The big data revolution has created new markets and changed a lot about the way we do business. One of the products of this revolution is the industry of data brokers. With the increasing necessity of fresh data and emerging technologies to produce and gather it, it was only a matter of time before such an industry emerged. Data brokers collect various types of this newly generated information and prepare it to be sold to clients. Quite understandably, the main question for you and your company is whether you should be one of those clients.
Brokers of the data industry
A broker can generally be defined as someone who buys and sells things for others. Brokers are usually representatives of a firm, or we can refer to the whole company as a broker firm. We are probably most familiar with real estate brokers that sell other people’s property.
Data brokers operate in similar but also significantly different ways. They also often sell assets that they have not generated themselves, but these assets, technically speaking, do not belong to anyone else either.
There is plenty of publicly available data that can be sold by pretty much anyone who gathers it. One could think of public data sources as a garden on public property that bears fruits that anyone is free to harvest. This is what data brokers do. They harvest data, work on it to improve its quality, and then sell it to someone who needs it.
Data brokers are also known as data providers and data suppliers, which might be more apt terms given what they actually do. These firms would collect data by any legal means available to them, including buying it themselves. The goal is, of course, to integrate all the data they acquire into high-quality data sets and sell for profit.
The value of the data brokers lies, firstly, in the fact that they make data more accessible for other companies. They go through the trouble of gathering and compiling relevant data sets. In addition, data brokers will often clean and structure data to make it more valuable and ready to use.
Four benefits of using data brokers
Now let us consider whether you should get yourself a data broker. If you are interested in this option, it makes sense to assume that your business needs fresh, high-quality data. Most businesses are, after all.
The question then is whether using data brokers is the way to go. Thus, let us look at how you could benefit from data brokers as opposed to trying to gather data from other sources. Here are four major advantages of getting a broker.
- You are more likely to get all the data that you need. The more types of information you require, the less probable it is to find it at the same source. Data brokers, however, are one source for all kinds of data. They can do the work for you of checking everywhere and getting everything that you need.
- Data brokers are usually cost-effective. They already have the tools and personnel in place to gather all the data. Thus, they can afford lower prices. Meanwhile, if you were to set up an in-house operation for data gathering, it is likely that you will have to use up a lot of resources. Especially in this economy.
- Data brokers are professionals in data collection and processing. Thus, as long as you pick the right provider, you can be sure about the quality of the product you get. A lot of work and learning errors would have to go into the same process if someone less professional tried to achieve this result.
- Finally, data brokers just make everything simple. There are plenty to pick from and multiple ways in which you can get data from them. You can get the exact data sets that you need on demand, or you can make deals for them to provide the data on a schedule. This leaves one problem out of your head, allowing you to focus and direct your time where it is most needed.
Picking the right one
The current availability of many data brokers is generally an advantage as it gives you a lot of options to pick from. It does, however, make it easier to fall into the trap of some questionable firms that simply want to make money quickly.
Thus, when looking for a data broker, make sure to look for answers to some crucial questions.
- How long have they been in business? New firms might just be a scam.
- Do they have good reviews on online review sites and forums?
- What types of data do they provide? Do they have all the alternative types of data that you might need?
- Do they offer any free samples?
- How do they deliver the data? In what formats? The more options you have, the better.
When you are satisfied with the answers to all of these questions, you might have just found yourself the right data brokers.