Thanks to the many reference staff who took a look at AtoZ Databases. Most staff feel it’s not a bad product but seems harder to use than ReferenceUSA. We are looking at for a cost savings over ReferenceUSA.
Here are the comments from a variety of reference staff:
- Spent a day using this instead of Ref USA. My opinion is that it may be cheaper than REF USA but it doesn’t give the same amount of info that REF USA does. And the info it does give, you really need to work at getting. When you’re on the phone with an impatient patron, every second counts :)Most importantly from a reference point of view – the results don’t show the ultimate parent company/HQ.
I just tried finding the HQ phone number for Bank of America and Best Buy for two different patrons. Individual record just shows company as branch, subsidiary etc. (or whatever). No linkage to the ultimate parent company.
I suppose we could do a targeted search for company name and headquarters, but REF USA is a lot easier to use with the up/down arrows indicating “parentage”. Other than that point, it works almost the same (has even the same look) as REF USA.
- It might be cheaper, but I think A-Z is harder to use. If they made the query page simpler it would be a better product.
- I conducted some searches on A to Z, and I was impressed with the comprehensiveness of results in looking up residential info. For business searches, A to Z provided adequate info, but not as much as Ref USA when it comes to corporate. In terms of speed, I noticed that A to Z seemed as slow or even slower in delivering results as Ref USA.
- I notice if I search for “Sain” (last name; first name Betty or Elizabeth) in AtoZdatabases,”Sain” as well as any other last name that begins with ‘Sain” (Saint George, etc.) are displayed. If I search “Sain” in our current product, only results with last name “Sain” are displayed.
- I have looked over the a to z databases and here are my 2 cents. The differences between the two are on Reference USA it told whether the Executive was a man or woman. The one thing that I do love about Reference USA is the Corp. Tree (the button the lets you look at the higher corporations of the business and the subsidiaries). Those are just two of my observations that I have noticed between the two.
- It looks like it does everything Ref USA does. Sounds like a good deal to me.
- Business Searches:
- Not as much information as Ref USA
- Corporate linkage (parent company & subsidiaries, also brand info)
- Not as much information on main screen, have to go in further for more detail
- Appears comprehensive, but have found old addresses & new address for the same individual so currency is an issue
- Erroneous data regarding marital status, interests (however, we do not subscribe to the lifestyle demographics for Ref USA so there is no real comparison)
Other general comments were that the product was “okay” but did not stand up to Ref USA. CC staff go into Ref USA several times a day & our searches are very quick, with A-Z the searching was slow & we could not quickly get to the information, if at all. These factors consumed a lot of time when we really need a product that works quickly & is thorough. One of the staff commented that you really had to work at it to get the information you needed & half of the time, A-Z didn’t have that information available.
If anyone would like to view AtoZ databases please contact your reference department head for the login information. If you have any other comments about the comparison of the databases please post them here so all can see them.