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Collections & Investigations

What is Header Data?


Header data is a term that is commonly used in the big data world, particularly when referring to collections. In the simplest terms, header data is PII or Personally Identifiable Information. When it comes to a credit file, PII is typically at the top of that record. A credit file might contain information such as trade lines, performance, credit history, etc., the header is data such as name, address, date of birth, and social security number. This data can also include phone numbers, email, and driver’s licenses too. This is the valuable information tied to an individual that can be used to verify, authenticate, or resolve an identity.

Header data is also governed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the GLBA, instead of credit files governed by the FCRA.

Who do you have header data for?

Enformion’s data covers around 98% of U.S. individuals from over 6,000 sources including credit files, telecom, utility, and energy companies. We also have information that consumers self-report when applying for credit, a job, etc. We collect data from a wide variety of sources to give us the breadth and depth of national coverage.

While we have data on most individuals, we don’t have every consumer. Data depends on each consumer’s behavior, such as what products they may have and their personal life. For instance, if someone does not have any core credit products, they may not exist in our core credit database. So, that’s where we look to another source, such as the telecommunications file.

The cumulative effect of all the data we collect is what gives Enformion a broad, comprehensive view.

Who uses header data? Is this something that companies buy separately? Or is it part of other solutions?

This depends on each company’s data set and needs. However, header data is what powers Enformion’s identity and fraud compliance solutions across the board. It powers our internal proprietary algorithms that enable us to take real-time searches and return the data needed to determine risk, verify identities, or prevent fraud.

Enformion also provides header data via Batch or API for customers who need the “raw” data to append their databases. This allows partners to use their existing solutions, just enhanced with more data from our sources.

Who is interested in header data or the solutions that use it?

Enformion’s header and supplemental data serve many different industries and sectors. The insurance industry may find this type of data useful when looking to verify a policyholder’s information. For example, if someone is applying for an insurance policy and no information about them comes up in a credit file search, Enformion’s expanded database may provide the information they need to complete the policy.

Other uses include leveraging our data to power platforms that assist federal, state, and local law enforcement when they need to access information quickly during a critical moment. We also work with companies focused on fraud. These companies build solutions and leverage the power of our data to detect, prevent and mitigate potential fraudulent activity.

Why is header data important?

Identity resolution is at the core of practically every kind of business. As we become increasingly digital, identity verification is vital. Whether it’s making the right decisions when acquiring a customer or making sure you have the right information when writing an insurance policy, Enformion helps facilitate a seamless process and experience for the policyholder and protects insurers from fraud.

Data should be accurate, up-to-date, and come from credible, high-confidence sources. With multiple header files in-house + utility records data + publicly available records, Enformion has the expanded nationwide coverage and more depth than many competitors to ensure you get the right data you need.

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