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3 Reasons to Use Criminal Data in Visitor Management Systems

By Julia Williams

Criminal data sounds ominous. Ranging from court records to mugshots to outstanding arrest warrants, you can find out a lot about a person based on criminal data. This insight can then be leveraged in many areas of life to impact community safety. One of the most critical areas is using criminal data in Visitor Management Systems.

What is a Visitor Management System?

Visitor Management Systems (VMS) manage and track who is onsite across an organization’s facilities. This can include pre-visit registration, ID verification, badges for visitor identification, and even customizable internal notifications. These valuable systems increase facility security, protect employees, and help meet complex compliance requirements in regulated industries.

Gone are the days of using pen and paper to log people who come and go from your premises. Now, sophisticated visitor management software is becoming critical for organizations to manage their security and day-to-day operations.

These automated systems offer streamlined services, ongoing visitor data tracking, and additional features for better visibility and informed decision making about who can and should have access to an organization’s facilities.

Who Uses Visitor Management Software

While employees are typically screened with pre-employment background checks, visitors come and go without the same in-depth background screening. That’s where visitor management software comes in.

Software for visitor management is widely used by organizations that have contractors, job applicants, customers, vendors, auditors, investors, partners, delivery couriers, or even family and friends coming into a physical building. It provides a level of safety and screening either before the visit or upon arrival to help protect a business and its data and employees from breach and physical harm.

Depending on an organization’s requirements, visitor management systems can span full campuses or multiple locations to share valuable information amongst the risk management team – even if they’re geographically diverse.

VMS can also integrate and sync with access control systems. These visitor access systems allow you to set individual accesses to valuable parts of a building and critical business systems for an additional level of security.

Common Visitor Management System Uses

One of the perks of visitor management software is that there are a lot of options out there that can be customized to an organization’s needs.  Some of the most common VMS use cases include the following:

  • Visitor Management Systems for Hospitals or Doctors’ Offices
    Hospital visitor management systems are one of the most common usages. Typically, anytime you go into a healthcare facility, you have to check in and verify your ID and insurance. Even if you are just visiting a patient, they still require identification and typically a name badge. This is all done via the hospital’s VMS.
  • Visitor Management Systems for Schools and Universities
    Campus security visitor management systems are also growing in popularity. They help ensure the safety of students and teachers through a better understanding of who is visiting  an educational campus.  The use of school visitor identification data has been in the spotlight over the years because of the increase in violence at elementary schools, high schools, and university campuses.
  • Visitor Management Systems for Corporate Offices
    Office visitor management systems vary based on the building setup. Is it one organization that owns the building, or is it an office building leasing spaces to multiple companies? The VMS has to be able to handle these and more scenarios to help establish workplace safety and security. In some cases, they will also be used with or instead of reception management systems or commercial access control technologies to help heighten security.

These VMS use cases are just prime examples of where you’ll encounter them. You’ll also find visitor management systems in use at entertainment venues, apartment complexes, gated communities, senior living facilities, popular tourism destinations, and more.

Criminal Data for Visitor Management Systems

Now that you have an understanding of visitor management systems, you might be wondering how criminal data for VMS comes into the picture. Increasing security in VMS is always top of mind and, to effectively do that, you have to know and understand the individual visitors and the risks they bring.

Let’s take a look at three crucial reasons to use criminal data in visitor management systems.

1. Provide Deeper Data for More Thorough Visitor Screening

Safety is the number one reason organizations use visitor management systems. In fact, 92% of VMS users say visitor management systems create a safer environment (Source). In pursuing the admirable goal of safer environments through VMS technology, why not include additional data to determine whether certain visitors should be allowed onsite?

Granted, this approach is already accepted by some in the VMS industry. But those visitor management systems often use only sex offender data as a baseline background data search. By stopping there, though, you’re missing out on an untapped reservoir of other people data. That information can provide deeper insight into a visitor’s risk, such as the following:

  • Arrest Records
  • Warrant Records
  • Security Watchlists
  • Court Records
  • Department of Corrections Records

So become one of the enlightened few to bring VMS technology to its new level of development and start using deeper visitor screening data.

2. Improve Your Ability to Use Internal or External Watchlists

When using visitor management systems with criminal data included, you have a fuller picture with which to assess the risk someone brings to a facility. This is valuable knowledge to have for organizations that create internal watchlists as they can more effectively identify individuals who bring an added level of risk based on business specific requirements.

Another option for stronger security is to add and use external security watchlists to your visitor management system. These external security watchlists are compiled by major sanctioning and law enforcement bodies like the United State government to identify individuals who are known security threats. These watchlists can cover a wide-range of heightened security concerns from financial crimes to international terrorism.

If you’re considering using watchlists, you’re not alone. In fact, 63% of respondents to a 2020 Visitor Management Report said visitors can pose a risk to their data. This has increased demand for watchlist features in VMS, with 62% of respondents leveraging or intending to leverage internal or external watchlists in visitor management systems.

Imagine being able to incorporate deeper people data in your visitor management technology to reveal whether someone has been convicted of computer crimes, trespassing, theft, or fraud. Using that level of data in the VMS is one of the fastest and easiest ways to conduct this additional risk assessment to understand who may come with heightened security risks.

3. Stand Out Above the Competition

What used to be sufficient in screening visitors for onsite safety no longer suffices. Providing only one source of people data, such as sex offender registries, is just scraping the surface and can open organizations up to serious safety and security risks that VMS can help them address by proactively identifying bad actors.

That’s why it’s important to enhance your VMS with deeper people data. Adding the ability to screen visitors against criminal data, sex offender registries, and external security watchlists can provide that next level of security and risk management which can help you stand out compared to other visitor management systems.

How Tessera Data Enhances Software for Visitor Management 

At Tessera Data, we’re passionate about making the world a safer place. Visitor management systems are just one way that empower trust and safety in critical locations to protect some of our most vulnerable populations. To do so effectively, you need the right data to work with, and this starts with people-risk data – available in our Community Trust and Safety Solution.

Whether you offer a large enterprise visitor management system or a visitor management system for small businesses, you need deep people data to safeguard your employees, your customers, your reputation, your data, and your physical assets and revenue. It’s time to use criminal data in visitor management software systems to identify potential threats proactively.

We want to partner with you to build on that safety and security with access to the hard-to-find people data that makes a difference. With Tessera, you’ll:

  • Gain access to one of the largest criminal databases available in the United States,
  • Be able to search criminal data that covers 99% of the US population
  • Work with a leading people data provider
  • Receive fast data delivery via API directly to your VMS

Together, we can make a difference.  Contact us to learn how to get started using criminal data for visitor management systems.

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