In my last post, I wrote about what a data company is and what it is not. Now let’s discuss why you should use a data service company. There are many reasons to use a data service and I have already addressed some of these in previous posts, like how the team members that gather the information that is a data service’s product are quite unique. https://rateacuity.com/who-is-rateacuity/
I have also touched on the importance of data quality. According to the Harvard Business Review, on average, 47% of data records are created with critical errors that impact work. https://www.talend.com/resources/definitive-guide-data-integration/ Because data is the product of a data service company, we place primary focus on ensuring the quality of every data record created or modified. Data service companies often implement data verification processes to help ensure the quality of the data products provided to customers. This same level of data verification would likely not happen if the data were produced outside of a company that focuses solely on data.
A data service company also has expertise in many additional areas that are not the core focus of businesses that are generally the integrators and consumers of the data product. Locating the data that makes up a data product can be an enormous challenge. For example, the RateAcuity electric rate database contains data for almost 2000 utilities. The data for each of these comes from a separate source that needs to be located and monitored for changes on a regular basis. Once the data for each of these utilities is located, it then needs to be entered into the RateAcuity database. And it is not just entered in the format in which is it found. The data for each individual source needs to be transformed to fit into a standardized database format. Translating the way each utility provides its rate information and entering it into a database so that all rates are standardized is not a skill that is generally within a customer’s skill set.
Additionally, by using a data service company, the time (and therefore cost) spent researching and standardizing data is spread among multiple customers, rather than each customer repeating the same work for itself. So, in addition to potentially receiving higher quality data, the data is available at a lower cost than if each customer developed the data itself.
Anyone out there have examples of a great data service? We at RateAcuity always like to know of other companies like ours!