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8 Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Data Vendor

Fast, agile organizations must be equipped to provide accurate and complete data to their sales, marketing, and customer service teams. A reverse phone append (RPA) API is a service that allows customers to form a query that involves providing a phone number as the input in order to receive additional data about the phone number as an output. These APIs give organizations the edge they need to improve customer data at the point-of-sale, in call centers, or in executing marketing campaigns. Avoiding unsatisfactory data vendors is possible - use the following framework to critically evaluate potential solutions.


Most reverse phone append services are either limited in their data capabilities or provide unnecessary data in responses. Companies have been forced to tolerate costly and less-than-ideal solutions that necessitate supporting multiple vendors, spending on unnecessary data or succumbing to high response latency.

This discussion provides an easy to understand checklist of options to ensure that a service is the most cost-effective solution, while providing the critical elements required.

 

Pricing

Your company should only pay for what it needs. However, pricing often isn’t as simple as comparing the “per query” rate for a service. Here are several common pricing structures to avoid:

Flat rate - Pay one monthly fee and use as needed, to a limit.

  • Pros: One price

  • Cons: Money left on the table if the limit isn’t reached. Can’t scale if volume increases.

Package - Pay one price-per-query for all the data points offered

  • Pros: More data points at a lower total cost

  • Cons: Still pay the same price even when all the data isn’t returned or needed

EveryoneAPI provides customers with a flexible pricing model, allowing data points to be selected on an ‘a la carte’ basis. In addition, the billing method is no hit, no charge - the customer is only billed when data is returned, thus eliminating wasted resources and unnecessary costs.

 

Data Quality

To provide accurate information, services must use multiple, authoritative, up-to-date data sources. Without highly accurate information gathered from reliable data sources, the service will be supplying incomplete and inaccurate information. The authoritative data should be updated daily, rather than weekly, monthly or longer.

EveryoneAPI provides real-time access to phone carrier supplied data as well as consumer information.

 

Data Scope

Look for reverse phone append solutions that can offer access to multiple types of data sources. Ask “Where does the data come from?” For example, a solution offering only consumer data will be less accurate than a service like EveryoneAPI that offers access to phone carrier data AND a large suite of proprietary sources.

 

Understand Data Service Capabilities

Many times, a potential customer will walk away from a service when they realize that it only provides an X% match-rate (% of queries where data is delivered) for a given data point. While a 99.99% match-rate for data points like “Street Address” would be a great asset to a company, realize that it isn’t possible, while maintaining accuracy. Compare match-rates between services, but don’t sacrifice an accurate data source with a lower match rate to a source providing a higher match-rate but with lower quality data.

 

Response time

Query responses typically require low latency so that end-to-end processing duration isn’t adversely impacted. Many solutions depend on real-time responses, while others can allow higher processing times. The exact requirements will likely vary depending on the unique needs of each company. Simply make sure the query response time objectives are within acceptable limits and documented in the SLA.

 

Volume

Can the API handle the high volume of requests? Even if the service delivers the highest quality data, it may not be scalable. Is there a chance that the service will develop increased latency, or worse when hundreds of requests are sent per second? EveryoneAPI can scale to any volume, regardless even if you only run occasional large batches.

 

Integration

The implementation of the reverse phone append service shouldn’t require additional interfaces to be developed or result in high recurring support costs. The service should support any current integration requirements such as RESTful web services or other Application Programming Interface (API) standards. EveryoneAPI provides a simple API - Check out our API docs here!

 

Try Before You Buy

Trial the service before making a commitment to confirm the service provides all of the capabilities as advertised. Find a test batch, or list of known numbers to run through the API to verify accuracy. If the service doesn’t permit testing, it should be a no-go. Evaluate the query results to ensure the service is delivering acceptable data quality.

One of the fundamental aspects of researching a purchase decision is evaluating the information that’s going to be used. Understanding which elements require evaluation when making a complex purchase decision is fundamental to finding the best data vendor(s) to suit the needs of a company. If you’re interested in testing out EveryoneAPI, send us an email at sales@everyoneapi.com and we would be happy to set up an account with test credit.