Technology is changing the data game in the corporate world, but not all data is created equal. In this increasingly new business world, those who thrive competitively via technology must understand the data they’re receiving and how it can be used to their advantage.
This week on The Corporate Data Show we talked to Tim Harsch, the Co-Founder and Head of Product at Owler, which is one of the largest competitive data providers and intelligence platforms in existence. Originally founded as Info Army Inc., Owler recently surpassed half a million users, making them also one of the largest business communities online.
The expansion of the company has led to a data compilation on scope that is growing exponentially. How are they managing that data? And how will the company continue to be successful in providing quality data and becoming financially prosperous?
Data Creation: A Three-Legged Stool
No one wants to sit on a broken stool. In a digital age where data is shared in fantastic quantities, the wobbly stool of data quality can be even more unstable. The manner in which data is collected, analyzed, and presented is of utmost importance.
Data, it seems, is a living, breathing thing. How is it created? Tim says there are primarily three ways that they look at data creation at Owler:
1. The Human Model
The most traditional and straightforward method, this is typically a team of in-house analysts that gather and analyze data. Although the efficiency of collecting and processing mass amounts of data has perhaps surpassed the human element, the in-house team is the beginning and end of the circle in data creation. They are an integral part of creating and sharing quality data.
A great team of data analyzers are able to initiate data collection, determine its quality and use, and then capitalize on this information to make smarter business decisions and receive wise insight. Every Market Media, among others, specializes in data compilation and consultation to help companies determine what information is important and how to use it.
Using machines to collect data and do natural language processing is a great way to collect massive amounts of data. Having a machine that can go out and doing some crawling is also advantageous, particularly for collecting up-to-date data.
With the success and growth of search engines, machines or programs that are able to “spider” and comb through information have become an important part of data creation.
Social media and websites like wikipedia and reddit have shown the value of having a community that collects data. Leveraging these communities to both create quality data and scale that data across a large swatch will be more and more important. As a community grows, it allows people to explore marketplaces where initially little or no data exists.
Owler has shifted more towards community sourcing as they’ve grown and had success with creating quality data by knowing who is knowledgeable about issues and ranking them higher in their algorithms so that those individuals may have a greater impact on the data creation in a particular area. They’re hoping that the exponential growth of these communities will expand the twelve million companies they currently cover to include every company on earth.
Broadening The Horizons
Can you imagine a set of data that covers every company on earth? However startling, this idea is not far out from what we’ve seen through the exponential growth of business of technology. And with the growth of data sets like these, we are seeing the rise of new companies that can not only collect the information, but also advise businesses on how to make the best use of that information.
With the demand for broader data increasing, data gathering companies have to know who to trust in each individual field. In fact, this demand has led Owler to create a trial API that gives their clients access to high quality information – data sets they are focused on to make sure it’s world class.
The ability to compile and make use of quality data will become more complex. Accompanying this complexity and a growing market will be threats to data collection, such as bots that farm information indiscriminately and companies who like to take advantage of all the “free juice” to make themselves seem larger and more legitimate than they really are.
In the end, you can’t argue with quality data and trusted advisers. You’ll need companies and individuals in your corner who know how to make the most of all the tools out there that can help propel your business marketing strategies. To schedule a meeting with your very own data expert at EMM, contact us here.
As for Owler, even though crowdsourcing is catapulting them into areas of business that generates incredible growth for their company, Tim says they will always have humans at the helm to help clients make the best decisions for their business.
If your business is looking for reliable data and you aren’t already using Owler’s amazing interface, check them out online or contact Tim Harsch on LinkedIn.