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Every investigator needs to learn how to leverage one vital tool — public records. Luckily, we are living in an era that lets us access mountains of data with a single click, unlike in the past when people relied on lengthy requisitions and dusty file cabinets.  Therefore, access to public data is easier and faster than ever thanks to public records software.

Also referred to as a people finder or investigative technology, public records software is redefining how to search for people, manage risk, and fight fraud. Let us take a comprehensive look at what builds your search — public records technology.

What You Need to Know About a Public Records Provider

Providers gather, catalog, and maintain public records for easy access by their customers. They collect a wide range of information, including criminal records, phone records, corporate filings, and motor vehicle registrations. Although this information is public, they are often scattered across multiple organizations using different types of platforms and formatting preferences. A public records provider specializes in consolidating this information to get you a usable public records search.

Typically, their services act as an ordinary web search. You (the user) enter an identifying piece of information (such as a name) and gain access to a list of all public records connected to that person. Unlike a website where you have to filter out useful information, providers only deliver relevant results. These paid public search services use advanced technology to remove out-of-date, inaccurate, and duplicative data from their result page.

The Different Types of Providers

Did you know that there are different types of public records providers serving unique purposes and industries? Well, here is a quick look at the kinds of providers.

People Finders

These providers offer basic identifying information, including an individual’s name, phone number, address, relatives, and social media. Normally, they are the type of providers that offer services at a lower cost and are easily available. However, they have the highest risk of getting you out-of-date or inaccurate data.

Only use people finders for light background checks and non-professional people finding. For example, when you need to find a long-lost relative or a new babysitter. An excellent example of people finders is the common WhitePages.

Background Checks

Unlike the previously discussed people finders, background check services aren’t readily available to the public. All of these services will need you to have a business use for the information you need. Doing this ensures they stay compliant with federal regulations — such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Background checks provide similar information to people finders, such as criminal records. However, they add elements such as verification of work, identity, and education. It is rather common for these providers to mix traditional investigative techniques with public records research to get you the information you need. Background checks are commonly used by governments and businesses for benefits eligibility and hiring.

Enterprise Identity Verification

These public records providers specialize in ID verification and all other related services. They mostly work for large corporations and government agencies that require more sophisticated tools. Although enterprise identity verification uses similar records to other providers, they emphasize business ownership and financial records.

The data collected by enterprise identity verification is relatively accurate because they have to meet all federal regulations on Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering. However, the high level of accuracy translates to a high premium price. Businesses and individuals have to come to terms with paying a substantial amount to get the data.

Integrated Public Records Platforms

When looking for investigative solutions, unified platforms are an excellent choice. They incorporate robust people-finding techniques, risk assessment tools, and identity verification to get you all the information you need. Therefore, these platforms tend to entail accurate, complete, and current data sets.

Although their services tend to be high cost, integrated records platforms deliver favorable outcomes for their clients. Different sections — including financial risk departments and law enforcement — use these services to identify connections between assets, people, and businesses.

What to Look for in a Public Records Provider

It is vital to know what to look for in a provider, considering the numerous types available in the market. Below is a quick rundown of everything you need to consider when searching for a suitable public records provider:

  • Timeliness — You need current data to stay ahead of your competition. Therefore, it’s best to find a provider with live gateways to ensure you have all the latest information.
  • Accuracy — There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with incorrect information. For starters, it will cost you a lot of resources and time.
  • Transparency — When choosing a provider, it’s not about the results but about what matters is how they collect the results. You need a public records provider that is open about their collection methods.

We are Here to Help

There is nothing more critical than confidence when it comes to using public records. Enformion’s public records software ensures you quickly find the information you need without wasting time or resources. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.