A former librarian turned due diligence investigator values tech that helps her snag and catalogue data — digitally.
Premium News Databases
One of my best investments for online research is access to what’s known as “the big three”: LexisNexis, Dow Jones Factiva, and ProQuest Dialog, for a deep dive into news and trade publications, past and present.
For most investigations, I use all three, starting with Nexis. Then I move to Factiva because of their Dow Jones content (Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal). Finally, I hit Dialog; while their news content is not as extensive as the others (or as it used to be back in the day), I frequently come up with something I didn’t find in the other two.
With their pro tools for searching and downloading, these premium databases save time and money, and they include news not found through Google or other search engines.
This easy-to-use screen capture software from TechSmith is always open when I’m running online searches. Not all web pages print well — or maybe I just want to preserve a part of the page — so I use SnagIt to capture it and turn it into an image.
The SnagIt Editor helps me crop, resize, and add text or arrows. I’m sure I don’t use all the features, but I definitely get my money’s worth from this tool. If you use this for client work product that may wind up in court, check that SnagIt is an acceptable option for gathering evidence.
This tool for collecting notes, photos, and documents helps me organize my life. I don’t use Evernote for client files, which reside on my secured laptop, but I keep just about everything else related to hobbies, running my business, and organizing our upcoming out-of-state move in one place, with access from any device.
The system of notebooks and tags makes it easy to find notes, you can send email messages from your inbox to Evernote, and their Web Clipper is a must-have for catching information I find on the web. They offer free and fee-based options, and the Premium plan has been well worth my investment.
About the Author:
A former librarian, Marcy, president of Marcy Phelps & Associates Inc., is now a private investigator and Certified Fraud Examiner specializing in investigative research. She started her company in 2000, providing business research and analysis for clients in a variety of industries until transitioning to preventing and uncovering fraud through due diligence investigations, asset discovery, and training services.