Business Databases, What's Their Use?
Interestingly, there is an old expression that states “knowledge
is king and those that have the knowledge have power”. And that
is the case with business databases. Any compilation of information
is worth money so those who create these collections can profit
substantially by selling data. And databases are hot commodities,
as many businesses rely upon this information for a myriad of purposes.
One of the most common ways in which to use a business database is to solicit sales either through direct mail pieces or telemarketing. By having phone numbers, names and addresses, businesses can target large numbers of prospects in the hopes of selling products and services. Nowadays, email lists are highly sought after since the spammers can send out millions of sales letters at once.
In addition, customer lists can be very lucrative as the names on the lists have already purchased once suggesting that they will spend money again. It used to be unfathomable for a business to sell its customer list to any other business. That was a prized possession to be safely guarded. Today that possession makes money so it is better to sell it than to guard it.
Another reason for business databases is to provide information to the general public. Where we once used printed telephone books, we now go online and find directories which supply us with phone numbers and other useful data we seek. Websites about a particular topic might have databases available to find practitioners in one's own area. For example, the site might be about Pets and Health so the website offers a search function to find veterinarians in your city.
In addition to the telemarketers, have you ever received phone calls where someone asks for you by name, then says he/she has the wrong number and hangs up. Many times these people work for companies that compile “skip tracer” lists. They are verifying whether you still live there and whether the phone number is active. Once these lists are completed, they are sold to credit collectors. The company checking your information may even have a contract to create a specific database. They might be interested in customers who intend to purchase services in the future, so the person who telephones you asks questions under the guise of conducting research or a survey, yet they are trying to find out how likely you are to buy their client's product. These databases are then turned over to the client who contracted the “survey”. And they in turn contact the potential customer, making it a much less risky investment for the company looking for leads.
Of course, databases may be used for more productive reasons such as listing diseases and their management, keeping track of child predators, notifying the public of financial scams, or identifying online problems such as viruses. Databases may be available freely for anyone to see such as on websites or they might be for the sole use of an organization.
And the more difficult the information is to retrieve and compile, the more expensive the database will be. Since any document that contains more than one name but has a common thread to the other name is a database, there are many reasons to want and use this information.