Today has been an interesting work day.  For those of you who may not realize it, I’m not a high paid consultant, yet.  Those days are coming, soon I hope.  So I supplement my consulting with a part-time job as a Marketing Director for a small niche company.

If this blog and that company were really connected I would provide appropriate links and demonstrate my marvelous marketing skills.   As it is, they are separate entities and thus today’s lesson is related to information used during today’s marketing work not the marketing itself.

I used a government site that is obviously fed by forms submitted by the providers I was researching.  The glitch, some people don’t know their own area code.  Deductive reasoning served up the correct number but it just goes to show you the fatal flaw of  public records.

Public records are loaded enmasse and little or no vetting is done to ensure that accurate information is submitted.  If every phone number in a particular county starts with 765 but the records you are reviewing have just a few that start with an alternative area code the obvious deduction is that those alternative records probably start with 765 too.

So for those of you using public records never forget that the information really is only as good as the information provided.  People don’t spell well, they don’t write carefully and they don’t check the details.  They fill out the form and go.

Some tips to help you find good public records iformation:

  • Confirm the data by making a phone call.
  • If you find the same information from a few separate sources, it’s reliable if not completely accurate.
  • Search with good data, if you’re looking for an address, try to start with a previous confirmed address or property records.