Dow Jones looks to networking data

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Dow Jones says that the latest version of its G2 business and relationship intelligence system will allow clients to integrate data from b-to-b social networking tools.

The G2 technology maintains real-time databases of companies and executive contacts by crawling the Web for information — which is then used for relationship mapping among colleagues and contacts. The newest version of G2 adds to these databases by allowing users to import contacts from LinkedIn, Outlook and other applications.

“We've added a lot to this release, but the primary thing is the ability to seamlessly integrate contacts from your opt-in networks — from places like LinkedIn — and internal systems like e-mail and CRM systems,” said Rob White, executive director of emerging products, business relationship and intelligence, Dow Jones. “Before, we primarily focused on building out data from the public domain, so the key thing we've added is the ability for users to get the most relevant relationship maps to help make those connections. A salesperson can see the path from one end to the other, and it doesn't take an e-mail chain.”

Dow Jones markets its G2 tools to large companies and has found a key market in the telecommunication and technology industries. One feature of the new tool shows networks through a company's entire sales force, which allows enterprise clients to take advantage of their large workforces.

“Social networking is a large and growing category of products,” White pointed out. “There are consumer-based sites, like Facebook, and it's being adopted more in the business community. We see a huge field of opportunity out there because companies want to leverage these relationships.”

G2 executives plan to extend the program's relationship-mapping capabilities to other social networks and are also exploring heavier CRM integration.

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