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What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing, in short, is the process of identifying the connections within and between social groups. This has many applications but is most often used in medicine to track the spread of disease and infection (especially right now). Effective medical contact tracing can not only map the spread of an infection, but it can be used to control it. The same principles, however, can be applied to many other situations to provide information about the social networks within, for example, a company or industry and to illustrate how they often collide.
How can businesses use contact tracing?
Contact tracing, like skip tracing, is essentially an investigative tool that individuals and corporate entities can use to find people with certain skills, qualifications, knowledge bases and experience levels. In fact, it can also be used to investigate cases of professional wrongdoing, negligence or incompetence, too.
To put it simply, contact tracing can benefit businesses and individuals in any case where it is necessary to build a general overview of how people connect to each other in either a past or present sense. While skip tracing focuses on tracking down people who are trying to avoid being found through official records, financial transactions and even utility bills, contact tracing is about building an understanding of a person’s progress and movement through social and business arenas.
What makes contact tracing effective?
- Market research.
- Legal investigation.
- Due diligence documentation/completion.
- Social investigation.
- Debt collection.
- Fugitive tracing.
- Disease control.
Of course, there are limitations. First and foremost, contact tracing can be a very labor-intensive undertaking that involves making use of a number of sources and tools. This makes it best for investigative undertakings that involve a limited number of people. Secondly, the information gained through contact tracing can be very general. If detailed information about a specific person or group of people is needed, contact tracing is generally just the first step in a longer process. As such, manual contact tracing can be a pain.
How can I benefit from contact tracing?
Manual contact tracing requires a lot of time and energy as well as a specific skill set and access to tracing tools. These are things most small to medium businesses and official entities do not have (and are unlikely to gain). As such, benefitting from effective and sophisticated contact tracing has traditionally been a privilege of large scale business and governance.
The internet revolution has leveled the playing field, of course, but contact tracing has remained an under-utilized tool. Therefore, most people, whether they represent a business, a health care provider, or a legal entity, have had to involve outside expert help. As such, investing in an effective and accessible contact tracing tool is the easiest way to benefit from contact tracing. Thankfully, there is now a range of tools available.
How contact tracing tools and software can help
As a labor-intensive, time-consuming process, contact tracing can be too much for small businesses, entities or individuals. There are technological tools designed to undertake contact tracing, of course, but until recently, they have been quite limited. Recent events, however, have led to a rapid increase in demand for contact tracing software in the medical arena. While these systems are still in their infancy, the innovations and advances that have been made are set to make technological contact tracing far more effective in the future.
More effective automated contact tracing could be revolutionary for many industries but could be particularly useful to:
- Private investigators.
- Law enforcement agencies.
- Collection agencies.
- Debt buyers.
- State and local governments.
- Healthcare providers.
The wider implications of this software are huge. From helping debt collection agencies to locating debtors to identifying individuals who may have been affected by, for example, a water contamination incident, effective contact tracing can be a real force for good.