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Last Updated Mar 04, 2024

Maximizing Business Potential with Data Enrichment Strategies

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Shipton

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What is Data Enrichment?

Data enrichment is the process of improving your existing customer data by filling in gaps using third-party data services. Your first-party data from internal data sources like databases, contact sheets, and email lists, is combined with disparate data from external datasets, and then the resulting raw data is deduplicated, cleaned, and put back into the system.

Enriched data helps you get a better overall picture of your customers, which allows you to bolster marketing campaigns and make more informed decisions when it comes to scaling and creating new products.

In this article, we’ll talk about the process and benefits of data enrichment, some tips for best practices, and a brief look at some of the top data enrichment tools available on the market today. Let’s get started.

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The process of data enrichment

The data enrichment process can typically be broken down into four stages: cleaning your existing data, analyzing your existing data, data collection, and data enrichment.

Data Cleansing

Before data can be enriched, your existing datasets should be cleaned to remove any duplicate data, invalid data, or out-of-date data. Invalid and expired data can include things like spam or abandoned email addresses on your mailing list, unused phone numbers in your contact data, old social media profiles, etc.

Data Analysis

Data analysis should be done both before and after enrichment, so you can measure the value of your chosen data enrichment service. Data analysis before enrichment gives you a more accurate overview of your existing data and allows you to see where the gaps are. Analyzing data post-enrichment gives you a complete data picture of demographic data points, customer needs, and customer relationships.

Data Collection

Much enriched data comes from external sources and third-party services, but that’s not always the case. In the case of a large enterprise company with a lot of interconnected teams and data houses, data may simply need to be shared more adequately across data silos, and automation may need to be put into place to ensure that data is proliferated across all vested systems.

If external data is needed, the data enrichment service you choose will source this data from its proprietary datasets, or outside databases and contact lists.

Data Enrichment

Once the data has been collected, your existing data is enriched by appending the new data to your data platform. Often, an ongoing pipeline will be established, or a data management schedule will be set up so future data enrichment happens automatically.

Benefits of data enrichment

Enriched data is valuable because it gives you more data points about your customers. You may only have a first name and an email address for a customer in your database, but with more demographic data you can better target ad messaging and marketing efforts, improve your customer relationships, and the customer experience of your apps and products, and ultimately see higher ROI on your business decisions.

The types of data you’ll be able to add to your existing data through data enrichment include things like company position, general geographic data, phone number, marital status, social media profiles, income level, and more.

Best practices for data enrichment

Data enrichment must be done responsibly and intelligently to reap the most rewards. There are privacy laws that must be adhered to, and you should ensure that you are getting good data quality and that your data enrichment process must be repeatable and scalable.

Scalability

Most data enrichment tools or APIs offer some form of real-time data enrichment that allows you to continue to leverage the power of their platform after the initial data cleansing and enrichment process has finished. Additionally, many services use machine learning to automate the process and make ongoing data enrichment more efficient.

Data Quality

When choosing a data enrichment API or tool, always make sure you get high-quality data. Most providers should be able to provide you with a list of their data sources when asked - ask to see this list, and verify that the sources on it are trusted and reliable.

Privacy Laws

It is up to you to make sure that any service you use complies with existing privacy and security laws, such as GDPR and CCPA. If a service you used is later found out to be engaging in bad data practices (selling user data without explicit consent from the user, using user data for unauthorized purposes, etc.) you will be on the hook for any damage to your customers and brand.

Data enrichment tools and services

Let’s take a look at a few of the top data enrichment services available.

AbstractAPI Company Enrichment API

AbstractAPI’s Company Enrichment API is a freely available API that allows you to look up company information for any domain or email address. The information provided includes things like headcount, company location, founding year, and industry.


{
    "name": "Airbnb",
    "domain": airbnb.com,
    "year_founded": 2008,
    "industry": "Internet",
    "type": "public",
    "employees_count": 14604,
    "locality": "San Francisco",
    "country": "United States",
    "linkedin_url": "linkedin.com/company/Airbnb",
"facebook_url" : "facebook.com/Airbnb",
    "twitter_url": "twitter.com/Airbnb",
    "country_is_eu": false,
    "continent": "North America",
    "continent_code": "NA",
    "continent_geoname_ide": 6255149,
    "longitude": -121.7714,
"latitude": 37.1835,
    "security": {
     "is_vpn": false,
    }

The API is free to use up to 100 requests/month at 1 request per second. Plans start at $8/month for 12,000 requests/year at 3 requests per second.

Clearbit

Clearbit is one of the leading tools for B2B data enrichment. Powered by AI, they merge publicly available data from all over the internet with their proprietary datasets and offer not only clean, precise data enrichment, but also powerful analytics that allow you to view corporate hierarchies, supply-chain structure, and customer buying intent.

They offer a free tier that allows you up to 100 email lookups per month using their free tool, and a business tier that is priced and built depending on your specific needs.

Datanyze

Datanyze not only offers data enrichment using ethically sourced, legally watertight data, it also offers add-on features that take your marketing and cold outreach efforts to the next level. Their Chrome extension allows you to access enriched data in real-time while browsing websites and social media, and their icebreakers and contact list organizational tools make reaching out to new prospects easier and more efficient.

Datanyze’s Chrome extension is free to add to your browser, and they offer a 90-day free trial that gives you 10 credits per month to spend on any of their services. Plans start at $21/month.

ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is one of the most highly-reviewed data enrichment platforms around, with over 7000 reviews on G2, at a 4.4-star rating. Their data is trusted to be some of the most accurate and comprehensive available. They gather and organize data from multiple sources, using a combination of machine learning and human-aided research.

Not only does ZoomInfo offer data enrichment, it helps you better organize and analyze existing data points through advanced natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, backed by highly skilled data scientists.

ZoomInfo offers several tiers of services tailored to specific business needs. Reach out to a sales team associate to discuss which plan is right for your business.

Continuous data enrichment

Data enrichment should be an ongoing process and part of your company’s overall data management strategy. Data validation should be part of your real-time customer onboarding workflow, and regular data cleansing and enrichment should be rolled into your data management schedule at least once every six months.

Data enrichment is a powerful tool in your business’s growth and marketing arsenal. Check out AbstractAPI’s Company Enrichment API today to see how you can enrich your customer profiles with high-quality, accurate data.

FAQs

Can data enrichment help in improving customer segmentation?

Yes, data enrichment can significantly improve customer segmentation by adding more detailed and accurate data points to customer profiles. This enhanced segmentation allows businesses to tailor their marketing efforts more effectively and target specific customer groups with higher precision.

What are the common challenges faced during the data enrichment process?

Common challenges include ensuring the quality and accuracy of the enriched data, maintaining data privacy and compliance with regulations like GDPR and CCPA, integrating enriched data with existing systems, and the potential high costs associated with data enrichment services.

How often should businesses perform data enrichment?

The frequency of data enrichment depends on the specific needs of the business and the dynamics of its industry. However, it is generally recommended to perform data enrichment at regular intervals, such as every six months, or when significant gaps in data are detected, to ensure data remains current and useful.

Can data enrichment be automated?

Yes, many aspects of data enrichment can be automated, especially with the use of advanced data enrichment tools and APIs that leverage machine learning algorithms. Automation helps in maintaining a continuous flow of updated and accurate data across business systems.

How does data enrichment impact data security?

Data enrichment can pose data security risks if not handled properly, especially when integrating third-party data. Businesses must ensure that their data enrichment practices comply with all relevant data protection regulations and that any third-party data providers also adhere to stringent data security standards.

5/5 stars (10 votes)

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Shipton
Lizzie Shipton is an adept Full Stack Developer, skilled in JavaScript, React, Node.js, and GraphQL, with a talent for creating scalable, seamless web applications. Her expertise spans both frontend and backend development, ensuring innovative and efficient solutions.
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