In the late 1990’s I was searching for a new business idea that was based on my previous experience as a law enforcement officer and private investigator. I started to expand my knowledge of the criminal justice system and criminal records in general. I realized there was a growing need for conducting background checks and began performing criminal court record research in the metro Chicagoland area. I quickly learned that not only was there a need for this information, but the industry was growing and in 1998, I founded SJV & Associates and took the plunge into the world of professional background screening.
I wanted to expand my service into other counties and knew I couldn’t do it on my own. So, I hired the best researchers in counties throughout the region and soon after, began to increase SJV’s reach to become a true nationwide provider of court research, positioning SJV and our clients closer to the data. Our clients let us know our value was rooted in our delivering fast, accurate, relevant results, backed by our service and our people.
As our footprint across the nation grew, we knew we had to hire the best people. And we did, but it was also critical to develop a repeatable approach to county research so our clients could rely on a quality-driven product that yielded a predictable set of outcomes: turnaround times, quality requirements, depth of information, and dependable results. Before we knew it, hundreds of background screeners were reaching out to us because the processes we had in place, then and now, enabled us to have an in-depth breadth of court research capabilities. We empowered our clients to become more efficient by considerably condensing their network of researchers, which was becoming increasingly more challenging for growing screening firms to manage.
As we moved from the analog world of the 90’s to the digital one of the 00’s and in the wake of 9/11, I understood how technology could improve accuracy, turnaround times, and most importantly, significantly reduce costs without sacrificing quality. I realized the trust we developed with our clients would allow us to offer products and datasets beyond court record research. We developed a technology platform that would prove to be an industry game-changer.
There was a lot of uncertainty around automated court research in the beginning. How could a computer replicate the process we developed with our researchers? To be fair, we were skeptical too. Everyone was! We conducted several tests, until we knew that automating court research not only allowed us to gain unprecedented scale, maximize efficiency and eliminate human errors, but it dramatically reduced the costs for our clients. We needed to ensure the quality in the first few counties we automated could be the same throughout the country and as we did, we again won the trust of our clients and the screening industry as the first court research provider to fully embrace automating the research and reporting process.
We now proudly boast automated court research in over 1,800 counties where we have determined the quality meets our stringent standards. Our team of technologists constantly monitor and maintain these integrations to ensure the highest performance. And of course, our people cover the remainder of U.S. courts with in-person, high-quality conventional research.
We offer the most comprehensive wholesale background screening data platform, SJV Connect, for criminal record research and court data, employment and education verifications, medical compliance data and international background screening data. We continue to automate anywhere it is responsible so that you can operate more efficiently and streamline the process for your customers. Through SJV Connect, we deliver the statistics, insights and program analytics you need to operate your program effectively.
As I stated before, we started with people. One of the most important values we provide our clients is unparalleled service, fueled by a talented group of individuals and a corporate culture that fosters camaraderie and fellowship. Several members of our management team are former clients who wanted to join our team after experiencing the culture that is central to the work and life model we’ve built. This is a testament to the strength of our team and the unity that serves as the backbone for supporting SJV Data Solutions.
As I look to the future, I am excited about the opportunity to continue to empower the background screening industry with the data their customers need to make the most informed hiring, employment retention and tenant screening decisions. We will continue working tirelessly to ensure a safer work and home environment in our communities as we dominate the screening marketplace through relentless, but responsible innovation and exhaustive technological automation. We will streamline the experience of our users with the clean, reliable and relevant data they need when they need it.
Scott Vanek, President and Chief Executive Officer
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Scott’s experience as a former law enforcement officer and business executive for a high-end security and communication systems firm prompted him to form his own company, SJV & Associates, in 1998. Through his vision and leadership, along with a commitment from a very talented Management Team, SJV has become the supply chain leader for the background screening industry. As SJV’s CEO, Scott’s responsibilities include focusing on strategic planning, developing new business partners, and commitment to overall quality assurance. Scott is an active Board Member for the Kennesaw State University Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Internship Advisory Board, while also a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Southern Criminal Justice Association.