My favourite 4 Data Sources



I’m often asked for the best places to get data, so here’s my list of the sources I use when looking for specific data sets. I’m not affiliated with any of these, am just a fan. As with most things, I find that some data sources are better for certain requirements – and budgets!

1. Straightforward lists of easy to find job titles in common industry sectors

When I need a list of job titles from a specific sector, ones that aren’t too obscure, then I always go to Electric Marketing. I’ve tried many, many different suppliers, but have been happy with Electric Marketing for a few years.

Their quality is good, bounce rates are usually low for a purchased list, and they typically are able to supply emails for around 85% of records.

Their pricing is easy and uncomplicated, no rental, just purchase, and is very cost effective.

Their quality is good, they call everyone on their database every six months, and provide full descriptions against each record and capture TPS information. It’s easy to order from them, and fast, and they’re very responsive if you’ve got a slightly more complex query.

2. Company profiling, market sizing

If we have to size a market for a customer, analyse growth trends or provide a detailed profile of a company or sector, then you can’t beat MINT from Bureau van Dijk (pronounced Dike). They provide other products that cover all sorts of other types of profiling, but MINT is a great tool.

You can run contact lists from MINT, however be aware that the contacts are typically business owners and key stakeholders. OK for some uses, but not for everything, in conjunction with a list from Electric Marketing I usually get what I need.

BvD also have the best customer service I’ve come across in this sector, they give great client support, both when you get started, and for the life of the contract. They offer various other services on top of your subscription as well, including cleansing dirty data.

3. Complex data – such as who bought which IT systems

For more complex data sets, I use Corpdata. They have a wealth of data, which is not always the cheapest, but is good quality and they can often provide the “difficult to find” stuff, such as user lists of specific systems etc.

For the NHS we use Binleys, this is really the only place to get it, and they know it – so it’s very expensive. I don’t begrudge them that, but you should be aware.

4. Tricky to find decision makers – for those “very specific” needs

And finally….if you’ve got a very specific solution, for a certain set of companies, and you’re not sure who the decision makers will be, then you can’t beat getting on the phone. Starting with the list of companies, doing some desk and telephone research to investigate how owns the piece of the pie you’re looking for.

If you’ve got a complex solution, or an event to run, this can be an great way to make sure you reach the right people. It’s not cheap, or all that fast, but it’s incredibly effective.

Got any favourites of your own? I’d love to know some new ones!


About the Author

Charlotte Graham-Cumming

Director, Ice Blue Sky Ltd

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