Jigsaw offers free data

Jigsaw, a provider of business information and data services, has launched its Open Data Initiative, which allows free access to company information listed on www.jigsaw.com.

The Open Data Initiative is being touted as a boon to CRM and contact management providers, which can now pre-load customer implementations with Jigsaw data for free. Jigsaw executives believe the free data will extend the value of CRM systems. CRM system users will also be able to import Jigsaw data for free once their applications are up and running.

“Jigsaw is aiming to fundamentally change two industries: b-to-b data and CRM,” said Jim Fowler, CEO and co-founder of Jigsaw. “This will have a profound impact on direct marketers as well because data is the critical underpinning.”

CRM companies including Entellium, Landslide, Maximizer, NetSuite, Oracle, Sage, and SugarCRM are working with Jigsaw on the launch, to make it easy for users to upload data directly from the Jigsaw site into the CRM programs.

Jigsaw’s data on individual business contacts is not part of the Open Data Initiative; users still have to pay a fee.

“The business strategy is to give away the razor and charge for the razor blades, so to speak,” Fowler said. “We’re not giving away our 9 million contact records, we’re just giving away company records. Also, what we’re selling is maintenance and cleaning services on both company and contact records, so the idea is that people will start realizing they’re getting company data from Jigsaw so they can pay us to keep it up for them. We believe there’s a fundamental shift in that value is not in data as much as in being able to understand changes in that data.”

To add to its new offerings, Jigsaw is also launching Open APIs today, which will allow developers to access Jigsaw data and tools from within their applications.

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