faster by enabling the analyst, no matter the skill level, to receive the context when it’s needed the most. Whether that be a lower level analyst looking at reference data like phone numbers or a seasoned analyst collaborating on an investigation. Polarity Channels will enhance any analysts workflow with the context they need.