Barbour ABI vs Glenigan: The Definitive Guide (2021)

This guide will help you evaluate the UK’s two biggest construction market intelligence providers so you can make sure you're making the best decision for your business. 

On the surface, they look similar - but they have significant differences in data acquisition methods, features, and GDPR policies.


Both construction databases report on new and existing projects across the entire UK. This is invaluable for tracking industry trends, identifying opportunities, and getting in touch with the right people. Projects are sourced daily from the applications that have been submitted to councils, or from industry contacts.

However, there are some significant differences between what both providers offer when you look more closely. 

Although each provider uses phone calls to gather and confirm essential project information, one prefers to keep this activity in-house, while the other outsources it offshore to a third party.  

While both providers provide comprehensive coverage; everything from new commercial developments to small refurbs and fit-outs, one provider researches all projects over £100k build value; the other prioritises their research at a higher starting threshold. 

The total number of new projects uploaded to each is about half a million a year.  

Both companies provide very detailed project information. This information is useful to:  

    • Assist your marketing department with building a tailored and relevant contact database.  
    • Provide your sales team with quality lead opportunities.  
    • Offer valuable Market and Company insight to help you make strategic business decisions. 


(Related: 5 Questions to Ask Before Subscribing to Barbour ABI or Glenigan)



Before we go any further, we must first lay our cards on the table.  

Project Prospecta is a marketing service. We help businesses with marketing automation and lead intelligence to identify engaged leads. We use Barbour ABI exclusively.   

We know that choosing the right service for your money is critical. After all, it can be a significant investment. Therefore, we would like to walk you through a comprehensive comparison of both services. We’ve tried to be as objective as possible so you can understand the features of each.    

Barbour ABI vs Glenigan: Features and Services  

Here’s a quick overview of the features and services offered by Barbour ABI and Glenigan. We’ll go into more detail about what each feature is and the value they represent below.  

Barbour vs Glenigan Features



Barbour ABI – Features  

Barbour ABI recognises that the construction industry is rapidly changing, therefore they work to keep customers in tune and on track with developments.  

Quality Construction Leads  

Barbour ABI works to provide you with access to upwards of 1.8 million live projects at any time (a vast number of potential leads).  

Tracked Projects  

Barbour ABI has a team that tracks and reports on every project, this works to help you connect with key decision-makers to offer speed when capturing quality leads.  

Mobile App  

With a desktop and mobile app, you’ll be able to access data on the go so you won’t miss out on an opportunity. This provides access to invaluable, time-sensitive opportunities and your saved searches at any time.  

League Table  

The league table allows for you to see who key players are locally, nationally, and by sector.  

So, you can identify the most prolific and prominent companies within your industry.  From architects to surveyors; landscapers to electrical engineers. The companies are ranked either by their total value or their number of projects.  

And with the relationship tool you can predict the projects these companies will be working on next and reach out to decision-makers before the project begins.  

Project Enquiries  

Have a burning question? Project Enquiries gives you instant access to Barbour ABI’s in-house research team. You’ll be connected to a research specialist who’s familiar with the project in question and they’ll quiz their contacts so you can get your questions answered.  

Relationship Tool  

The Relationships tool provides you with a clear, detailed view of all the companies and connections underpinning a construction project.  

The tool lets you identify mutual connections and potential in-roads. It’s invaluable insider information. So, you only progress the opportunities you have a strong chance of winning.  


Get updates about key project developments. 


Glenigan – Features  

Making 1 million phone calls a year, Glenigan offers comprehensive sales leads in UK construction.   


With this feature, you can use filters on your dashboard to filter sales leads by dates, values, location, sector, materials required, and an environmental rating.  

Mobile App  

Like Barbour ABI, you can put the power of Glenigan in your pocket with their interactive mobile app.  

Here, you can receive real-time project and company updates and manage your sales pipeline and forecast.  

Company Insights  

You can gain insight into the activity of the companies you’re targeting so you can connect with the right person at the right time  


Get updates about key project developments. 

Barbour ABI VS Glenigan – Feature Comparison Conclusion

Following a comparison of the features and benefits of both Barbour ABI and Glenigan platforms, we found that there were several features that Barbour ABI offer that Glenigan do not:  

    • Fast In-House support for specific project inquiries 
    • Company relationship tracking
    • On-screen and exportable filtered company lists based on project activity 
    • Greater export capacity into Excel 

The project inquiry support is helpful if you need more detailed information about a project. The team will do their best to get that information for you. 

The Company Relationship tool shows how many times two companies have worked together and on which projects, where, and how recently. This is helpful to be able to predict a subcontractor tender list, network your way up the supply chain effectively, and get in front of the right contacts earlier than competitors. Glenigan does provide links on company pages to companies that have worked with them previously, but does not highlight the specific projects worked on, or how many times and when they worked together.  

If you want to tailor an export list of contacts working on the types of projects you'd be interested in working on,  Barbour ABI provides an easy way to do this. Glenigan does not offer combined project and company filtering in their search tool. 

Barbour ABI has a 2000 contact export ceiling. Glenigan limits its exports to 999.




Barbour ABI VS Glenigan – Key Differences  

So, what are the key differences between Barbour ABI and Glenigan other than the features?   

There are significant differences in 3 main areas:  

  1. Research Methods  
  2. GDPR  
  3. Partnerships and Add-Ons  

Research Methods  

The two go about their data gathering in strikingly different ways. Barbour ABI uses telephone researching based in the UK. This team of researchers contacts the project to confirm the details.   

They have a team of 60+ dedicated in-house researchers, who continually make calls to contacts to get the latest information about construction projects.   

Glenigan uses a technique called ‘Mapping’. This means they make educated assumptions based on the client and project and how they have worked before. They also outsource their research to teams based abroad who reportedly use automation to gather some of this information.  

There are pros and cons to both methods. Telephone researching depends on the level of co-operation with whoever answers the questions regarding the project – they might not give over the most up-to-date and accurate information. Also, mapping is likely to have challenges with complete accuracy.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  

Both Barbour ABI and Glenigan state on their website that they are GDPR compliant and follow all information privacy regulations.   

However, there are elements of GDPR which require a business to use discretion. When you use this data, you become the data controller. And you should make sure you can explain why you're using it.   

For instance, some businesses are comfortable using legitimate interest as a justification for outreach, where others require an opt-in before they would use a personal email.  

Glenigan’s GDPR  approach 

Glenigan’s website states they “draw contact data from publicly-available, public-sector sources, such as local planning authorities, public tendering websites and expenditure plans” therefore although the “corporate individuals” data is categorised under GDPR as personal data, it “can be used within the current legislative framework for business-to-business sales and marketing purposes.”  

To comply, they then send emails out to new contacts with an ‘opt-out’ option to confirm their inclusion in the database.   

So rather than an “opt-in", they require an “opt-out”.  

Barbour’s GDPR  approach

As part of their telephone research process, Barbour ABI researchers ask contacts whether they would like to be listed on the Barbour ABI database and if they want to be contacted by third parties. If they agree, only then are the contacts details added to the database.  

This means contacts will have opted in to be listed on the Barbour ABI database.   

If you need to get approval from a legal team before subscribing, they may be persuaded based on this conscientious data gathering approach.   


Partnerships & Add-Ons  

Both Glenigan and Barbour ABI boast strong connections with large information corporations and sister companies to give you more from their service.  

Barbour ABI benefits from a contract with the UK government’s Office for National Statistics. This gives them first-hand access to government contracts, a big winning point for people looking to tender for government projects. They also provide Barbour Product Search and AMA market analysis and commentary.  Also, Project Prospecta is an exclusive partner of Barbour ABI.   

Glenigan also has multiple partnerships such as The Builders’ Conference, BRE, UK Contractors Group, Constructing Excellence, and the CECA. They also provide market analysis and marketing data as products.   

Conclusion  - Barbour ABI vs. Glenigan

There are many similarities and differences between Barbour ABI and Glenigan.   

They both provide construction leads, but features, data acquisition methods, GDPR policies , and partnerships are the main points of difference.  

We hope this guide has been helpful.


How Can Project Prospecta Help You Get More Out of Barbour ABI?  

Once you have subscribed to Barbour ABI or Glenigan you have access to thousands of contacts. The next question is: what do you do with all of them? This volume of contacts presents a great opportunity for a lead warming marketing strategy. Something more sophisticated than an email blast.   

Project Prospecta is a marketing service specifically designed for construction market intelligence subscribers. It automatically nurtures every lead through an email sequence. Each lead is scored according to their engagement with emails and your website. Then hot leads are passed off to your sales team. This bridges the gap between the vast amount of construction project information and qualified leads for your team to follow up.  

As a marketing service, Project Prospecta needs to meet high levels of GDPR compliance. Therefore, they work exclusively with Barbour ABI. This is because Barbour's opt-in policy guarantees contacts have agreed to be listed on the database and agreed for contact by third parties.  

If you’d like more information shoot Jack an email: or set up a meeting with the link below.  



Interested? Then get in touch…

Or call us now on +44 (0) 1952 897097