Emerging Technologies and Trends Shaping the Skip-Tracing Industry 

Technology, like artificial intelligence, changes how we think about certain industries every few years. It isn’t just that specific tasks become easier or job descriptions change. The reality of what is possible transforms overnight, and we’re collectively left to grapple with what the future might hold.

Such is the case with skip tracing, which has recently seen a significant shift partly spawned by emerging technologies and trends. Once you understand these technologies and what they’re currently being used for, you begin to visualize where this all might be headed in just a few short years.

Advanced Data Analytics

One of the most prominent examples of an emerging technology shaping the skip-tracing industry is advanced data analytics.

Skip tracing in real estate, for example, might draw information about a person from many different sources. You’re talking about traditional real estate data like property listings, court records, land data, etc. This is all considered “raw data” because there is so much of it it’s difficult to discern what is valuable and what isn’t immediately.

Fueled by artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced data analytics change the game entirely. They help to process that data as quickly as possible, improving decision-making and allowing valuable insight to rise to the top. It’s a way to “cut through the noise,” so to speak, enhancing both the accuracy of the process and the efficiency of the conclusions you can draw. Skip tracers use it to find people quickly, but other industries might use it to empower business growth, streamline complex processes, and more.

Enter the Blockchain

Blockchain is another excellent example of an emerging technology that is already making skip-tracing waves. Here, you’re talking about a “decentralized, distributed, and public digital ledger” that records transactions in a way that makes it impossible to alter them later.

Regarding skip tracing, this type of blockchain technology helps guarantee the integrity and security of the data people are working with. Remember that in a field like law enforcement, skip-tracing data may need to be relied on in a court of law later. Having records that cannot be altered helps avoid issues while keeping sensitive information as safe as possible moving forward.

Putting the “Intelligence” Back in Social Media

It’s no secret that skip tracers in various industries rely on information derived from social media to their advantage. Even if someone has gone to great lengths to avoid being found, the chances are high that something valuable can still be learned about them via a site like Facebook or Twitter/X.

If you’re a debt collector looking for someone who owes a debtor a lot of money, you’ll likely start your search with social media. Some of their friends or associates may be, even if they’re not actively posting. This is where social media intelligence comes into play. It can quickly provide valuable insights that shed light on the digital footprints of hard-to-find individuals.

Even if someone does something as seemingly innocent as posting a picture online, a lot can still be learned, like exactly where and when that picture was taken. You could learn who they were with. This can help guide your search until the person in question is finally found.

AR and VR are Upon Us

Finally, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are examples of emerging technologies that have already proven valuable to skip tracers worldwide.

To return to the example of law enforcement, say you’re relatively sure that you know where someone is, but you either can’t yet visit the physical location for whatever reason, or it may be too dangerous to do so. You can use virtual reality to essentially “scout” the area in advance to know what level of risk you’re likely to walk into. At the very least, you can safely collect more information to plan your eventual encounter accurately. Given the circumstances, this will eliminate the possibility of surprise, which will ensure that things proceed as safely as possible.

It’s certainly a better idea than showing up with virtually no real-world insight into what an environment looks like or where someone might be hiding on a property.

Technology is Creating a More Connected World

Ultimately, these are just a few emerging technologies changing what is possible in skip tracing. It’s not a coincidence that they have developed alongside several significant trends like remote work and global connectivity. In an era when more people are working remotely than ever, our digital footprint is arguably as big as ever. There is more data about each of us online than ever before. That makes it more difficult for skip tracers to sift through it alone. Luckily, they don’t necessarily have to, thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Thanks to social media, we’re all connected, so suddenly, it becomes easier to find someone who may be avoiding detection, even if they’re halfway around the world at the time. As the landscape of skip tracing changes, what was once considered exceptional becomes the new norm. On top of that foundation, innovation changes the potential of it all—it makes it easier for people to push even further and achieve even greater results.

It’s also important to note that though the technology exists, not everything outlined above is available for use in the mainstream. This is primarily due to privacy concerns – it’s unsettling to think about what might happen if some of this were to fall into the wrong hands.

Still, when you consider how far technology has allowed skip tracing to evolve in even just the last few years, it’s exhilarating to think about what the next few have in store.

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