Monthly Archives: December 2019

Background Checks and Big Data: What To Know

The Relationship Between A Background Check Company And Big Data Is Simpler Than You Think

Big data refers to massive data sets like employment history and criminal records used by businesses to determine whether to hire you or do business with you. Every application ever filed by anybody has prompted a background check. It’s a fact of life: death, taxes, and big data-backed background checks. However, it’s how companies use copious amounts of consumer information that demands a closer look.

The Brass Tacks Of Big Data And How It Influences Background Checks

On the surface, big data streamlines and exponentially speeds the process of conducting background checks. By plugging in preset parameters to create data algorithms, an organization can sift through mountains of applicant data in minutes. Therefore, big data analytics are incredibly useful throughout our daily lives. Even so, things go haywire when information is wrong or unverified.

In a typical scenario, you might spend hours hand-crafting the perfect resume that could land you a dream job. After tediously checking your masterpiece, you submit it in full confidence. Then, in a moment best described as absolute horror, your hard work is destroyed with a rejection notice.

In a similar debacle, you are denied a bank loan when a background check reveals that your credit file includes various spellings of your name. Red flags raise and sirens wail when your application data doesn’t match the data that a background check company has on record. Approval or rejection is sometimes as simple as a zip code discrepancy.

This brings up the downside of big data and a responsibility to do more than keep information safe. All data should be verified for accuracy, and any erroneous information must either be corrected or deleted from consumer profiles. The bottom line is that big data analytics lack empathy. Moreso, sterile algorithms may unintentionally reinforce discrimination if data patterns driven by big data are the only parameters used to select candidates.

One Simple Step To Take Before Giving Your Information To A Background Check Company

Identity verification is the focus of all background checks. No company will hire you nor consent to do business with you if it cannot verify your identity. Companies need reassurance that you’re not someone who steals credit cards for a living. To avoid that, make sure the following personally-identifying information is accurate and up-to-date:

  • Full name and known aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or government ID
  • Residential and business addresses
  • Contact Information including phone numbers and emails
  • Supplementary metrics such as mother’s maiden name

To help you track down and prevent a potential snafu, consider running a criminal background check on yourself. Request a copy of your driving record and credit report. It won’t hurt to review your social media profiles either!