DATA NEWS: Salesforce buys 'wikipedia' style database of 21m professionals

Salesforce.com has announced that is buying business data provider Jigsaw for $142m (£92.2m) in cash.

US-based Jigsaw uses a 'Wikipedia-style' approach to collecting business contact data, and contains data on over 21 million professionals in four million companies.

Companies and professionals maintain the database by becoming members of Jigsaw and exchanging their contact details, edit their information, set their contact preferences and even opt out of listings.

Cloud-based Jigsaw tries to ensure data quality by exchanging data for money or points, which can be accumulated.

Salesforce.com said the acquisition was its "strategic entry into the $3bn market for cloud-based business to business data services".

Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive of Salesforce.com, said: "With Jigsaw, we'll make it as easy as Wikipedia to source data, as easy as iTunes to buy data, and as easy as Facebook to stay updated as the data changes."

Once the acquisition goes through, Jigsaw will remain open to all CRM systems, but current Salesforce.com customers will find an integrated experience that includes an automated process for data cleansing.