A new product from LexisNexis Risk Solutions monitors newly listed homes for sale on behalf of home insurance companies to alert them when a customer is preparing to move. The insurer can use this advance notice to contact these customers to help retain their business. 

This is a great idea. For a long time now, data companies have offered so-called “new mover” databases, identifying people who have recently moved into a new home. These are prime prospects because they’re in the market for all sorts of things, sometimes urgently, meaning the first offer they get stands a strong chance of being accepted.

This LexisNexis product shows how to combine databases to up your game. What could be a better prospect than a new mover? How about a pre-mover! While LexisNexis is focused on insurance companies, there are all sorts of companies that would be very interested to have at-risk current customers identified for them so that they can focus their customer retention efforts.

What makes this big leap in sales targeting possible isn't cutting edge technology in this case. It’s having the insight to see that data produced by one type of organization (in this case real estate agents) is valuable to another type of organization (in this case, insurance companies). Add in some additional value by matching the database of one organization to the database of another, and you almost assuredly have a nice business opportunity for the taking.

That’s what is so exciting and fun about the data business today: with so many new databases coming together, opportunity is everywhere. The key is to look at every new database you see and ask, “who else could use these data, and what could I do to these data to make them even more valuable to others?”

The people who create databases are almost always trying to solve a specific, single problem or need. Flip, spin, match or sometimes simply re-sort these databases, and you can often solve someone else’s problem or need. Am I talking about what’s known as data exhaust? To some extent yes, but some of the biggest and most interesting opportunities are right in front of us in plain sight – far less complex and challenging than most of the data exhaust opportunities I have seen.