Read on for potential business insights
Open Data is becoming increasingly commonplace, with more and more datasets being made available to access and use every day. The value of all of this information shouldn’t be underestimated; research by McKinsey suggests that just seven sectors alone could see an additional $3 trillion annually thanks to open data.
So far, the amount of data being made available concerning the private sector has been somewhat limited; particularly when it comes to information about individual companies. This is set to change though, following the opening of Global Database’s company intelligence database. This information contains a goldmine of potential business insights, and is likely to have a very positive impact for many different businesses.
The importance of open data
While it’s been somewhat difficult to ascertain the value to individual businesses given that the majority of the movement’s focus has been on providing government transparency and opening scientific datasets for research purposes, the potential for the private sector is demonstrably huge; a study by the Open Data Institute found that companies currently using open data have a combined turnover of £92 billion a year, employing a total of 500,000 employees.
While business use of open data is relatively new, the early results have been very promising. Transport for London revealed that the opening of their transport datasets has meant an extra £130 million to London’s economy every year, and other well known brands have made the decision to incorporate the use of open data into their marketing strategies. For example, National Express uses UK transport information to warn travellers of upcoming train service disruptions, and ASOS has opened their own data so developers can use it in apps which then point people back to the clothing retailer’s website.
While the use of open data is most prominent in the IT and Scientific sectors, as the treemap from the ODI below shows, it is being adopted across a wide range of industries, and is likely to continue to do so as more datasets become available.
What data is available from Global Database?
The opening of Global Database’s data means that for the first time users will have instant access to vital insights for over four million UK businesses completely free of charge. This information includes:
Profit and loss accounts
Balance sheet and cash flow
Years in operation
Employees details including name, job titles, seniority, nationality and age
Mortgages and charges
Details of the original company filings
How can this data be used?
The aim of opening this data is that it will contribute to the formation of the new culture of business transparency, whilst enabling users to make more informed business decisions and see less potential risk involved as a result. The platform has the power to become a multifunctional business-centric tool, as Facebook is for personal relationships and LinkedIn is for building industry connections.
The data provided could be used in several ways, according to the user’s specific business needs. For example:
Lead qualification – You can increase the success of your sales campaigns by gaining a full overview of each prospect in order to determine whether or not they’re worth pursuing. This ensures you’re not chasing after dead ends and ultimately saves you time and money.
Due diligence checks – Check up on a company before an investment deal or new supplier contract, to clarify the company is in good standing and avoid any negative impacts.
Recruitment – Get enough information to find the perfect employee for your job offer.
Competitor research – See how your revenue, monthly website visits etc stack up against others in your niche.
How is the data collected?
In order to provide a complete overview of each company in the directory, Global Database sources data in a number of different ways. Unlike many company intelligence platforms, the company employs a team of 100 in-house staff to manually collect and sift data. Other sources include Companies House, telephone interviews, annual reports and public filings.
All of this data is then subjected to intense and regular validation checks, and the patented web crawling technology updates profiles daily in real-time, ensuring maximum accuracy and industry-leading quality data. Access may be free, but the Global Database team has gone to great pains to ensure quality, and as a result the information is still fresher than that of many of our competitors with paid services.
A more in-depth option
Global Database also offers an enhanced subscription package for those who are in need of more in-depth information on a company. This options allows users to access direct phone and fax numbers and email addresses for every employee, as well as more detailed financial information including credit reports.
The enhanced plan also allows users to filter the entire database based on factors such as industry, location, revenue, company size, technology use, and more. This means highly-targeted call and email lists can be put together more easily and efficiently than ever before, and free and unlimited exports via Excel make it effortless to pre-populate your own CRM system with the information, ready for your next marketing campaigns.
While open data has thus far been somewhat limited for everyday business use, the introduction of more and more useful datasets means it is becoming increasingly valuable for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The opening of Global Database’s directory is a huge advantage for anyone looking to leverage company information in their own business, enjoying decreased risks in deals, better qualified customers and a clearer picture of the current market.
To get a full overview of any UK company completely free, start your search at www.GlobalDatabase.com