A private investigation relies on the experience and knowledge of the seasoned Private Investigator who takes the case. People skills, diligence at following the facts, and superior research ability are some things that set the professional private detective apart from the amateur. However, private investigators can also benefit from using tools of the trade that help them achieve swift and successful results. Below are some staples of the private detective software used by investigators today.
Tools for Organisation
The best private investigator software helps a PI stay organised and keeps vital information at the fingertips. Using an online software is an efficient way to keep up with details about cases and organise daily appointments. A PI needs to have continuous access to case management information, and it’s vital for a licensed private investigator to use software that operates on a variety of computers and mobile devices.
Tools for Research
Research tools are at the top of the list of private investigators software, and they help with background checks and historical record searches. Access to databases that provide many different kinds of information can make the job much easier. Some of the data resources that are free and open to the public include:
- Google Public Data Explorer – provides graphs and charts
- Registry of Open Data on AWS (RODA) – uses keyword and tag searches
- Social Mention – aggregates worldwide social media content
- gov.au – easy browsing of all open data from the Australian government
In addition to these open sources of information, some private detective software is geared to the professional investigator. Many have licensing fees, and strictly for licensed Investigator’s because of the nature of the data and access to billions of public records.
Tools for Surveillance
Every investigator has their own surveillance kit with the tools that they rely on to gather important information about a case. Evidence from visual surveillance depends on access to a reliable camera that has a timestamp. Without a clear photo or video, along with proof of when it was taken, the evidence may not hold up in court.
Audio evidence is also valuable, but there are rules and regulations in many places about gathering it. Usually, people being recorded have to give consent for audio evidence to be legal. For cases in which permission has been given or isn’t required, audio surveillance has never been easier. Small units with excellent reception can be hidden on the body, and many can transmit conversations as well as record them.
Tools for Management
Case management software helps an investigator keep all relevant information together about a case. Interview transcripts, written data, and audiovisual recordings are all stored in a central digital location that can be accessed easily, and the best software also allows an investigator to promptly import data.
Tools for Reporting
Data management software also helps private investigators compose reports efficiently. Information that’s essential to a report is stored together and can be sorted and downloaded in various ways. Besides streamlining investigative reports, this type of software gives a PI the ability to design forms that uniformly store information, making it easier to retrieve and compare data.