What is Data as a Service (DaaS)?

We all know about SaaS. 

Software as a service, commonly called SaaS, refers to subscription-based, centrally hosted platforms and services that allow you to do all of those annoying manual tasks that, if left to your own devices, could take all day to complete. 

But what about DaaS? That’s shorthand for data as a service. DaaS is used to deliver dynamic data to one or multiple systems. And while it may not be as popularly known as its SaaS counterpart, data management is increasingly vital for businesses as the vast amount of digital information continues to grow across the globe. 

The birth of DaaS: What is it and where did it come from? 

According to Statista, the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally was forecast to reach 64.2 zettabytes in 2020, and to grow to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025. For the uninitiated, a zettabyte is equivalent to about 250 billion DVDs, according to The Guardian. That’s a lot of information. 

This is where DaaS comes in.

The data as a service industry focuses on an audience that really cares about data on a recurring subscription-based model, including people who work in master data management IT, marketing ops, and sales ops, explains Amit Rai, vice president and head of enterprise product and sales at ZoomInfo. 

“So we have to think about, what are the ways where we not only provide data to our customers, but we keep it up to date and refreshed on an ongoing basis as a subscription service — that’s what data as a service is,” says Rai. 

Who needs a DaaS provider?

DaaS is crucial for any company with a mature GTM team. Typical large enterprises, say 1,000 employees or more, have a large amount of data that they are trying to turn into actionable insights and deliveries. 

These kinds of companies usually have master data management IT teams that handle data orchestration, sanitization, cleansing, unification, and more. “Chief data officer” is emerging as a popular title for those responsible for managing the information a company uses and the teams that manage it. 

What are the benefits of DaaS?

Compared to on-site data storage, DaaS providers enhance speed, performance, and overall reliability. 

  • Improved functionality: Data in the world of DaaS exists in the cloud, whose infrastructure is far more reliable than an on-site server, making your data less prone to disruptions. 
  • Improved AI, machine learning, and predictive modeling: AI and machine learning are crucial for modern automation functionalities. You can’t have successful AI without accurate data. 
  • Outsourced data gathering: Collecting data is time consuming and unrealistic if you’re gathering large quantities of information. DaaS providers both provide data as well as manage and enrich your database. 
  • Updated, enriched data: Bad, stale data has a direct impact on your bottom line. An inherent functionality of DaaS is regular, automated maintenance and data updates. 

“When you have bad data and are not able to reach out to your user persona, it has a direct impact on your top line — your revenue doesn’t grow — so the biggest benefits of ZoomInfo data are better match rates,fill rates and thus complete information,” says Rai. 

ZoomInfo and the future of DaaS

What’s unique about ZoomInfo is that we are one of the only SaaS providers of Modern GTM solutions built on the DaaS foundation on the planet. 

“Data is our differentiator,” Rai explains. “We are the only publicly traded software company that sits on top of the business data — we allow our customers to focus on business while we provide the business data. Companies such as Google and Facebook already enjoy the differentiation in the consumer space. We do the same in the business space.” 

DaaS has transformed so much in the past two decades. As it continues to be used for AI, machine learning, predictive modeling, and analytics, we can expect storage and computing capabilities to increase. 

“DaaS today is an IT and master data management function, but in the future it will become a revenue function,” Rai says. “Sales and marketing users will be the direct beneficiaries instead of the back office, because that’s where the next generation of go-to-market software — and ZoomInfo — are headed.”