5 goals of due diligence background investigations

soccer ball with goal posts - focus on your goals

In investigations, clients often ask us to “find everything.” They haven’t decided exactly what they want to know, so they ask for it all. Even if we could find everything, it wouldn’t be worth the time and expense, so, through a series of client conversations, we narrow things down to some basic objectives for each […]

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Google alternatives – So many choices

words - make your own choices

We all do it – Start with Google, get some answers, and stop there. But, as you’ve read here, I’m a big fan of using Google alternatives, because other search engines offer us, well, alternatives. Maybe you need something more private or more streamlined, or you want to do some good while searching the web. […]

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3-step approach to online research

numbered list

No matter what type of work that you do, gathering information is an important first step. Planning an investigation? Preparing for big business decision? Conducting due diligence? All require some digging into the backgrounds and actions of individuals or businesses, looking at industry trends and best practices, or generally getting smarter before taking action. A […]

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Top post: Background investigations – Don’t skip the media report

stack of newspapers

This post was originally published in September 2018. Due diligence background investigations come in all flavors. They’re generally customized according to industry, level of risk, and time constraints. There’s one component, though, that should be included in all background checks on people and companies–the media report. What’s a media report? It’s the section of a […]

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3 myths about online court searching

gavel, legal books, scales of justice

At one time, if you needed access to court records, you went to the courthouse and manually searched through paper filings. Thankfully, things have changed through the years, with more and more court records posted online. It’s made our jobs a lot easier, but it doesn’t come without its own set of myths and challenges. […]

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Online searching: When to stop

Online research when to stop

When you’re using online sources for in-depth research or investigations, it’s easy to get lost in a hyperlinked rabbit hole or two. Even if you have a strategy and a focus, one thing leads to another, and, before you know it, you’ve spent too much time online, with too few results. So, how do you […]

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5 things you can’t find online & what to do about it

missing puzzle piece

As someone who specializes in gathering and analyzing online information, I’ll be the first to admit that you can’t find everything on the web. When you’re digging deep for hard-to-find answers to client questions, relying on just online research may leave gaps, which–in our business–can be costly. That’s why it’s important for researchers and investigators […]

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Librarian superpowers

Magic wand and laptop

I recently participated in a panel discussion for an AIIP webinar, Running a Successful Private Investigations Business, along with Michael Donaldson, Tim Hardiman, and moderator Eddie Ajaeb. One of the questions for me was about how my background as a librarian prepared me for PI work. I love this question, because it gives me the […]

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Online news searching: Why?

Stack of newspapers next to laptop

Whether you’re conducting due diligence, finding hidden assets, or just digging deep into a company’s or person’s background, news searching is an important step in your intelligence-gathering process. I talk about it here a lot but realized that I’ve never really focused on the why. Why is news searching so important? Not a day goes […]

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Why I’m a mentor

board with mentoring words

January is National Mentoring Month here in the U.S., and January 17th is International Mentoring Day.  As someone who has experienced both sides of mentoring, I know that it’s worth the celebration, and we should encourage it throughout the year.  During my professional life, I’ve been lucky enough to be both informally and formally mentored by […]

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