What is Data Enrichment?
Data enrichment processes allow new information to be incorporated into existing records, improving a database’s accuracy, timeliness, and value. There’s a staggering amount of data being collected and disseminated every day. It’s only by connecting this information to known entities that we can put these insights into context. In this way, records of a given entity are always being improved upon or enriched. Data enrichment is a critical part of master data management, allowing users to have confidence in the information guiding their actions.
Data Enrichment Use Cases
Businesses cannot afford for their data to grow stale. Data enrichment is an automated process allowing companies to continuously expand upon the information they’ve collected, guarding against the risks presented by inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated data. From initial outreach to competitive strategy, here are some of the ways data enrichment is used by businesses:
Maintaining Accurate Leads Lists
Despite the wealth of data available to businesses, many salespeople are still confronted with leads lists containing outdated information.
The best data enrichment programs integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems to improve existing data with the latest insights. Employing data enrichment can fill in details missing from records, such as an additional email address.
Appending firmographic data to a list of prospects can help identify those most likely to convert. Data enrichment adds value to leads lists by arming sales teams with the details they need to be successful.
Evaluating Suppliers and Potential Customers
Going into business with a new supplier or customer can expose a company to substantial risk. Performing due diligence includes gathering the latest data to spot potential problems. Data enrichment can increase knowledge of a business, for example, by pairing existing files with public financial documents, business credit scores and ratings, and details about parent or subsidiary firms. This allows a database to become the single source of truth when evaluating new business partners.
Monitoring Other Businesses
Data enrichment can also be used to keep an eye on current customers and competitors. Increased risk indicators or sudden changes in management can give business owners a heads-up that one of their partners may be in trouble.
Likewise, the depth of insight provided through data enrichment can help a company identify struggling competitors. Data enrichment offers increased visibility into the business environment, helping companies uncover opportunities that might not be readily apparent.
How Data Enrichment Works
To get a high-level view of the data enrichment process, we’ll use the D&B Data Exchange as an example. This data enrichment platform supplies customer information for greater insights. Here’s how the data enrichment process works:
- Data on customers is collected from Dun & Bradstreet’s information partners. These details are added to Dun & Bradstreet’s own database.
- Next, the D&B Data Exchange reviews the client’s database, identifying shared entities that exist in both data sets.
- Where data is incomplete, the D&B Data Exchange adds information to the client’s file, resulting in a more complete view of the customer.
There are many commercially available data enrichment platforms on the market, and the processes governing them differ. Data enrichment can be used to compile information on a range of entities, including individual contacts or businesses.
Choosing a Data Enrichment Platform
There are several important questions a business should ask when shopping for data enrichment services, including:
- Is the data enrichment platform compatible with the business applications you use? For example, customer data that’s been enriched should be easily accessible within your existing CRM system.
- How does the data provider source new information? It’s crucial that the data being gathered comes from reputable sources. Data enrichment is only useful if the information is accurate.
- How often is data refreshed? Some platforms offer real-time data enrichment, but others do not. You’ll want to choose the option that’s right for your business.
Incorporating the dedicated resources of third-party data providers, the data enrichment process lets businesses access insights they wouldn’t normally collect. For many companies, this capability shortens the path from data to dollars.
Dun & Bradstreet offers data enrichment solutions for the enterprise.