business dataParroting popular thinking happens too often. Instead of analyzing, thinking and tweaking your business to improve the process, many businesses rush to embrace any new ideas whole-heartedly. As a part of this cycle, the last “great idea” goes in the trash before it has even had a chance to work.

The evolution of business data

I have watched the same embrace of trendy ideas happening in the data sector. All businesses start at the same place – the need for data. All organizations need people to contact to generate revenue. In the past, that meant turning to lists. As list services trended upward, more data services entered that market. As more companies began generating lists, they differentiated themselves from the competition by popularizing the idea of a niche list. The data desires of business leaders followed the trend once again.

Next the push came for businesses to get more contacts per company. Some brands led the charge by offering businesses more information than any other service before them. Unfortunately for those businesses, much of the data found had been aging.

The next idea centered on the desire for fresh contact information. Business card trading services promised a solution. In reality everyone shared their worst contacts and kept the best for themselves. While fresh information could be found, key decision makers, or truly valuable information, could not.

The next evolution occurred when data aggregators entered the marketplace. These aggregators collect data from multiple sources, put it together, and gain some intelligence through that process. While the data may be somewhat better than their predecessors, data aggregators depend on databases of static, aging information.

Concurrently, businesses have wanted access to more knowledge per contact and have turned to social networking sites such as LinkedIn to provide access to that data. While it is feasible to use LinkedIn to connect with somebody, the time it takes to get those connections working can often be significantly longer than the requirements of the business demand.

Eventually, businesses realize they want it all

Good data, more contacts per company, fresh contact information, social data – all flowing seamlessly into your CRM. A comprehensive solution using automation tools enables the creation of exclusive niche lists. They, you can pull the best information from the live web to gather the freshest information available for multiple contacts at each company – including social data – and effortlessly integrate it into your CRM process.

Big data can turn into a big mess. Do you have a plan? Read the free ebook below.

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