March 1, 2024

Data Enrichment (2024): What It Is & How to Start

What is Data Enrichment?

Data enrichment is the process of enhancing existing data in a database by appending additional attributes from external sources. The goal of data enrichment is to provide more context and improve analysis and segmentation.

Rather than collecting new data, data enrichment focuses on making existing data more useful and complete. It involves identifying valuable attributes from external sources and using them to augment internal records.

This provides more dimensions to work with for targeting, personalization, and analytics.

For example, a company may append third-party demographic or firmographic data to their customer profiles. This allows them to segment and understand their customers better.

Overall, data enrichment is about adding value to data to unlock more value from it.

It enables companies to fill in missing details, gain a 360-degree view of entities, and conduct more advanced analytics.

Why is Data Enrichment Important?

Data enrichment helps complete datasets by filling in missing values and attributes. It provides additional dimensions for segmentation and targeting by appending attributes like demographics, psychographics, interests, and more.

Enriching data enables more advanced analytics and deeper insights that would not be possible with the original data alone.

Most importantly, data enrichment improves overall data quality, which supports modern GTM strategies.

It fixes issues like missing fields, inaccuracies, and incomplete records. Higher quality data leads to more accurate analysis and metrics. Data enrichment transforms messy, fragmented data into complete, reliable information assets.

Data Enrichment vs. Data Augmentation

Data enrichment enhances existing data by appending additional attributes from external sources to provide more context.

For example, customer records could be enriched with demographic data like age, income level, and location. This allows more advanced segmentation and analysis.

The key point is that data enrichment uses real, actual data from other datasets to expand the attributes available for each record.

In contrast, data augmentation synthesizes artificial data algorithmically to expand the size of a dataset.

It creates new data points through techniques like rotation, noise injection, and interpolation.

So, unlike data enrichment, data augmentation does not add real-world data to provide more information about each record. The artificial data points are used only for training machine learning models effectively.

Data Enrichment vs. Data Profiling

Data profiling and data enrichment are related but distinct processes for improving data quality. While they have some overlap, there are important differences:

Data profiling involves analyzing an existing data set to identify quality issues and inconsistencies. Profiling techniques examine the data for problems like missing values, duplicates, formatting errors, outliers, and integrity constraints.

The goal is to understand the current state of the data - highlighting areas that need to be fixed or standardized before the data can be reliably used for analytics and decisions.

In contrast, data enrichment focuses on enhancing the data by appending additional attributes from external sources. It adds value to existing data by incorporating supplemental information like demographics, transaction history, or social media profiles.

Enrichment makes the data more informative by increasing its depth and context.

Some key differences:

  • Data profiling is diagnostic while enrichment is additive
  • Profiling evaluates inherent data issues, enrichment leverages external data
  • Profiling occurs before enrichment in the data workflow

While data profiling reveals areas for improvement, data enrichment is an active method to increase quality.

Profiling analyzes the problem, enrichment helps solve it. Applying both practices is key for mastering data quality.

Data Enrichment Techniques

1. Linking External Data Sources

Customer data can be enriched by appending external demographic, psychographic, and firmographic data from third-party providers.

This process is also referred to as AI Enrichment, offering a deeper layer of data for analysis.

2. Data Cleansing and Deduplication

This technique involves fixing bad data by identifying inaccuracies, filling in missing values, and removing duplicates. It ensures the data is accurate and usable for further processes.

3. Data Integration

Data Integration refers to the process of combining data from disparate sources into a unified view. An example of this is linking web data with CRM data, providing a more comprehensive view of customer interactions.

4. Geocoding

Geocoding enriches location data by appending latitude and longitude coordinates. This is critical for enabling geospatial analysis, allowing businesses to make location-based decisions and analyses.

5. Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis is used to analyze text data to detect opinions and emotional sentiment. This is particularly useful for mining insights from social media, reviews, and surveys, helping businesses understand public sentiment.

6. Image and Video Analysis

This technique is about extracting embedded metadata and insights from multimedia content. It enables the analysis of images and videos for various purposes, including content categorization and sentiment analysis.

With the right techniques and tools, data enrichment helps extract maximum value from data assets. It delivers the complete, reliable information needed to enable deeper analysis and drive better decisions.

Data Enrichment Tools

There are various types of tools that can be leveraged for data enrichment processes:

  • ETL Tools: Traditional ETL (extract, transform, load) programs like Informatica, Oracle Data Integrator, and Talend offer data integration and transformation capabilities that can be used for enrichment. They allow joining data from multiple sources, cleaning, standardizing, and appending attributes.
  • Cloud Data Platforms: Cloud-based data platforms like AWS Glue, Azure Data Factory, and Google Cloud Data Fusion provide serverless ETL to enrich data in the cloud. These tools allow automating enrichment workflows without managing infrastructure.
  • Open Source Libraries: Many open source Python libraries like Pandas, NumPy, and Scikit-learn have methods for data manipulation and transformation that can be utilized for enrichment. These libraries are free to use and allow for customizable machine learning pipelines.

The choice of data enrichment tools depends on the data stack and infrastructure already in use, as well as the level of complexity required.

Cloud services offer more automation and ease of use, while open source libraries provide more customization.

Data Enrichment Process and Best Practices

A robust data enrichment process is key to implementing enrichment successfully and sustainably. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Assess Goals and Data Needs - Clearly identify how enriched data will be used and what analysis is needed. This helps focus enrichment efforts on collecting relevant attributes.
  • Identify Enrichment Sources - Research potential sources for enrichment data, both internal systems and external providers. Evaluate coverage, accuracy, licensing, and accessibility.
  • Match Data Accurately - When appending external data, ensure accurate matching through identifiers, algorithms, or probabilistic techniques. Match rates impact how much enrichment improves data.
  • Continuously Monitor Data Quality - Check enriched data sets for anomalies, inconsistencies, and outdated information.
  • Refresh external data on a regular schedule.
  • Develop Sustainable Workflows - Automate repetitive enrichment tasks through scripts or dedicated ETL processes. Document procedures so they can be repeated and improved over time.

Following structured best practices allows organizations to enrich data efficiently, measurably improve quality, and embed enrichment into ongoing data management.

3 Main Types of Data Enrichment

1. Customer Data Enrichment

Customer data enrichment involves enhancing customer profiles with additional attributes and data points that provide more context and dimensions for analysis. Common ways to enrich customer data include:

  • Appending demographic data - Data like age, gender, income level, education, marital status, and more can be added to customer records. This allows for more targeted segmentation and personalization.
  • Adding psychographic data - Psychographics include attributes related to personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. Enriching data with psychographic variables enables identifying behavioral customer segments.
  • Incorporating purchase history - Transactional data can be linked to customer profiles to construct purchase journeys and gain insights into buying patterns, product affinities, frequency, recency, etc.
  • Integrating social data - Social media activities, connections, mentions, and more can provide a 360-degree view of customers.
  • Including location data - Geospatial data allows for location-based segmentation and analysis.
  • Appending firmographic data - For B2B customers, firmographic attributes like company size, industry, technologies used, and more can be added.

Enriched customer data supports creating more narrowly defined customer segments for personalized marketing and tailored product offerings. Instead of broad segments like "women ages 25-35", data enrichment enables creating segments like "affluent suburban millennial moms interested in eco-friendly products."

2. Product Data Enrichment

Enriching product data involves adding supplemental attributes and metadata that provide additional context about products in a catalog. This can include:

  • Images and Media - Most product pages should have visual imagery showcasing the product.
  • Detailed Descriptions - Well-written, engaging product descriptions help customers understand key features and benefits.
  • Technical Specs - Spec sheets with measurements, materials, configurations, etc. are especially important for complex products.
  • Reviews and Ratings - Customer reviews provide social proof and insights into real-world product performance.
  • Comparison Data - Comparing products to competitors or previous models helps customers evaluate options.
  • Specifications and Tech Details - Hard specifications and technical details improve product understanding. Adding specs like dimensions, materials, and capacities allows customers to compare products during research. Key selling points and features should be highlighted.
  • Reviews and Ratings - Customer sentiment data provides social validation and trust. Product reviews and aggregate ratings serve as social proof and enable customers to make data-driven decisions. Sentiment analysis of reviews can reveal pain points and areas of improvement.
  • Taxonomies - Linking products to a hierarchical product taxonomy makes it easier to browse and discover new products. This allows customers to navigate from high-level categories down to niche sub-categories. Taxonomies also power recommendation engines by detecting associations.

Enriching product content improves understanding and helps customers make informed purchase decisions.

Detailed, media-rich product pages engage customers onsite and provide a superior product research experience.

3. Third Party Data Enrichment Services

Third party data enrichment involves utilizing external data providers to supplement and enhance internal data. Some of the top providers for third party data enrichment include:

  • Acxiom - Provides demographic, behavioral, and purchase intent data on consumers. Known for having extensive coverage and accuracy.
  • Epsilon - Specializes in first-party transactional data, with over 250 million consumer profiles. Strengths in automotive and retail verticals.
  • Experian - Offers credit and business data on consumers and companies, with strong coverage globally. Complies with data regulations.
  • Oracle - Provides a data marketplace with third party data for enrichment including B2B firmographics and intent data.
  • FICO - Leading provider of credit risk models and scores derived from consumer credit data.

When evaluating third party data for enrichment, it's important to thoroughly assess elements like:

  • Data Accuracy - Are the attributes and values in the third party data trustworthy? What validation has been done?
  • Data Coverage - How much of your customer or prospect base is covered by the third party data? Are there gaps?
  • Data Licensing - What are the legal terms to access and use the third party data? Are there any restrictions?

Getting the right third-party data can significantly augment customer and prospect profiles for more powerful analytics.

But it requires careful due diligence to find accurate, comprehensive data sources that meet legal and compliance standards.

How First into Data Enrichment introduces a comprehensive workflow system that can transform raw data into a gold mine of insights and opportunities, specifically tailored for sales and marketing teams who require a seamless data enrichment tool.

In the end, this leads to sharper outbound automation processes and much more targeted lead generation.

Here’s how Workflows empowers these teams:

Call Transcript Analysis for Raw Data Insights

Through the application of natural language processing, can analyze and interpret raw data from call transcripts.

This platform not only deciphers customer conversations but can also align these insights with wider sales and marketing strategies, enhancing the overall customer data platform.

CRM Hygiene with Data Enrichment Tool

Maintaining clean and organized data within a customer data platform is crucial. functions as a sophisticated data enrichment tool, systematically reconciling and rectifying CRM entries. This ensures that sales and marketing teams have access to pristine customer data, eliminating inaccuracies and redundancies that can affect customer nurturing strategies.

Geographic Data Enrichment

Sales and marketing strategies often hinge on nuanced geographic data. can process and enrich location-based raw data, providing teams with detailed geographic insights.

This data is indispensable for crafting localized marketing campaigns and understanding market penetration on a regional level.

Customer Nurturing Data Enrichment

Data enrichment goes beyond cleaning up data—it's about deepening relationships with customers.

By injecting nuanced, enriched data into the customer nurturing process, helps sales and marketing teams understand and anticipate customer needs, preferences, and behaviors, enabling them to deliver enhanced customer experiences.

Incorporating workflows into your operations equips your sales and marketing teams with a robust data enrichment tool designed for the modern marketplace.

Final Thoughts

Data enrichment provides numerous benefits that make it a valuable process for improving data quality and analytics.

Some key benefits of data enrichment include:

  • Completing incomplete data by filling in missing attributes and values.
  • Adding more dimensions and attributes for better segmentation and targeting. Enriched data allows for creating personalized customer experiences.
  • Enabling more sophisticated analytics like predictive modeling and machine learning algorithms that rely on large, high-quality data sets.
  • Uncovering deeper insights from data analysis since enriched data provides a more holistic view of customers, products, transactions, etc.
  • Improving overall data quality through deduplication, standardization, and verification. High quality data leads to more accurate analysis.

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