Pros and Cons of Different Batch Skip Tracing Tests

Adding a new data provider to your skip tracing process can come with some unknowns, but when goals and objectives are laid out clearly, both the vendor and the client are able to execute testing and implementation more effectively. At LocateSmarter, we want to make sure our prospective clients are set up for success, so we have outlined three of the most common batch skip tracing tests. Which test you decide to execute will depend on your collection software, internal resources and time.

Champion Challenge Skip Tracing Tests – Same File, Equal Opportunity

The preferred method of running skip tracing tests between two or more vendors is a champion challenger where all parties receive the same file of accounts. The returned phone numbers (hits) are then given equal dialing attempts to identify performance metrics such as number of right party contacts (RPCs), wrong numbers and total phone numbers returned.

  • PRO: Most fair test as all parties are given equal opportunity to return phone numbers with minimal testing bias
  • PRO: Easily identifies uniqueness of data
  • PRO: Prevents imbalanced testing conditions through identical files
  • CON: The vendors will likely return duplicate information, if your collection or dialer software cannot accurately identify this, an A/B test may be better suited for your files
  • CON: Can be more labor intensive to manage and measure

Champion Challenge Skip Tracing Tests – A/B Test

In an A/B test, the file of accounts is split between two or more vendors so that no vendor is given the same account (unless a waterfall strategy is predefined). Similar to the Champion Challenger, the phone numbers are given equal dialing attempts to identify performance metrics such as number of right party contacts (RPCs), wrong numbers and total phone numbers returned.

  • PRO: The test can typically be executed within production systems
  • PRO: Assists companies with the inability to identify duplicate data points, thus reducing exposure to FDCPA risk
  • PRO: Measuring and tracking results may be easier than the Same File, Champion Challenger
  • PRO: May be better-suited for paid tests or when resources are limited
  • CON: Higher likelihood of testing bias as a result of unequal distribution of accounts (i.e.- varying balances, collectability scores, number of previous skip tracing attempts, etc.)

Retroactive Skip Tracing Tests

A retroactive test can be performed in a champion challenger setting or as a standalone test. In this scenario, known RPC phone numbers are removed from the file(s) and the accounts are given to the skip tracing vendor. The hits are then analyzed to determine how many of the known RPCs were found.

  • PRO: Extremely fast test; dialing attempts are not required to determine performance of vendor if just evaluating status quo
  • PRO: Very few resources needed to conduct test
  • CON: The known RPCs may be outdated or additional valid phone numbers may be available, but not yet identified by the company
  • CON: Little benefit for the tester as RPCs are already known and the effort will provide minimal value outside of determining the performance of the test

Unsure which skip tracing tests are best for you? Contact us at 888-254-5501 or fill out our Contact Us form. Based on your unique situation, we will help you decide which test is best.



Brandon Huisman

Author: Brandon Huisman

As LocateSmarter’s Senior Manager of Operations & Technology Services, Brandon Huisman evaluates data providers in the skip tracing industry to provide our clients with the best possible data. As an avid outdoorsman, Brandon enjoys hunting and fishing, taking yearly trips to Canada.