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Traditional data vendors like to talk about the size of their content sets. “We’ve got 20 million records!” one shouts. “Thirty million!” screams another. “We’re headed to infinity and beyond!” bellows a third.

It reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s line about the farm boy who, upon confronting a mountain of horse manure, broke into a grin. “With all this manure”, the boy reasoned, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”

Like the little farm boy, database information providers ignore the obvious. For one thing, the dirty little secret of information providers is that database size and accuracy are inversely proportioned, because information is perishable, like fruit. And at an average level of accuracy, a database with 30 million records in it will contain nearly 10 million errors.

That’s why in all the clamoring about size, there’s fairly little talk about accuracy. Oh, this provider or that one will claim their data is “the best.” But ask them for hard-and-fast metrics about content accuracy and the conversation gets muddled.

The fact is, there are only so many accounts a sales organization can or should call upon, regardless of its business model or sales process. Even if it’s 1 million potential accounts, the rest is just clutter.

Salespeople want timely, relevant and actionable sales intelligence on the companies and people that matter to them – the customers and prospects they’re actually calling on. Simply building out a fat, cumbersome data apparatus is not the way to deliver that.

As a company, InsideView’s sole focus has been to improve sales productivity and sales velocity. Our objective is to give you all the information about people and companies you need but to leave out the superfluous records you don’t care about.

Deep information about dynamic young companies? Got it. The leadership teams at corporate titans? Got them, too. Real-time news alerts on a diverse, international group of firms you care about? Yup. Social media profiles from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites? Even those. And if we’re missing any companies you’re calling on, you can add them “on demand” with a single mouse click.

Phonebook-style business directories that include every dry cleaner in Tuscaloosa? Sorry, you’ll have to look elsewhere for those records. But don’t worry, we know some places where you can find 30 million of them.  Just hold your nose and you’re bound to find a pony in there.

Gordon Anderson
Vice President of Content, InsideView