Searching for the needle in a haystack or a contact lens in a shag carpet are two great analogies for what PeopleFacts’s matching technology attempts to do in order to find records that are reportable about a person. Every day our database is working to update over 5000 datasets with information that comes in from that many different sources. And – surprisingly – none of those sources store their data exactly the same way. Every field is stored differently (last name, first name or first name/last name, etc.) and many records contain typos (Cralos instead of Carlos), intentional misspellings (Eduard versus Edward), name variations (think Bill, Billy, Will, Willy, William, etc.), related people (think Jr., Sr., III, IV, etc.) and other data nuances that greatly impact the ease of searching, matching and reporting records about people. .
Not only does the data contain nuances that impact the results of a quality search, but the datasets are constantly being updated or changed without notice or information being conveyed to the people who are putting the data to use. At PeopleFacts, we are constantly evaluating these datasets, running searches to report unusual results that may indicate changed storage methods, and adjusting our own database to help unify this data into one easy to search set.
This task is not easy and what we put into maintaining these datasets directly impacts the price of our searches. If your data provider has convinced you that they will give you this information for a very low cost or even for free as a part of a bundled package, you should be asking yourself how well they manage their own dataset and whether they are responding rapidly to these regularly needed adjustments.
At PeopleFacts, we are dedicated to always improving the quality of our data, always improving the way we report our records and always adapting and adjusting to the changes in the information we obtain and report to you. We may not be the cheapest screening firm available but when you choose us you know that you are getting quality results from a provider who is not afraid to use its resources to make the information we deliver better.
This month, we invite you to learn from our teams as we share with you a little bit of insight on the meaning of “matching a record” and ways that you can improve your matches when you seek information from us.