deed document

Top tips for working with recorded documents

Fraud examiners, private investigators, risk managers, researchers, and others use public records all the time, and most of us will say they’re challenging, far from perfect, and indispensable. They’re a mainstay of our work, in spite of their difficulties. Recorded documents, a certain type of public record, are no different. Recorded documents are documents that […]


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Researching something new

Where to start? That’s one of the first questions investigators and researchers ask when faced with a research question. Sometimes we’re researching the same topics as usual, and sometimes we’re researching something new, but we always need some starting points. In the first case, when faced with a known topic, we have our standard sources, […]


book with corporate records

Business registrations: 5 top challenges

In investigations and research, we often need information about companies and their owners, and one of the best places to look is in business registration records. Required by law, private and public companies register and file periodic reports that include names, addresses, dates, partnerships, and more. Registering a business adds legitimacy, protects the business name, […]


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Don’t let cognitive bias sidetrack your investigations

When you’re conducting research and investigations, it’s easy to get sidetracked by opinions, expectations, and wishful thinking. Sometimes we hope for or have too much invested in a particular outcome. Other times, we rely on our usual tools and techniques and don’t consider their limitations. The technical term is cognitive bias, and it means that […]


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Time to reflect

Once you’ve sent the client report, finished the strategic plan, learned what you didn’t know before, it’s tempting to stop there. After all, you completed the tasks you took on when you started, and now you have some answers. You’re not quite done, though. In previous posts, I’ve talked about the first five steps of […]


Carboard boxes and packaging materials - How you package your investigative report makes a difference.

Top skills for sharing insights, not just data

It’s an amazing time in the information world. We can Google for answers 24/7, and we don’t need to master Boolean logic to search most premium databases. Finding quality information is no longer just for librarians and other specialists. Where things get more difficult is putting it all together. Organizing your data from multiple sources, […]


Laptop and print newspapers

News and social media research: Top 3 challenges

News and social media searching is a big part of most of our investigations. Without the news, I wouldn’t have learned about a company’s legal issues that never made it to the courts. Without social media, I wouldn’t have seen what our due diligence subject did during a two-year gap in their work history. Without […]


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After the search, now what?

We search for information all the time. We make decisions, take actions, move toward a goal, all based on what we find. As you’ve heard me say, though, finding information is only part of the process. In previous posts, I’ve covered the first few steps in the process, including preparing for the search, selecting the […]


Search button on keyboard

Strategic searching for better results

I live and work in a new neighborhood, and there’s construction all around. I’ve watched (and heard) the crews work, and I’m always amazed at their efficiency. It’s a well-oiled machine, and one of the keys is that everyone on the crew knows not only what tools to use, but where to find them and […]


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Sources matter

When you’re looking for information, whether it’s for an investigation, strategic planning, or making decisions, your sources matter. Skipping a source or using the wrong ones will change your results and may lead you in the wrong direction. And you never know what you might be missing. In previous posts I talked about the Big6 […]

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