A: UIhhhh... like.... NOT cutting up puzzle pieces.
Seriously though, if I'm asked "what do you like best about data.com?" this will be my response:
,,,So is "Jigsaw" a valid answer here? I mean, don't get me wrong, there are things that I like ...And I /could/ probably pick 1 thing I like more than all the others...No, wait, I've got it...
Q: Hey Matt, what do you like best about "data.com?"
A: "the .com part"
[HEARTY LAUGHTER ENSUES...A brief murmur, among those listening, of recognition of the joke. Someone commends me on how very droll the remark was.]
Q: "OK, that was awesome, what a great answer. How wonderfully droll! But seriously, what do you like best about data.com?"
A: "Well, honestly... I was being somewhat serious. You see, unfortunately, since the merger of Jigsaw.com and Salesforce.com there's been less and less to like about the "data" the service now provides."
[MMMMMM Another murmur of recognition, this one less brief and somewhat louder. Recognition that the earlier joke, in the afterglow of which they continue to bask, was less of a joke and more of a scathing criticism, delightfully concise in execution, however mind-blowingly layered. Almost as concise as this portion, of this review, of this product, is not, and ending in the same number of prepositions,,, or not in.... the same number... of.
The "data" part... And mandatory mininums!! See below for the in-depth "full-color" answer but here's a quick check list.
Accuracy of data is dramatically worse since merger.
New model incentivizes those who need to exploit the data to surive (and flourish!) to share their own (inherently lower quality) data as payment for the service.
Even the Salesforce integration, the one thing you expect to be flawless/useful/intuitive is a mess, especially with Pardot in the mix.
I used it at 3 companies, always just for lead gen. At the first company it was Jigsaw and it kicked ass. If you had any info about the person you sought, Jigsaw could usually get you the rest. The royalty system was a clever upgrade to the quota concept software pirates perfected in the 90s... It kept out the real riff-raff and helped keep the data complete, accurate, and up-to-date. ALL it needed was technology to parse the lead data directly out of text (like in email signatures, for instance!) and it would have been PERFECT! Imagine the excitement when the makers of Jigsaw inked a deal with a small San Mateo-based firm that would provide that functionality. Without telling anyone it was providing it. And they built in super powerful automation for this data parsing technology. It was missing some of the controls people might have hoped for, like the ability to enable or disable automatic collection, parsing and sharing of all of your email data. But that's ok, because they FINALLY offered unlimited use of the system, including the ability to pull unlimited contact info, and WITHOUT sharing any of your own. In return they just had to remove that pesky "no cost" business. It used to solve the business problem "I can't reach some of my most lucrative prospective customers via direct phone or e-mail" and the benefit was either more deals or at least wasting fewer hours pursuing prospects that ultimately wouldn't pan out. With the data.com model, I was no longer solving any business problems because the data was all garbage. (how is that possible, when the data is now being automatically culled from the signatures of the prospects themelves and not input manually???? Oh yeah, because you "completed" every single partial record by giving everyone without a phone numbers their company's main line, customer service, or tech support toll-free number. Sweet) Now I'm solving a new business problem: How do I clean up all the garbage data that data.com put in my instance. What benefits have I realized? I realized all the benefits I had beck in 2007. I realize how incredibly good Jigsaw was.