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 […]


diagram showing 3-step process

Getting up to speed in a new industry – A 3-step approach

Investigations involve working with clients from a variety of industries, and that means learning about the environment in which they operate. It’s the only way to get to the heart of client concerns. For example, when I started working with my hedge fund clients years ago, all I knew about alternative investments was the Madoff […]


ships, planes, trucks, representing transportation industry

Getting up to speed in a new industry – 5 top challenges

As business professionals, we often need to know the ins and outs of a new industry. Maybe you have a new client or a new job. Perhaps it’s a valuation case or a merger. Or maybe you just need to understand what’s going on now and in the future within your own rapidly-changing business environment. […]

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lightbulbs showing creativity

Not enough Google results? – Time to get creative

Using Google for research and investigations can be a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that Google is a great starting point for finding answers and leads to even more answers. The bad news? Sometimes, it’s not so great. Most often, you get too much information, increasing the risk of missing something important. […]

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numbered list

3-step approach to online research

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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stack of newspapers

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

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 […]


gavel, legal books, scales of justice

3 myths about online court searching

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. […]


Discovery Walk sign

Search vs. Discovery

When we’re at the library, there are generally two methods for finding books or other items in the collection. We can search the catalog for specific titles, authors, or subjects that interest us. Or, we can browse the shelves or scan suggested reading lists to see what looks interesting.  It’s the same with online research. Most […]


Text sign showing Are You Ready Question. Conceptual photo Be Prepared Motivated Warned Readiness Aware written on Notebook Book on the Green background Marker and Pen next to it.

Searching online public records – How to prepare

Searching public records such as corporation filings, recorded documents, and court records can be the most challenging type of online research – even for the professionals. I’ve been searching online information for more than 20 years, and public records never cease to amaze me. No uniformity among jurisdictions, missing records, clunky search tools, and other […]


proactive due diligence investigations

Top post: Conduct a background check on yourself – It’s worth it

This post was originally published in May 2018. Have you ever run a background check on yourself? I’m not talking about just googling your name. I’m talking about checking court and other public records, news, and even social media, and taking a deeper dive into your digital footprint to see what others might find out […]

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