When businesses began to use their corporate web sites for more than just “brochure-ware,” they opened up a world of opportunities to streamline communications with customers, employees, investors, and suppliers. Corporate web sites today can include RFP tender portals, product spec and pricing databases, and customer service portals with real-time help.
The move toward servicing requests via corporate web sites coincided with an increasing use of data extraction technologies that gather timely data on corporations from their web sites. Ideally these requests should be handled via API calls to the corporation’s servers so properly structured queries can be answered immediately and accurately. Until that time, however, a company’s URL remains the key to accessing accurate data about the company on a “self-serve” basis and thus corporate URLs have become de facto company identifiers.
Why use a URL as an identifier?
- URLs don’t change as often as headquarters addresses or main switchboard numbers.
- URLs aren’t proprietary like DUNS numbers.
- Legal entity identifiers (LEIs) and IRS employer identification numbers (EINs) aren’t widely adopted.
The kind of valuable data that can be extracted from corporate URLs is varied and can include:
- Contact info (address, phone, social media handles)
- Product pricing data
- Financial disclosures
- Executive changes
- Posted RFPs
Once adopted as a corporate identifier or targeted for data extraction efforts, URLs do need to be maintained. This involves:
- The need to “ping” them periodically to ensure they are still in service.
- The need to monitor the sites using technology like Connotate.
- The need to build extraction agents to gather desired data from the sites.
Interested in learning more about how to monitor and mine corporate web sites? Call Information Evolution at 512-650-1111, ext. 1 to discuss your specific requirement.