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What is Data Quality and How do You Evaluate a Sales Data Provider?

Businesses focused on large-scale growth are realising the potential in the trend of using the huge databases offered by sales data providers in the attempt to significantly increase the volume and quality of their sales opportunities.

Third-party sales intelligence datasets are often a perfect source of data for filling the sales pipeline. However, they do come with some prerequisites; it’s all about finding the best option for your business. There are several key attributes that have to be the base of your data provider evaluation. Fail to consider these and you’re likely to waste your money on bad-quality data, along with your sales team wasting time on trying to convert unrelated leads.  

By saying “bad-quality data” I mean data that isn’t verified, is out of date, incomplete, high-coloured or mislabeled. Unfortunately, too many sales representatives spend too much of their time on research instead of sales. According to Business Wire, as much as 64 percent of sales reps’ time is spent on activities that aren't generating revenue.

Image source: SalesForce

The main reason for purchasing access to a sales intelligence platform is to gain at least something that gives you a chance to increase your sales. Whether you’ll end up wasting your time and money in vain or making a profit from this purchase fully depends on the quality of leads your sales intelligence provider delivers. In the situation of market supersaturation, how can a company make the right choice of a reliable business data provider and make sure its data is qualitative and strictly verified?

First of all, you have to understand the whole chain of the formation of a sales database: as long as there are no equal ways of creating leads, there won’t be equal datasets and, respectively, equal data providers. Each of them has its own approach of data management and building the database, which is then sold to its customers.


How Do Sales Intelligence Providers Build Their Databases?

There are 4 main ways of database replenishment, preferred by the majority of data providers.

Online Searches

There are usually employed teams of researchers that are “sifting” the internet in search of information. This is one of the slowest, but very effective ways of gaining up-to-date and accurate data, due to the human verification involved.   

Automated Web Scraping

This is where a technology is employed to crawl publicly available web sources, mainly in search of company contact data, names, emails, positions of company employees and company website data.

Collaborative Crowdsourcing Techniques

Usually, the business intelligence providers are exchanging the stacks of information, mined by different tools and in different ways,  between themselves, thus enriching their own databases and contributing to the replenishment of others.

Manual Data Validation

A team of researchers is allocated to the task of humanly validating all of the data. This can be a personal call to a particular phone number to make sure it belongs to a particular person, or an email sent to a particular address for the same purpose.  

So, based on different techniques of data mining, each sales intelligence provider offers a different tool, stuffed with various features and search options.   

Global Database Data Sources

Global Database is a platform replenished from the maximum number of sources possible, choosing the most reliable of them, that mutually complement each other. We carefully aggregate business data, necessary for pushing your sales to the next level, from various points of supply, whose reliability and data quality we’ve seen from our own vast experience with big data and business intelligence.

Government Agencies

This is a source of well-structured and full financial information, such as:

  • Financial history

  • Profit and loss

  • Balance sheet

  • Company debt

  • Mortgages

  • Auditors

This kind of information has great potential if used correctly, as it contains valuable insights about the most vulnerable part of each business - former and current financial state or even a very realistic forecast of its future financial situation.

Moreover, government agencies are one of the best suppliers of company information, like company type, legal status and incorporation date, shareholders and industry information, country origin, registered and trading addresses. They also provide vast amounts of employee information, like names, gender, country of origin, nationality, work position and employment status.

In-House Application

We developed a technology that gives our clients the possibility to get very important and hard-to-reach data - credit information. You can access the company’s credit score and suggested credit limit, thus making your customer / partner / client due diligence process much more efficient.

The Global Database application contributes immensely to the quantity and quality of company employees contact data, thus enabling you to bypass gatekeepers and reach the decision makers directly. As we all know, precise targeting is half of sales success. Despite this, a shocking 90% of companies have errors in their contact data, according to Experian research, so it’s extremely important to fuel your sales pipeline with contacts that are carefully verified and up-to-date.

In-House Data Collection Team

No matter how advanced the technology is, it will never be able to replace data verification performed by real people. No automatic algorithm can currently ensure almost 100% data accuracy and make sure a particular email or phone number really belongs to a particular person. Handpicking and human verification are very time and resource-consuming, so our platform carries this load for you.

Our in-house team of 100+ members is dedicated to collecting, organizing and validating all sorts of information, which is then added to our database according to different criteria. You can easily use our contact lists in your sales or marketing campaigns, with the assurance that the campaigns will be precisely targeted and no money or time is wasted on outdated contacts.

Marketing Charts demonstrate that data quality is the largest obstacle to the marketing personalization. The same is valid for sales.

Publicly Available Data

It’s a web crawling technology, developed in-house, that allows Global Database to feed its datasets with a great amount of information that is publicly available. Yep, you read that right - the common volume of data that can be freely found online. Doing this manually often involves a long and persistent search, where you need to know exactly what to look for and where to find it.

Our technology can save your time and money, providing diverse and accurate digital insights, company and employee information, aggregated according to various criteria in a ready-to-use database.  

Partnership with Data Providers

Global Database values its reputation and appreciates the trust of its customers, so it partners exclusively with reliable data providers. The focus of this collaboration is put on digital insights, like the technologies used by a company and their traffic and keyword data - information that is rarely freely available - in the form of an overall report for thousands of companies, industries and countries.

Partnership with data providers also complements the other points of supply in the company and employee information area.

We realize that, whatever the source, all of the data has to be carefully checked to bring the biggest possible value to our customers. That is why we’ve developed an in-house technology and created a team dedicated to constant verification and manual collection of data.  


What Does Qualitative Data Mean and How Do You Measure Its Quality?

As long as we’re speaking about qualitative data, let me first demonstrate to you how important it is to have clean data as a foundation. The bad or “dirty” data cause huge budget loss up to $4 million for the whole company, with more and more every year, as the overall data volume, and, respectively, bad data volume, is constantly increasing over time.

Image source: Ringlead

So how do you measure data quality? What are the criteria, why is each of them important and how can you apply them specifically to your potential sales provider? We’re going to reveal all the answers further on in this article, but first, it’s important to understand these conditions:

Good, Fast, Cheap – You Can Only Pick Two

All the stages of the data aggregation process, starting with collecting the information to applying it to the company’s needs, are accompanied by the potential for errors. Having 100% complete and accurate data is theoretically possible, but extremely expensive, time-consuming and scarcely impacting the ROI.

With such large amounts of information received and produced by companies,  the speed of decision making is important, and this is the reason for the data quality notion is mostly about balance – very neat and gradual accuracy and completeness assessment. This may sound quite complicated, but there is a way of starting to sort the mess out; the first step being data profiling.

What is Data Profiling?

Data profiling is the process of examining data in order to look for patterns and insights such as potential inaccuracies or incompleteness. It looks at factors such as the structure, length, uniqueness, the type and source of the data and how it all relates. By applying the process to your own files and databases you can come to an informed conclusion about the quality of the data you're using, and take steps to improve it.

The checklist for Data Quality

Given the large volumes of data from different areas you’re dealing with, it’d be very useful to have a checklist  for making sure you’re working with the highest quality data from those available. DAMA UK has created a guide describing “data dimensions” that can help you get an overall picture of the data quality assessment.

10 Characteristics Your Sales Intelligence Data Should Have

Taking into consideration everything described above is quite hard when it comes to deciding whether to purchase data from a specific data provider or not. Be sure to evaluate the data according to the following criteria before purchase:  

Consistently Verified and Updated

The constantly changing and evolving nature of business means that company details rarely stay the same for long. Therefore it's vital that your chosen business intelligence provider has a commitment to checking and updating data on a regular basis.

Global Database’s data is constantly verified and renewed by an in-house team and our own technology. You’ll get a notification every time an update of a dataset you’re interested in is made, so you can fill your sales pipeline with new leads every day.

Quality Contact Data

Your marketing campaigns can only be truly effective when they're based on quality contact data; that is, humanly-verified and standardised data.

Every e-mail address in our business data platform is validated minimum once a month. Thus we have an 85% - 95% e-mail deliverability rate, something none of our competitors can claim.

Reach Out Directly

In order to have any hope of closing a sale, you need to ensure that your messages are targeting the right people; not only those in the right sector and position but who also have the authority to make purchasing decisions.

Global Database filters allow you to get a selection of professionals from a specific industry, with a specific job position, age and area of responsibility. Thus you can reach the decision-makers directly, bypassing the gatekeepers, like secretaries and employees in unrelated departments.

Broad and In-Depth

In order to find the specific information you require, it's important to use a company data provider that has a broad scope; everything from startups to large multinational firms, with comprehensive insights as standard.

The BI platform Global Database is developing provides all sorts of data you might need about a company or its executives. The main menu provides you access to everything, from financials to digital insights.


Global Reach

Having access to company information for countries across the globe is not only essential for entering a market for the first time, it's also extremely useful when forming a decision in regards to which markets your product or service is best suited to.

You can research the market of any country. Global Database datasets contain comprehensive company information across 195 countries.

Real-Time Notifications

Getting your product or service in front of the prospect at the right time is essential, therefore you need to monitor both specific companies and the market as a whole. For example, if a company has had an increase in revenue, if they're website traffic is declining, or if they're using a new technology.

If you’re interested in updates for a specific industry or company, just select this option in your dashboard. You’ll get immediately notified of any changes and all the updates in your selection, thus getting the possibility to react immediately and change your strategy accordingly.

Better Projections

Having access to detailed company data is imperative when it comes to effective lead scoring and predictive analysis. By using high-quality data to inform your processes and decisions you can make more accurate projections and ultimately a better sales strategy.

We take the load of collection, filtering and segmentation of the data for you. We provide you all the company insights available, including digital ones. You can narrow the search down applying the specific filters from our diverse set and get exactly what you need, like automotive companies from the UK with a specific turnover, who are service providers and whose websites are visited at least 100,000 times per month.

Easily Integrated

Using a provider who makes it easy to integrate their data with your CRM or other marketing software will not only make your everyday activities much easier, it will also ensure that you're using the data as much as possible, making it a better value.

This is another big advantage of using the Global Database platform; your sales and marketing team can easily integrate the data you purchase from us within Salesforce.  


Getting value for money isn't necessarily about finding the cheapest provider; instead you should focus on ensuring you're using a platform that meets all of your data needs, is easy to access and use, and has a good reputation.

Customer Satisfaction

When you're searching for a provider be sure to consider things like customer reviews, their customer service facilities, and whether they are trusted by market-leading brands. Keep in mind that if a provider is seemingly making promises that seem too good to be true, they may be just that.

Using this set of criteria can help you invest in the right sales data provider that can not only deliver the insight necessary to generate better leads and anticipate market needs but save time and money doing so. With great data at your fingertips, your sales teams can be primed to do what they do best: close more deals than you ever thought possible.

Global Database data accuracy

No trustworthy B2B data provider would ever claim its data to be 100% accurate. In this industry, where huge amounts of data are changing every second, perfection is impossible and we don’t want to make false promises. Every hour 148 businesses will open, 86 companies will change their address and 170 employees will get promoted and change their job title accordingly - and that’s only in the USA.


This makes a 100% accuracy guarantee impossible, but we take care to ensure that all of the data we possess is constantly verified and updated on time:

  • Daily updates in real time. Global Database replenishes its “stocks” from different sources, like government agencies, public filings, Chambers of Commerce, companies houses, web crawling technology, on a daily basis.

  • Monthly validation. Every email address is validated a minimum of once a month using validation technology and human verification by a 100+ strong research team. This provides an 85% - 95% e-mail deliverability rate, something that sets us apart from our competitors.


These measures allow Global Database to offer data of the highest possible quality to our customers. We also guarantee free replacement for any irrelevant or outdated contact you may come across.  


Final Thoughts on Data Quality

Ensuring data quality in your organisation can seem somewhat overwhelming - particularly given that there's no single best approach to tackling the process; what's right for one business might not work for another. However, providing you follow best practices and use the right tools, you can create the perfect solution for managing your data; one that can be modified and improved every time it's put into practice.

If you're waiting for the best time to get started, there really is no time like the present. Your datasets will only grow and evolve as your business does, so it's better to ensure you're working with clean data as early as possible. This will ensure you're working with the most solid foundation, and your business will become more efficient as a result.