Are you a private investigator looking for tools that will help you solve cases more efficiently? Do you want to stay on the cutting edge of the private investigation industry? Look no further. We've curated a list of the fifteen best resources available, including six of the top private investigator databases, five of the best software solutions for managing case data, and a handful of free resources to help you get started.
What is a Private Investigator Database?
Private investigator databases provide a wide variety of data, both historical and current, on individuals that might be persons of interest in a case. It’s a way to easily aggregate a slew of information necessary to track someone down, much simpler than gathering all that data yourself. Though P.I.s can learn a great deal about people from social media, direct observation, and other outlets, a private investigator database can help them acquire more sensitive information not readily available to the public.
Fortunately for private investigators, there is an abundance of databases and software available on the internet. Most reputable private investigator databases require proof of licensure as well as a subscription in order to access information. This should come as a comfort, especially to the general public, knowing that their personal information is at least somewhat safeguarded.
What Information Does a PI Database Reveal?
Databases often provide known relatives and associates of your person of interest, as well as their contact information, physical and email addresses, address history, asset records, current and previous phone numbers, and more. Additionally, some databases focus on the financial information of individuals, while others concentrate on criminal and legal records. There are many types of databases available for private investigators to utilize, each with its own advantages and specialized information. Most private investigators use two or three databases regularly when conducting investigations.
6 Best Private Investigator Databases
Gathering information and tracking down people can be time-consuming. These databases help reduce that time so you can concentrate on solving cases.
Tracers provides access to public records and proprietary data sources to licensed private investigators and other qualified organizations. Law enforcement agencies and independent private investigators alike trust Tracers for invaluable data necessary for investigations.
IRBSearch is one of the longest-running databases for private investigators, boasting access to over 85 billion records linked to their database. With IRB, you won’t have to bother visiting the courthouse for records because their RetrievALL system provides access to state, local, and federal records. IRBSearch offers a free trial for those looking to try out their services, as well as free training and workshops for professionals.
TLOxp is a powerful, comprehensive database for private investigators with a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate. This database pulls from a massive repository of public and proprietary data to generate results almost instantaneously. TLOxp is backed and supported by TransUnion, a large American credit reporting agency with access to business and consumer information alike.
IDI offers a variety of investigative tools and databases to help private investigators with their cases. Of all their product offerings, idiCORE is the most relevant tool for investigators as a robust verification, location, and skip tracing tool. It provides full views of, and connections between, individuals, businesses, assets, and more.
As a credit reporting agency, Experian has access to countless records for consumers and businesses. Their large database provides investigators with a wealth of information useful for investigations regarding financial crimes, identity theft, and more.
SkipSmasher is one of the best databases for locating hard-to-find persons of interest. SkipSmasher focuses on providing qualified investigators with people-centric data focused primarily on identification, which means no extraneous information to sort through. Their prices are also highly competitive, meaning you can use SkipSmasher in addition to another database of your choice.
Learn more: What Can a Private Investigator Do (and Not Do)
5 Best Software for Private Investigators
Finding and compiling information for a case is one thing, but organizing and managing all that data is another thing entirely. Fortunately, there are lots of different options for case management software available to P.I.s. These are some of the best on the market.
Filevine is an all-in-one solution for independent private investigators. P.I.s can use this software to manage cases, handle marketing and lead tracking, assemble and manage documents, and even automate time-tracking and invoicing. Filevine software includes robust enterprise security, which means all your documents and data is safe.
Column Case Management is impressive software for private investigators. The neatest feature of this software is the proprietary Automated Solvability Index Matrix (ASIM). The ASIM calculates a solvability rating based on captured or available information, giving investigators a real-time look at how close they are to solving current cases. With ASIM, investigators can prioritize cases based on solvability or see what information is needed to boost solvability.
Primarily marketed towards attorneys and lawyers, CaseFleet is a fantastic case management tool for private investigators as well. Investigators can use this software to build visual timelines, fact chronologies, case outlines, and more. CaseFleet helps investigators build cases with a facts-first methodology, allowing them to arrange information into clear timelines so they can solve cases fast.
Though marketed toward lawyers and law firms, Clio is also beneficial for private investigators as it helps manage the business aspect of the career. Manage documents, schedule documentations, handle clients, and organize cases all with this robust software.
CaseFox is another full-service case management software for lawyers, investigators, and other legal practitioners. This software also scales up as you grow, starting out as a free software with minimum storage with the capacity to be transformed into a custom software complete with a dedicated server for your business.
Here are some other essential tools for Private Investigators.
Best Free Resources for Private Investigators
There is an abundance of free resources P.I.s can use to help with cases. Start with these resources, or think out of the box to find your own.
Google is the most powerful search engine available, able to pull information from every corner of the internet imaginable. Even though you won’t be able to pull sensitive information, Google should always be in your arsenal when working on cases. If anything, a Google search is a great place to start your investigation.
13. Social Media
Private investigators can leverage social media to uncover a wealth of information about persons of interest. Courts have already ruled that information posted to social media is fair game for investigators and cannot be held to a reasonable expectation of privacy. As long as you know the person’s name, you can find a considerable amount of information that is relevant to an investigation.
14. Internet Archive
People often say: “If you post something on the Internet, it’ll always be there.” Internet Archive proves this to be true. As its title suggests, it is an archive of the Internet. Their mission is to build a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts to be referenced just like an actual library. This free resource is especially useful to investigators as it allows them to find information posted on websites that might no longer be available.
15. Geo Data Tool
Need to find someone, but only have an IP address? Just plug it into Geo Data tool which should give you an approximate physical location.
Start Your Search
Private investigators have an abundance of resources available to them in this day and age. Don't waste time gathering information and tracking down people when you could be solving cases. Use these resources to reduce your workload and concentrate on what you do best.
Want to brush up on your investigative skills or invest in professional development? Check out our Continuing Education Courses for Private Investigators.
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