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January 23, 2009
Memphis Business Journal, Long on Background
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The information services provider just hit its 20-year mark in December
and has seen business swell thanks to growing demand from businesses
that need to know more about their employees before making new hires.
Data Facts president and CEO Daphne Large founded the company in 1988
to provide financial information services to banks.
Starting in 1995, businesses began using information companies to provide
more than just credit reports, but background information on current and future employees.
That interest grew dramatically after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
“Post 9-11, everything went haywire,” Young says. “Us being such a litigious society,
businesses started to see they could spend $15 to $100 per applicant if it might save them
millions due to a potential lawsuit down the road with sexual harassment or potential
worker compensation fraud.”
According to the National Association of Background Screeners, the U.S. has more
than 3,000 information services providers in the U.S., generating more than $4 billion in
The increase in interested customers also created a boom in companies looking to distribute
As more companies began to be acquired by larger, more national type businesses, Data
Facts just kept it simple — a policy the company still follows today.
“We are very old school; we don’t have voicemail here,” Young says. “It is mainly for the
client’s benefit. We feel like it really differentiates us from all of the big black holes that are out there.”
A simple, customer service-orientated approach has helped Data Facts to grow to another
branch office in Little Rock and to around $7 million in annual revenue.
A key to growing that revenue over the years has been a focus by Data Facts to pursue
clients of all sizes.
Young says other data service providers will only go after anchor accounts like large retailers
or Fortune 500 companies.
“Everyone is trying to compete for FedEx or Home Depot’s business,” Young says. “We’ve
found that we can do a really great job with companies like that, but we also do a really great
job for customers that spend $10,000 a year because we offer them the same type of
services as we do companies who would spend $1 million a year.”
Although the data service business is technology driven — software is continually updated
with new services — the key for Data Facts to retain customers has been to rely on its sales
The company constantly trains employees on the ins and outs of the new technology to
make it easier on the end customer.
“We have been able to assemble a team of trained, high skilled associates giving us the
opportunity to work with and service some of the best companies across the nation,” Large
says. “We love this business, and we are passionate about what we do.”
Along with qualified employees, retention of clients has been a cornerstone of Data Facts’
success the last two decades.
Young says it is not rare for local competitors and national companies to compete with long
But even with larger companies like Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. — a client of
Data Facts for six years — offering quality customer service pays off.
“We could not be more satisfied with the individual and personal service we receive from
Data Facts,” says Kristen Lilly, director of employment for Baptist Memorial Health Care.
“Not only does Data Facts respond to our needs and exceed our expectations for customer
service, they remain on the cutting edge of the latest technology and industry standards.”
Keeping long-time clients happy also allows Data Facts to avoid pit falls provided by the
current economic climate. Even if new customer leads dry up, Data Facts can remain
profitable thanks to its loyal customer base.
“We focus on reoccurring revenue,” Young says. “We want to grow at a pace that has been
successful for us the last 20 years.”
Data Facts, Inc.
Address: 8520 Macon Road
Phone: (800) 264-4110
Web site: www.datafacts.com