The easiest way to catch a crook

Prevent fraud by verifying their degrees

I just received one of the best phone calls an investigator can get. A client called to say thanks and let me know that our due diligence process worked. A fund manager lied about their MBA and had even supplied a falsified degree. Apparently, he’d gotten away with this for a while – until our […]

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Anatomy of a Social Security trace

Anatomy of an SSN trace

One of the first steps in creating our background reports is to run what’s known as a Social Security trace or an SSN trace. It’s a report that lists names (including aliases, nicknames, and other variations), dates of birth, and address history associated with the provided SSN. These reports are commonly run when doing employment […]

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Tools for creating charts, maps, and diagrams

Tools for creating info visualizations

I recently taught a 1/2 day workshop at  WebSearch University in Washington DC on Visualization Tools for Turning Information Into Insights. At a conference that basically focuses on the search, my workshop covered delivering your results in a way that’s meaningful for clients. Our clients don’t crave more or better info. They’re drowning in it […]

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What Chart Type to Use?

Make The Right Choice

One of the biggest challenges when creating effective charts is deciding which type to use. I’ve found that the best way to choose the appropriate chart is to listen to the words in the message you want to convey. What types of comparisons are you making when looking at the data? For a recent workshop […]

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People Searching – Be Prepared

Be prepared when people searching

Researching or investigating people can be one of the more challenging types of online searching – for several reasons: Precision is everything, good sources are hard to find, and the information can be error-prone. Like any difficult endeavor, we generally get the best results when we prepare for the task at hand. People searching takes […]

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4 Rules for Designing Better Charts

"That's okay I don't know what the chart means either."

When you’re working with numbers, charts can be an effective way to tell your story. These types of visualizations simplify complex ideas and help us understand and communicate what’s relevant in the data. However, when your chart’s not done right, it will have the opposite effect. A poorly-designed chart can lead to misinformation, confusion, and […]

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What Makes Information Irresistible?

Making information irresistible

This is one of my favorite information-related quotes, because it describes so well why I love my job. I’m on a never-ending hunt for new and exciting ways to improve my reports and make the information I deliver irresistible. Yes, I need to stay up-to-date on all the latest and greatest tools and techniques for […]

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You want what? – Better results through client conversations

Client Conversations

Measure twice, cut once. It doesn’t matter the activity. Time spent on preparation pays off in the end. Research and investigations are no different. Misunderstandings lead to poor results and unhappy clients (including bosses). Success depends on making the most of your initial conversation – the request for information. When I worked in libraries, we […]

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