The number of businesses that apply to third parties for data is continuously growing. According to Ascend2, more than 50% of marketers mention enriching their contact data quality as the main impediment to obtaining email marketing success. Some time ago, we’ve already expressed our point of view on the importance of high-quality data for B2B sales and marketing. Below, we share the results of our new 2019 research on 8 of the biggest data providers, where we reveal the pros and cons that we consider extremely important to every user.
Headquartered in the UK, Global Database is one of the younger companies on the business intelligence market. 4 years of activity is really not too much for that vertical. However, in this relatively short term, the team has built a comprehensive data directory, and continue to add to it on a daily basis. The company also boasts to have grown considerably as a team, constantly working towards the improvement of the product and service provided to customers.
PRO - Up-to-date office phone numbers and email addresses
One of the eminent features Global Database prides itself on is some of the most updated contact information that you can find for more than 80 million executives at 70 million businesses across 195 countries. Each company and executive data are verified daily, and the email addresses are validated every month. This accuracy and relevance allow Global Database directory users to achieve deliverability rates of more than 90%, one that too few other providers can guarantee.
PRO - Easy data export
Compared to many other business directories, Global Database allows data export. Regardless of being a subscription-based platform, users get the possibility to download data for the selected range of companies as an Excel or .csv file. Moreover, the directory can be integrated with users’ preferred CRM, as integration with many popular CRMs available on the market is supported. In such a way, populating the users’ CRM with enriched data becomes easier than ever before.
PRO - Growing range of products and solutions
Yet another advantage that Global Database brings to its users is extended coverage - 195 countries. Thus, there is no need to buy data from several providers, and instead use just one company directory. Along with platform improvement and development, Global Database has also increased the number of the products and solutions it provides. Among such products as Sales & Marketing Platform, Funding Database and other, some of the latest additions are Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer checks, helping users be confident in their regulatory compliance.
PRO - Ongoing updates and custom alerts
Many a user’s favorite feature, the business data listed in the directory is continuously refreshed. While company information is verified and updated daily, the direct phone numbers and email addresses of executives are validated each month. With the possibility to set up custom alerts, per industry, per company or otherwise, you can easily stay abreast of all the changes occurring in the field or business users are most interested in.
PRO - Wide range of filtering options
Depending on the peculiarities of the companies a user is specifically interested in, he/she can easily apply a series of filters from the multitude available. In such a way, easy and fast in just a few clicks the user can obtain the list of companies that correspond exactly to the requirements set so that he/she wouldn’t have to look through thousands and millions of businesses to understand which ones do and which ones do not fit this particular research goal.
PRO - Bespoke data research
If there is any information a user specifically lacks, he/she can solicit a bespoke research and Global Database employees will find this data. Regular verification and updates thereof can be set up to make sure the user stays in touch with the most important news and changes on the market.
CON - Cellphone numbers are not provided
Featuring more than 80 million executive direct contact details, Global Database respects the privacy thereof and does not offer cellphone numbers.
CON - May be a bit confusing at first sight
Although extremely user-friendly, a less experienced eye may find it a bit hard to manage data in the directory. On the other hand, Global Database boasts great customer service, both pre- and post-purchase, so a sales agent or another qualified representative will guide through the directory every user who needs a bit of help.
CON - Can seem expensive
Global Database counts among the averagely priced business intelligence platforms. However, even that may be perceived as expensive by small companies or start-ups. If that is your case too, take our advice on this one: consider the opportunity costs. Paying wages to employees who make long lasting research of a market or industry may turn out a lot pricier than buying the same data ready to use and continuously updated.
In more than 10 years of activity on the market, DiscoverOrg has continuously focused on the accuracy of the data they provide. Working hard all this time, they now boast having the world’s most accurate database with some 95% of data guaranteed. Besides that, DiscoverOrg has continued to develop as a company, ingrained their workplace culture, enhanced customer satisfaction, expanded the database and target audience and worked on a series of other improvements.
Although in 2019 it acquired another business intelligence platform - ZoomInfo (see below), the two are yet available on the market as two separate brands and, hence, platforms, and we’ve decided to show them in this list as such.
PRO - High accuracy rates
According to their own website, their prospecting database’s actionability is backed by a 95% accuracy rate, which is quite hard to beat.
PRO - Acceptable data refresh cycle
DiscoverOrg data refresh cycle is 90 days, allowing to maintain the above-mentioned accuracy they claim to deliver. Their technology-generated data is verified and complemented by their dedicated researchers’ calls.
PRO - Above industry-standard level of confidence
Yet another acquisition for DiscoverOrg in 2019 was NeverBounce, email verification and cleansing services provider. With its help, now all the data contained in their company database passes a 20+ step verification process, having each email checked up to 75 times.
PRO - US IT and organizational charts data are killer features
Many a user’s choice especially for the technology sales and recruitment in the US, DiscoveryOrg is respected for the technographics and technology triggers’ details it provides. Organizational charts deliver extensive information. Many find attractive the fact that not only do these show the company executives and the rankings thereof, but also route users to executives’ LinkedIn profiles.
CON - Prices on the high-end side
Although pretty accurate, the DiscoverOrg database subscription comes at a higher price. The idea of considering the opportunity costs is, of course, still valid. However, in the case of expensive data sources, it is harder for start-ups and small businesses to motivate and cover these high costs.
CON - Invading people’s privacy
According to some customers, a small percentage of the phone numbers provided with the DiscoverOrg business directory are not actually company phones. When contacting the leads, users sometimes end up calling people’s homes, thus invading their privacy, which would not be something a person can like in our busy business world.
CON - Renewal policy to consider
The deadline for DiscoverOrg renewal for another year of subscription is 60 days prior to the user’s current subscription expiry date.
CON - Global data is not that global
The richest sets of data are concentrated around North America and Europe. For other regions, provided information might not be as rich as desired.
Founded in 2000, ZoomInfo provides company information via their database listing well fleshed out data, which, according to their website, is the most comprehensive database in the world. Having the goal to ease companies’ task to identify, connect and engage with more qualified prospects, their mission statement appeals to all businesses as a reminder that there is always a new customer within reach. As per April 2019, they claim their database to contain 99 million business emails along with 45 million direct dials and 19 million company profiles, and counting. Recently acquired by DiscoveryOrg, ZoomInfo still appears as a separate platform and justly becomes a valuable asset for the acquiring player.
PRO - Rich sets of contact information
With that many contact details for the listed number of businesses, the average exceeds 5 emails per company, quite impressive for the data intelligence industry.
PRO - Supplementary enrichment services on tap
With several varied options available, users can enhance their existing data with the one they lack on-demand, when and where they need it. For example, a user can upload the list of companies of interest, and in a short time get the executives’ contact details.
PRO - Practical Chrome extension
The ReachOut Chrome extension from ZoomInfo gives offers the opportunity to collect direct email addresses and phone numbers while scanning people’s profiles in LinkedIn or when viewing Accounts, Contacts and Leads right in the Salesforce CRM.
CON - May become a bit confusing to exploit
Well, hard to be 100% that it is a con, honestly. The idea is that offering a few ways to perform the same research in the ZoomInfo database may get confusing until the user get completely accustomed to the platform. Besides, when scanning the list of prospects, the ones that have already been viewed are not differentiated from the ones unseen.
CON - Complex charging method resulting in an expensive
ZoomInfo provides access to its information based on a pre-paid credit system. For every contact viewed or downloaded, the user’s account is debited. Even in time, it is not quite easy to get accustomed to that system, and having the account debited for every single view turns out to be pretty much expensive after all.
CON – Not as accurate for smaller businesses
Obviously, smaller businesses are more likely to have higher employee turnover rates. Therefore, the executives' contact information and other data regarding employees may end up outdated and irrelevant for the user.
InsideView is a software as a service company offering users a unifying platform for targeting intelligence. Since its foundation in 2005, the database accumulated information for more than 13 million companies and 32 million decision-makers across 180 countries. InsideView was built specifically for marketing and sales, focusing on B2B contact data for decision-makers and influencers. They claim to set priority not on the number (quantity) of companies in their database, but on the quality, collecting data only for the businesses that matter for the B2B commerce.
PRO - It is relatively cheap, but beware
Among all the other data providers on the market, InsideView is on the cheaper side. Currently, their prices per seat are a bit under $100 if you pay by the month, and a discount is offered for a full year subscription. However, you should consider that the minimum plan is 5 seats, therefore it turns out to be a bit more expensive than it seems at a first glance.
PRO - Relevant records
On their website, InsideView claim that, while focusing on the quality of the information offered rather than on its quantity, they tend to deliver data that excludes legal (paper) entities, fictitious companies, duplicates, low-level contacts, and other useless info.
PRO - Proprietary methodology to collect and validate data
InsideView gathers, analyzes and validates all the information applying their proprietary artificial intelligence-based methodology, called MTV. The acronym stands for ‘Multi-Sourced - Triangulated - Validated’, and the process turns more than 40K sources they use into targeting intelligence.
CON - Rocky integrations
Although the InsideView database can be integrated with a series of CRMs, sometimes the outcome may not be as smooth as expected, especially in the case of bulk export of leads.
CON - Data is not always updated nor accurate
According to a series of reviews, it is not unusual to contact a person, using the information listed in the InsideView directory, and learn that the person does not work there any more. With relevant and great account records, some may find necessary to do supplementary research to find the right contact information. Thus, regardless of the relatively basic data for the companies listed, they are not 100% up-to-date.
Clearbit was founded in 2015, now being a marketing data engine for customer integrations. Mainly classified into products called Clearbit Enrichment and Clearbit Prospector, they focus on helping users to identify prospects and understand companies to further personalize campaigns. Data listed is collected from 250 various sources, both public and private ones. To eliminate data noise, they weight and score the sources and apply various methods, including machine learning, to transform them into applicable attributes.
PRO - Helpful integrations
Clearbit was built in a way that facilitates integrations with users’ existing stack and tools (e.g. Salesforce, Marketo, Segment). On top of that, the directory and its features deliver a good user experience being quite easy to use.
PRO - Regular data enrichment
According to their website, Clearbit enriches more than 500 million records every month. This contributes a lot to the accuracy of the provided information.
CON - Data is not global
The strongest coverage is for North America and Australia, other regions listing less powerful data. However, regions and coverage are shown, so the users can decide right away how applicable and useful Clearbit can be for their particular goals.
CON - Takes a bit of learning
For the less experienced or tech-skilled users, the platform may become a bit of a challenge to learn to use it. It is not hard, though, requiring only some time to get used and exploit it at full.
Founded in 2011, DueDil is now a predictive company intelligence platform, providing complete company profiles and employee data. Pulling the information from trustworthy sources, it uses proprietary matching technology to link data points and to structure them in a way to help users easily find new prospects and search for needed information, and mitigate risks via its due diligence tool.
PRO - Insightful long-term data
Company information listed in DueDil displays data for up to 20 years, allowing users to get a granular view and comprehensive insights about the activity and stability thereof.
PRO - Due diligence tool
The importance of appropriate due diligence of prospects or existing business partners is unarguable today. DueDil offers an end-to-end solution, helping users to reduce the time spent on checking prospect and mitigate risk more efficiently.
CON - Limited coverage
Insightful as it is, company information provided by DueDil covers UK, Ireland and a series of other European countries, being thusly less suitable for users who are also interested in other parts of the world.
Lusha is basically an extension available for a series of browsers that help you get contact information of the people the users look up on LinkedIn. It may be very useful for applicant tracking and recruitment purposes. On top, Lusha API focuses on completing missing data and converting business domain names into comprehensive company profiles.
PRO - Easy to use
Lusha puts a lot of value on simplicity. Thus, the solutions they provide are easy to use.
PRO - Shareability
The access to Lusha can be smoothly switched between team members, making it pretty handy and effortless to exploit.
CON - Information is not always accurate
Sometimes, phone numbers or email addresses Lusha displays may be mixed with another LinkedIn user’s profile with the same name as the person looked up for. As well, contact information can be displayed for the previous post or employer.
CON - May become more expensive than expected
Lusha pricing plans are credit-based. However, sometimes when a search is initiated, the contact details are displayed right away, without checking whether the user wants to view them or not. In such a way, credits may be consumed faster than estimated.
D&B Hoovers was founded in 1990 as businesses and industries information provider. Today, its commercial database comprises 120 million business records, featuring deep-dive profiles as well as company and industry analysis, and being a useful tool for designing marketing campaigns.
PRO - Strong brand
In almost 20 years of activity on the business intelligence market, D&B Hoovers has built its reputation along with a strong and recognized brand.
CON - Many outdated records
Users report finding many outdated entries, sometimes discovering that years have passed since a change has been made while not being recorded in the D&B Hoovers database.
Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to give the answer to this question, because every data provider offers varied features and different data coverage. The applicability of the information thoroughly depends on the goals users are following. Our advice would be to use all the trials and platform verifications possible, try the products of different providers to compare them on personal experience, as well as check all the reviews on trusted platforms and forums. This will help you to avoid unmatched expectations and make the best choice for the future prosperity and development of your company.