How We Began

How We Began - Data Screening

A growing number of companies are entrusting their background checks to the dynamic team at Data Access, Inc.

Providing a perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and superior customer service, the firm gives HR professionals, business owners and landlords the freedom to order from a variety of background checks when screening potential employees or tenants. The staff at Data Access understands how critical these checks have become to businesses today.

“Every one of our customers deserves the best and timeliest information available,” says Karen Jacobsen, the company’s founder and president.

Jacobsen launched Data Access, Inc. in 1996 as a government contracting company spun out of Credit Resources, Inc., another company she owned. Credit Resources was sold to a Fortune 500 company, but the new owners did not want the background screening business, so Jacobsen moved it to Data Access, Inc., which does business as DataScreening.

In 2009, Jacobsen’s daughter, Kimberly Slezak, became a partner in the business. Serving today as vice president, Slezak began working at Credit Resources when she was 14. After graduating Seton Hall University, she joined Credit Resources full time and continued working for the buyer after the sale to gain further experience.

Today, the mother-daughter partnership is bringing fresh ideas and new insight to Data Access. Jacobsen oversees the company’s internal operations, while Slezak heads up marketing and sales. “I look forward to building on our company’s tremendous track record,” Slezak says.

Despite a sluggish economy, Data Access is experiencing double-digit sales growth. Success stems in part from the company’s certification as a woman-owned business through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. But it also is the result of marketing, aggressive sales and a diverse client base.

Through a national network of experienced professionals, Data Access can perform a variety of background checks including: criminal record searches, motor vehicle records, credit reports, Social Security searches, sex offender searches, drug screening, employment and education verifications, as well as exclusionary lists and databases.

Technology makes the process easy and efficient for customers. Data Access employs a Web-based system that enables customers to order a variety of reports on the same applicant with just one entry. Recent tweaks allow customers to send a secure e-mail link to their applicants who, from the privacy of their own homes, can enter all the information needed for their background checks. At the same time, the system provides the applicant all the forms required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA. In addition, applicants also can electronically sign necessary authorizations.

“We believe we are ahead of our competition with this interface,” Jacobsen says. “It saves our customers an enormous amount of time, especially those clients whose HR departments are not located near their job applicants.”

The company’s technology is complemented by its up-to-date understanding of the rules and regulations governing background checks and screenings. State laws often differ and Data Access keeps its clients abreast of any changes thanks to its membership in the National Association of Public Background Screeners.

“Our employees are committed to providing our customers with exceptional service and accurate information every time,” Jacobsen says.