In a recent blog post, we illustrated how accurate and timely court research can be significantly streamlined through smart automated processes. The real court research begins after completing a comprehensive pre-screening process using pointer data – including an address history search and a national criminal file search to identify possible county court search locations. These processes can lead to faster turnaround times and more efficient and cost-effective operations. When automation is paired with expert court research, it can improve operational efficiencies for CRAs.
CRAs are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to verify criminal records and follow reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual named in the report. Through automation, data can be retrieved quickly and efficiently, but in many cases public record sources provide limited Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This restricts the CRA’s ability to validate identifiers for a screened individual. Fully validating records and matching them to the individual requires a deep level of expertise to navigate the court systems and operations.
Operations units can leverage a data provider with both advanced robotic processing automation and a team of expert court researchers who are knowledgeable in the jurisdictions served and have formalized quality control procedures. Expert jurisdictional knowledge and advanced automation can reduce the number of false positives, thereby giving research units operational lift.
Going Beyond ‘Readily Available’ Data
Partnering with a data provider leverages on-site court researchers trained to look for information beyond a simple name match and in-house expert court researchers who can sift through the data pulled from the county courthouse. These data providers will leverage automation and specialized teams to exhaust all options (utilizing clerks, case copies, department of corrections, and other resources) to obtain and validate identifiers and match records. These added protocols help deliver more accurate, higher quality results for CRAs.
Many statewide and federal record sources provide limited PII of first and last name or partial date of birth. When passed onto a CRA as-is, this kind of limited data severely diminishes the quality and accuracy of the background check. Including other types of PII in the report – whether it is partial date of birth, verified date of birth, Social Security Number, or address – shrinks the pool of potential records and improves the likelihood of a match. This process allows for better decision-making by the CRA, reduces their overhead, and utilizes the expertise of the court research and quality assurance teams from the data provider. These providers have the ability to leverage experienced and knowledgeable court research experts to validate beyond name match and provide all available PII.
Partnership Approach between CRA and Provider Delivers Optimum Results
Transparency and communication between CRAs and their providers are critical factors to success. Transparency about sources, capabilities, research methodology, and the limitations of court systems will result in realistic expectations regarding estimated completion times or known challenges throughout the process. Better business decisions regarding quality, turnaround time, and cost savings are realized when partners work in tandem to optimize workflow. Providers with highly trained and experienced customer service teams will enhance the CRA’s ability to serve clients by answering questions, providing education, and supporting dispute resolution.
Automated integration between the data provider and CRA systems can also be a significant benefit. This centralizes and automates order processing and result delivery across a comprehensive portfolio of product options, public record sources, third-party sources, and customized service levels brought together into a centralized platform. Through intelligent automation and integration, data providers can deliver results that make CRA operations more efficient.
Provider Experience, Financial Stability, and Scale Matter
The most advanced data providers can further support CRAs beyond simply retrieving court records by going the extra mile to help validate information, thus serving as a trusted partner to improve efficiency and scale. CRAs need automation, domain expertise, and proactive teams supporting their court research efforts to provide fully validated quality results. The right court research partnership strategy can deliver the most accurate and easy-to-read information available. Ultimately, these measures help protect CRAs, consumers, employers, and the public.