It's surprisingly big.
When we built the first prototype of Company Check (http://companycheck.co.uk
) four years ago little did I know the scale it would reach.
The rise in freemium data was just emerging and the amazing businesses such as Level Business were emerging and looking to capitalise on this.
Our MVP was built for £2k (and a beer) to a developer I met at the local skydiving dropzone and we have gone on to help thousands of businesses, fight off competition from some well funded startups and been introduced to some really amazing people.
In our view, data is the lubrication that allows services and software to be built that would have been impossible even a decade ago. On it’s own, data is not sexy or that useful, but refined it has more uses and the interesting players are those who can build great systems to refine and benefit from this influx of data.
Cross matched databases, categorising unstructured data and cheap API’s are where everyone can benefit from the new data to build highly relevant information for their business sector.
From this will come new tools and services that compete for eyeballs at very low prices, for example:
Need some company data? Free. (http://companycheck.co.uk
Need to access the entire Land Registry database? Free. (http://locationcounts.co.uk
Want to know what a local council spends on expenses? Free. (http://data.gov.uk/data/search?q=council
The appetite for this data is real and very clear from the scaling up of companycheck.co.uk
— we offer a staggering amount of information for free, more than 0.5bn datasets and/or files. Offering up this data made Company Check the most visited company information website in the UK.
In 2014, 30m visitors carried out 110,000,000 searches which generated 0.15bn company page views and from those we generated 50,000,000 free reports for our visitors.
This proves the desire for free data, although it comes with some technical challenges as we delivered 1,000,000 hours of usage last year coping with 2000 concurrent users throughout most of the working day.
And it’s affordable, although we are scaling up this year and developing more tools and services, we have up until October 2014 been supporting this with (amazingly) only 2 full time developers, an external tech support company and 2 customer support guru’s.
Expect to see some exciting new changes this year as we open up more data.
We will also introduce more refined search capability with a free export function. Simply choose some parameters: cash at bank, industry sector and location (for example) and export the results directly with one click.
Data just gets more interesting.
p.s. if you want to test access to our API its now much more accessible and easy to use on Mashape. Quick sign up, free test access and metered billing.