Understanding Batch Search Data Quality

Understanding batch skip tracing data quality
Understanding batch search data quality is easy. But it can be hard to tell which service has good data and which has junk. There is a simple sniff-test we shared in a blog post, Getting Better Batch Search Data. It will help you quickly determine if the data stinks, before you buy it.

But, before you run off to checkout a bunch of databases, and we hope you will look at BellesLink too, let’s talk about what factors determine the data quality.

Batch skip tracing data quality factors

Batch Search Quality – Four Factors

There are four factors that determine the quality of data.


Simply put, this is where the data comes from. But, it’s also more than that. The best search data comes from multiple databases, both public and non-public, which have been interconnected so the data is used in combination to return the most correct search result. Just like Google does for websites or directions.

An example of public personal information, PPI, are property records which are available to anyone through their local government. A credit bureau file is an example of non-public information or NPI. Access to NPI is restricted to certain types of businesses and authorities.

Some NPI, such as a credit header, is less restricted and can be accessed by a broader range of business types, like qualified BellesLink customers. Credit header data is widely considered to be the most current data for people searches.

A “credit header” is the information in a credit report that gives basic information about the person to whom the credit report applies. A credit header includes such information as name, variations of names, current and prior address, phone number, date of birth, and Social Security Number.

BellesLink databases include credit header information, as well as data from many other sources. For fraud protection, though, we do not include a full Social Security Number in our results.

So, data which is sourced from multiple databases and includes credit header information will be the highest quality available to your businesses.


A search of a database can easily return hundreds of search results. Too many to sort through yourself. Ranking search results, showing the most current information first, is essential.

Correctly presenting the most current information first—phone numbers, addresses, relatives, associates, property records, business records—is the key to data accuracy and batch search data quality.

As a business, you need actionable data that helps you contact the customer you want to reach. BellesLink ranks all search results to you see the best, most accurate data first.


Unlike grade-school math, a people search doesn’t always a single correct answer. There is usually more than one phone number, address, or email that will help you contact the customer you’re looking for. So, the depth of the information directly affects batch search data quality.

Data depth refers to how far into the past the search results go for data categories such as address history, phone numbers, mobile numbers, associates, and relatives. On all these data points BellesLink Premium searches provide up to forty years of history.

Having good data depth in your databases is most important with deceased and hard-to-find people where you need to look further into their address history or begin contacting relatives and associates in order to make contact with someone.

In a batch search you will not get data depth. The format of a batch only allows one result to be returned for each name searched. But, you can get greater data depth by using a single search such as BellesLink’s Premium People Search. A single search, not batch, is the best way to get contact information for hard-to-find people.


A search can easily return hundreds of results. The formatting of the results, both in the search application and in an exported file, has a direct affect on the usability and quality of the data. The only good data is actionable data. A good phone number that’s buried pages deep in results file is of little use. The best information needs to be the most visible.

Along with the ranking of search results that determines search accuracy, the data format is what makes the best information the most visible. While most apps do a reasonably good job of formatting their data on a web page, it’s when you export the data to a spreadsheet that formatting problems really show up.

It’s difficult for the human eye to scan dozens of spreadsheet columns and hundreds of rows. The formatting of the export file has got to assist you. If it does not, then the quality of the data is lower because the data is less useable. Our BellesLink team plays close attention to our export formatting and we’re always trying to improve it.

A last thought on formatting. Not every business person is a spreadsheet whiz. In fact, most people are not comfortable working with spreadsheets and lots of data. When they try to format the data or merge it with another spreadsheet, they often make mistakes. Unfortunately don’t realize their mistake until their batch search bombs because all the zip codes got mixed up. So, spreadsheet importing and exporting tools are very important to batch search data quality.

Batch Search Data Quality – Evaluate It

Now you know the four factors that determine the quality of a database. Evaluate the services you buy from based on source, accuracy, depth, and format to see who really gives you the best data.

Remember, there is a high cost to low quality data. That cost is not only your money, but your time. It’s incredibly easy to waste hours calling bad numbers because of bad data. While you can make more money, you can’t make more time. Don’t let it be wasted.

We want you to have the best data no matter which service you use, but please do take a look at BellesLink. We work hard to make the best batch search for small businesses just like yours.