Separating Good Data Sources from Bad
How to find reliable and effective data sources.
The right list is often cited as the key to direct marketing success. But can you tell good data sources from bad? Whether you are looking for new customers, measuring market share or mining competitive intelligence, it all starts with the source.
When it comes to finding credible and reliable sources data seekers must proceed with caution. Think about it. You wouldn’t buy expensive operating software for your business from an unknown, unsubstantiated company. Why risk your firm’s hard-earned dollars on data from a source chosen in the blind?
In today’s world data can quickly become out of date. People move and change jobs; companies pursue different new markets. Data sources that don’t stay on top of change will waste your marketing dollars.
Vetting the sources.
Call the data source company to learn more about them. Seek out their customers or suppliers. Ask the right questions.
Here are eight “due diligence” questions to ask while verifying a data source.
- From where did the data originate?
- Is the data generated from substantiated entities, like audited government documents or financial records, such as UCC filings, Dun & Bradstreet Reports or similar?
- Does the source provide samples of data offered, such as snippets of reports, listings or the exact data you seek?
- Is the source’s data timely and up-to-date? How often do they maintain the data: Monthly, weekly, or daily?
- Can the source provide you with references from users of similar data? Are their customers satisfied?
- Do they educate prospects about selecting their data?
- What support and analytical tools does the source provide? Today, supplying data isn’t enough. The source should make it easy for you to utilize data to its fullest potential.
When separating good sources from bad, the best question to ask may be this: Does the source manage due diligence so you don’t have to?