Background Check Software: Choosing the Best Tech for Your Operational Due Diligence

When considering the pace at which business deals progress today, investment opportunities require an in-depth analysis covering all possible red flags to be delivered as quickly as possible. As a result, investors and operational due diligence professionals have advanced to adopting background check software to generate accurate and reliable background checks faster than ever before.
By Tali Bartkunsky
February 23, 2022

What is background check software?

Background check software utilizes technology to automate the process of formulating a background check. Data is identified, gathered, sorted and relevant information is pinpointed, saving hours of time while providing specific and targeted material. Background check software allows for more exhaustive and comprehensive data to be included in the background check without compromising on relevance.

The advantages of background check software

The information garnered from background checks on key decision-makers allows stakeholders to rest assured that their investment is in the hands of competent, ethical, and credible individuals. Balancing the need for speed and maintaining a thorough investigation has led many companies to move towards using background check software.

Background check software offers operational due diligence officers a number of advantages. For instance, with the explosion of data available online, it is challenging for human analysts to manually sift through all possible data points to create a complete picture of an individual. A software-based system utilizes technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Neuro-Linguistic Programming to scrupulously review vast amounts of data with incredible speed, providing a far more expansive and exhaustive background check.

Another example is that digital systems leveraging artificial intelligence are suited to perform numerous searches on the same individual. This advantage makes it easier than ever to cross-reference different names associated with one person such as a nickname, suffix, maiden name, or any other changes in a subject’s name. This is especially important in order to ensure full transparency on the subject of the background check.

Digital systems leveraging artificial intelligence are suited to perform numerous searches on the same individual

With the many benefits that background check software has to offer, it is understandable why so many investors are realizing why it’s the latest “must-have” in the due diligence process.

Background check software: Key terms

Background check software has multiple aspects that go into making it a robust and reliable service. We share the top six key terms to watch out for and explain how they impact the efficacy of any background check software:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Automation
  3. Big Data applications
  4. User experience
  5. Platform
  6. Post-investment capabilities

Let’s take a closer look and break down these terms to better understand what they mean and what are their essential benefits.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI-based background check software enhances and accelerates the procedure of locating and analyzing information. The dictionary definition of AI is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” In this case, the algorithms imitate an analyst’s thought process in creating a background check. As they sort through the material, the algorithms continuously learn which information is ultimately identified as being relevant, enabling them to gradually improve their accuracy.

AI algorithms running within a background check software have a synergistic effect, maximizing the software’s capability by combining it with the machine learning aspect of AI. When the background check software is AI-powered, the benefits are substantially increased.

Automation

Manual research is a slow, time-consuming process. By automating arduous tasks and repetitive duties, time is used more productively. Additionally, automation facilitates an exhaustive process while achieving a level of transparency that is simply unattainable by human standards. It, therefore, follows that the implementation of automation improves the efficiency, reliability, and speed of many tasks.

Big Data

Big data describes large, hard-to-manage volumes of data. When it comes to background check software, big data is especially applicable given the availability of an ever-expanding mass of online information.

One of the key, notable facets that must be considered regarding background check software is its ability to discern information from both structured and unstructured data points.

Structured data is explicit data listed in legal dockets, corporate registries, regulatory listings, and other categorically-based records. It consists of clearly defined data types with patterns that make them easily searchable, like a property deed with fields like name, address, dates, etc.

Unstructured data is not as handily searchable, including formats like audio, video, web articles, and social media postings. This type of data is of particular importance when it comes to background check software, as the technology must be able to derive meaning and make connections within a text. For instance, if a C-suite manager appears in a social media post that raises a red flag, the algorithms need to be capable of identifying the text in the post to be of adverse nature. Previously hidden conflicts of interest, when revealed, is especially important if the company has a fiduciary responsibility.

User experience

User experience relates to the ease with which the person who requested the report is able to input the subject’s basic information; as well as a comprehensive overview of the final results. The quality of the user experience is vital. If the background check cannot be easily understood or takes ample amounts of time to review and discern the risks, then it is of little value.

Traditional reports are no longer limited to an extensive ream of paper and may be sent online as a PDF. However, the task of sorting through and identifying relevant information amongst pages of tedious sentences is no less daunting, and it can bring its own bias. A software application with an intuitive, interactive interface makes information easier to manage and interpret. Moreover, a smooth user experience will also save valuable time.

When looking for background check software that has a well-designed interface, consider the following:

  • Is the background check accessible from any device (i.e. laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.)?
  • Do I have direct access to original sources and content to see where the information was taken from?
  • Is there a clear system of flags that signal levels of risk (red, yellow, informational) to enable rapid focus on priority information?
  • Is there a dashboard with a search engine where I can easily browse through the different background checks that I’ve ordered?

Platform

The power of background check software doesn’t end with the final product. After all, once the background check has been completed, there is much discussion and deliberation about the results that must take place before coming to a final decision.

The most advanced software has evolved into platforms. An online platform enables users to interact with the results and involve their team members by including collaborative features. Some of these can include functionalities such as a comments section on each area of the report where you can tag colleagues, add comments and initiate discussions on critical issues, icons that allow members of the team to verify or dismiss information that may or may not be relevant to the subject, and the ability to add custom flags to the report to adapt it to certain workflows.

An inclusive, complete user dashboard is an essential part of the platform. The dashboard should give full oversight of the process, including backlinks to specific data sources and original documents, so you have all the information at your fingertips.

A background check platform that has a one-stop-shop experience allows for more productive time management, allowing team members to view and manage the report all in one place. The alternative of working with numerous separate documents, without the ability to add or connect information and comments, dampens the user experience and reduces efficiency.

Post-investment due diligence capabilities

Post-investment due diligence is crucial for recognizing risk at an early stage. Keeping a watchful eye on activity subsequent to a background check allows you to strategize and respond quickly. There are providers who use background check software to perform ongoing surveillance to notify you of any adverse information through real-time alerts. Background check software streamlines the process in order to allow you to receive immediate notifications with the efficiency of a one-click solution.

Software solutions will ‘have your back’ for fast, accurate due diligence

We live and conduct business in a digital world. Consequently, choosing a digital solution for pre-investment due diligence is a prudent measure to protect yourself and your company from financial loss.

Equally important is the choice of which digital solution works best for you. Background check software, its components, features, and capabilities are exceptionally beneficial. Quality applications leverage cutting-edge technology to automate the process, thereby producing more accurate reports significantly faster.

Finally, it is important to analyze the nuanced differences between background check software and consider what they offer and how their product ensures your due diligence efforts are truly minimizing your exposure to risk.

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