I don't think you can gush too much about a data content company that has an army of hundreds of thousands of field researchers gathering company and executive information, data entering it all into a central database, and best of all, doing it all for free. That company, as you may have guessed, is Jigsaw, an InfoCommerce Group 2005 Models of Excellence winner, and the company is finishing up a very busy week.

On Wednesday, Jigsaw announced the launch of Data Fusion, a service that I think truly qualifies for the label "revolutionary." Simply described, Data Fusion hooks seamlessly to company CRM databases to perform continuous data scrubbing. This scrubbing goes far beyond merely standardizing existing data to deleting dead records, updating current records and even adding new records. Data Fusion is a SAAS (software as a service) offering, meaning no software to buy or install, and steady recurring revenue for Jigsaw. I've been in this business for nearly 25 years, and publishers have been fantasizing about an offering like this for at least 24 of them.

On Thursday, Jigsaw announced a deal to license its executive contact information to D&B. It's a pretty slick maneuver when you can turn a competitor into a sales channel, and if nothing else, it's a major validation of Jigsaw's data quality and increasingly comprehensive database. All-in-all, not a bad week!Lessons for the rest of us? First, you can build a trusted, quality database off user-generated content if you go about it correctly. Second, the users who contribute data to you don't seem to mind at all if you aggressively monetize the resulting database, provided they continue to see value in participating. Third, with a well-crafted licensing agreement, it is possible to do business with competitors, so don't rule out this possibility without thorough examination. Fourth, software can add tremendous value to data when it empowers the business processes and workflow of your customers. The goal, as I like to put it, is to move from reference-oriented data to "data that does stuff." Jigsaw is showing us all that success in data publishing isn't puzzling at all.

Mark your calendars now to meet this year's Models of Excellence companies at the InfoCommerce Group's annual Data Content09 conference, October 27-29, at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

2009 Model of Excellence Award Nominee: Telnic Limited

We're pleased to announced that Telnic Limited has been nominated for a 2009 Model of Excellence award for its "dot tel" product.

Click here for our full MofE product profile.

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