Why NACE Codes Fall Short, and How MAP is Changing the Game

July 11, 2024

Since 1970, NACE codes have been the most widely used classification system throughout Ireland and Europe for grouping organisations according to generalised business activities.

Initially, these codes were effective for providing a broad overview of various industries, helping businesses and governments organise and analyse economic data.

However, as the business landscape has evolved, a critical flaw in NACE codes has become increasingly apparent: a lack of nuance.

Why Specificity Matters Now:

NACE codes categorise businesses into broad sectors, often missing the finer details that differentiate one company from another within the same industry. This lack of specificity can hinder modern marketing efforts that rely on precise targeting and personalization.

For instance, two companies classified under the same NACE code might operate in entirely different niches with unique customer bases and marketing needs. Traditional NACE codes fail to capture subtleties (See Figure 1 “The NACE Code Problem), leading to ineffective marketing strategies and missed opportunities for businesses to connect with new audiences.

As a result, businesses only using NACE codes for market segmentation and targeting may find themselves at a disadvantage, unable to fully understand and reach their ideal customers.

A Brand New Era in Business Data Classification:

In modern marketing, the shortcomings of NACE codes have become glaringly apparent. Broad categorizations are no longer sufficient for the granular level of analysis needed to gain competitive insights and tailor marketing campaigns.

Thus, we have created an advanced data classification system that analyses company activities in the marketplace based on their digital footprint. We call this system Market Activity Profiling (or “MAP” for short). Using MAP, we can create a more holistic view of a company based on its products, services, values, and recent events.

Using MAP as the basis for our data collection and classification, Sunstone has built the largest, most accurate database in Ireland with a full range of data variables never before offered or collected by any other data company. MAP marks a groundbreaking advancement in the realm of data classification, presenting a dynamic and relevant alternative to the outdated NACE codes.

How Market Activity Profiling Works

The actual process behind how MAP works involves using data from the CRO file and Sunstone’s custom AI to scan, interpret, and analyse the entire Irish webspace. Each Sunstone business data entry gets an in-depth examination of website offerings and social media platforms, followed by sentiment analysis on any ethos or specific values conveyed. By feeding this rich dataset into our advanced language models, we can extract critical industry insights—ranging from services and products to values and mission statements, as well as pertinent recent events.

This information, once refined, is transformed into standardised structures that let us generate unique MAP codes and descriptions that reflect the nuanced activities of various entities. MAP codes also incorporate a comprehensive suite of financial and corporate data, providing a unique 360-degree view of the Irish corporate landscape that no other data company can compare to. Sunstone’s MAP data includes all CRO-registered companies, ensuring complete and accurate market coverage.

Using Market Activity Profiling in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics 

Using MAP classifications, we created SalesSight AI, a service that combines MAP with data analytics to help companies reveal hidden sales opportunities. SalesSight AI uses several machine learning techniques to recommend ideal client types to our customers based on embeddings generated from the MAP output. From there, we can provide an evolving, targeted, nuanced sales funnel specific to each client.

We’ll illustrate how it works with an example of one of our client’s projects. In our partnership with an event management company, we applied the MAP system and SalesSight AI to reveal a comprehensive ecosystem surrounding data centres to supply targeted contacts for their Chief Information Officer Summit.

At first glance, the original NACE codes and descriptions of the companies seemed to have nothing to do with data centres. However, hidden relationships are where MAP codes and SalesSight AI’s capabilities truly shine. Using MAP codes, SalesSight AI not only highlighted data centres but also identified key players in their infrastructure and operations by analysing their websites and services, which traditional NACE code searches had overlooked.

These findings, in addition to several hundred other companies we identified in the data centre space, demonstrate the nuance and interconnectedness of various sectors within the Irish business market that would not be found without a MAP-based approach. SalesSight AI’s use of MAP codes allows businesses to uncover and capitalise on opportunities that traditional marketing methods often miss—particularly those reliant on outdated NACE codes for generating marketing lists.

Final Thoughts 

Sunstone’s MAP database and SalesSight AI have transcended the limitations of traditional NACE codes, ushering businesses into a new era of modernization and strategic insight.

By creating MAP codes, an Irish MAP database, and MAP-based analytics (SalesSight AI), Sunstone has set an unprecedented standard in business intelligence, enabling companies to achieve a new level of success unmatched in the industry. In the ever-evolving technology landscape, Sunstone stands as a transformative guide, ensuring that Irish businesses have the MAP data to lead the way into a new era of data innovation and market understanding.

Partner with Sunstone for Business Intelligence

If you’re interested in learning more about how MAP data or SalesSight AI can transform your business, we invite you to visit our dedicated pages linked above.

Discover the full range of capabilities and benefits that our advanced data classification and analytics tools can offer. Explore the potential of tailored market insights and innovative sales strategies to give your business a competitive edge. For more details and to see how these solutions can work for you, visit the MAP Data Solutions and SalesSight AI pages on our website. 

Contact us now to learn how we can support your business data needs and set your business up for success. 

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