Business processes are increasingly being driven by technology. Tasks that used to require manual input or interpretation are now being handled by artificial intelligence and data automation. In the background screening industry, however, a mistake in a criminal records search can have significant consequences.
While big data is now a regular facet of business, the collection of data is often the easier part of the equation. Where the real value comes is in analyzing data to draw out the meaning and insights that can be used for better decision making. Here at Wholesale Screening Solutions, we promise to deliver ‘data intelligence’ and this blog post explains what we mean.
What is Data Intelligence?
Data Intelligence is about transforming data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into value. It’s about interacting with data in rich and meaningful ways…not just searching and gathering raw data but transforming it into real value for our clients. To do that we employ analytical tools, software, and — importantly — people to put an expert lens to the data we collect before delivering it to our customers.
Why Does Intelligence Matter?
CRAs count on us to provide research (drawn from data), but it’s not just raw data they’re looking for. CRAs, and ultimately, their customers, need to know that the research they’re getting is reliable and accurate.
Our approach to data intelligence delivers several key benefits to our CRA customers:
1. Data Accuracy
Accuracy is of utmost importance in background screening as hiring and retention decisions are frequently made on the basis of this information. Defects, gaps, or errors in a background screen can be extremely costly and potentially damaging in terms of the safety, security, and productivity of a workplace. That’s why it’s imperative that reports not just be accurate most of the time, but virtually every time.
Humans – in this case, the team at Wholesale Screening Solutions – are fundamental to ensuring this accuracy. We look for just the right amount of “human touch” to make sense of and add value to the research we deliver to our CRAs so they can, in turn, provide value to employers. If a human touch is needed to make sense of the data, we use it. If it doesn’t add value, we don’t inject additional steps into the process.
Data automation is also a critical part of our systems, of course. In fact, we have a team of developers that built and continuously improves our platform FuseOS, which enables us to automatically parse data to meet a wide array of needs. We can accept new research requests from any system and in any format, scale our workloads, and automatically route research requests to the most appropriate resource to ensure data is delivered back in the shortest possible time frame.
2. Identifying & Fixing Defects
Our intelligent approach to research requires that we have robust systems in place for identifying and fixing defects. Internally, our researchers and our quality analysts are at the heart of those systems. All defects are reported to our internal quality analyst using a Defect Correction Form which describes the nature of the defect, when and where it occurred, and how it may have impacted the client.
We log this information into our quality data tracking system to get a set of quantifiable data points. By documenting defects in this way, we remove the subjective (e.g., Customer A was unhappy with a result) and translate into an objective statement that can be acted upon (e.g., Customer A informed us of Defect X in a result and was, therefore, unhappy). Since we have pinpointed Defect X, we can do something about it.
Finally, our Defect Elimination Squad Subject Matter Experts investigate the possible root cause(s) of the defect utilizing Lean Six Sigma DMAIC tools and help implement corrective actions across the organization. They work with relevant team members to modify their daily work processes. If the defect stemmed from an administrative error, for example, they will put steps in place to prevent it from happening again. This might include upgrading software, having a second review of a result before it is released to the CRA, or tweaking employee training to prevent this type of error in the future.
3. A Proven Network of Researchers
Every criminal court record system in the U.S. has its own set of rules and procedures. Some courts limit what’s available through web-based searches, and some don’t allow web-based searches at all. For this reason, we make sure we have “boots on the ground.” At Wholesale Screening Solutions, we maintain a team of researchers, many of whom are our own employees, that perform in-court research.
These researchers provide the necessary “intelligence” by knowing the ins and outs of their jurisdictions and know how to get accurate data quickly. Even when performing web-based jurisdiction research, there are nuances that can only be caught by researchers who are trained to see red flags.
Behind the scenes, dozens of steps go into the criminal records research process, but at the end of the day, CRAs need to trust and verify that their wholesale partners are delivering high-quality, accurate research. Having the human element as part of our data intelligence strategy one of the service traits that sets Wholesale Screening Solutions apart.