vs Payscale: Which Has More Accurate Data?

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Of all the tools you could use to estimate the ideal salary to pay an employee, both and Payscale are excellent choices. helps employers and job applicants alike analyze market pay rates. Payscale does, too, but its data comes from slightly different sources. 

We’ve tested both of these tools and use them to do our own compensation benchmarking. It’s really hard to know which one has better data. But both services are far superior to most of the other tools on the market. 

It’s always worth knowing where the data from tools like this come from, though. So let’s compare. vs Payscale: Data Quality at a Glance and Payscale both give job seekers and employers a reliable place to find information on compensation trends. You can search for a role by location, experience, and education to find the average compensation range for it.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where and Payscale get their data:

  • buys up-to-the-minute survey reports conducted by trusted compensation consulting firms and itself. No reports from individuals or job listings here. 
  • Data represents more than 1.3 million people in different roles at over 5,000 companies. The platform also offers data for China, the UK, Canada, and more than a dozen other countries. 
  • Updates data every month.


  • Payscale gets its data from a combination of places: employee reports, employer data, and leading survey publishers.
  • Data represents more than 12,000 roles. These are mostly in the United States. But you can also find some data for countries outside the U.S.
  • Updates data throughout the year.

Both Payscale and make high-quality data a priority. You could really go with either one. Or both. If you work with a lot of international employees,’s robust global datasets might make that platform more appealing. 

All told, you’re a lot better off going with or Payscale than you are with a site like Glassdoor, which gets its data from unvetted user reviews. 

That said, data quality is just one of the key considerations when it comes to choosing the right compensation planning software. It’s also important to know how you can view and manipulate the data to use it for your own needs. 

So let’s explore how you can do this on both Payscale and Overview offers a full suite of resources for employers and employees alike. From the moment you land on’s homepage, it’s easy to find the tools you’re looking for. Everything is split into employer- and employee-specific tools. 

A screenshot of the home page of

Job seekers can use the cost-of-living calculator, personal salary reports, job listings, and company salary data to land a great gig. Employers can use’s compensation planning and comparison tools to price jobs competitively.’s CompAnalyst tool is the powerhouse behind all the platform’s compensation benchmarking features, which include: 

  • Market pricing: Use CompAnalyst Market Data, data, or your own data to create market composites. These help you see the pay ranges your competitors are offering so you can make a better offer. You can adjust the results by adding the skills, education, and certificates needed to qualify for a job.
  • Job matching: Enter details about the job you need to price and’s AI will recommend specific jobs from the CompAnalyst Market Data pool. This detailed comparison helps you understand, line by line, how to price compensation for the same role.
  • HR integration: Using either API or flat files, CompAnalyst integrates with any HR or payroll software service. You can run all your salary benchmarking right alongside your HR and payroll software. This makes it easier to stay on top of current market rates for all the roles in your company. You can also run your own compensation surveys through a CompAnalyst integration. 
  • Surveys: Access survey data for all the biggest industries through Each survey set goes incredibly deep into an individual industry—like accounting, higher ed, and retail. You’ll get detailed data on job levels, job families, work schedules, typical gross revenue, and FTE compensation. These surveys cost a pretty penny, but you may be able to get a discount if you’re already a customer.

We like that you can get a detailed report for a job and break down every compensation detail about it. You can even display the data in more than one way—in a bar chart or data grid. All in all, is pretty user-friendly when it comes to slicing and dicing data to make it work for you.

A screenshot into the dashboard of a user on the website

Pricing for is tough to pin down. Some of its basic features are free to use, like the SalaryWizard tool. If you want in-depth data, though, you’ll have to buy Salary Wizard report credits. Each credit gets you one report, and a single report credit costs $245. 

If you’re a small business, you can probably stick to using the free part of Salary Wizard and buying reports as needed. 

Mid-sized companies and bigger businesses would benefit more from a comprehensive CompAnalyst subscription with deeper data. With this plan, your company can keep its market composites, job descriptions, employee data, salary surveys, and other internal job details in one spot. 

There’s no listed pricing, but you can test-run CompAnalyst with a two-week free trial

Payscale Overview 

Payscale gives employees and employers a selection of tools to keep them informed when it comes to salaries and compensation. Its tools for individuals include things like a cost-of-living calculator, a career path planner, and customized salary reports.

A knowledgebase section containing helpful topics and industry resources

Employers can get the high-quality data they need to benchmark their compensation against market rates. They’ll also benefit from Payscale’s suite of compensation management tools. These include: 

  • MarketPay: If you’re a global firm with a complex pay system, MarketPay helps you hire and retain a top-notch workforce. The database of over 1,100 employers powers MarketPay’s pay equity analysis and location-based salary tools. Plus, MarketPay lets you automate your survey process. It integrates with Tableau for quality reporting and analytics. 
  • Payfactors: Payfactors is ideal for SMBs and helps you make smart, quick pay decisions throughout the year. You’ll get access to all of Payscale’s U.S. data so you can offer competitive, fair pay. You get to keep your job pricing, pay equity analysis, budgeting, and job description management tools in one place. You can also create detailed reports and total rewards statements so employees can see just how much they’re worth.
  • Managed services: If your HR team doesn’t have time to implement Payscale services on their own, you can get Payscale’s team to do it instead. Payscale can import your existing data onto the Payscale platform, train your team on how to use your product, and design a custom market analysis plan for you. 
A screenshot of the Payscale website showing pricing details

As with other enterprise-grade tools, it’s hard to dig up a price for Payscale’s services. Some tools are free to use, like basic job pricing with Payfactors. But you have to fork over your name and work email before you can use it. 

Features like MarketPay cost money, but you have to reach out to a Payscale sales rep to find out just how much. 

Comparing vs. Payscale 

Payscale and are a lot alike—and they’re direct competitors. As far as data goes, the main difference is that Payscale collects data from three sources: employers, employees, and surveys., on the other hand, only gathers data from surveys conducted by professional research firms. 

Both offer data that’s as accurate as you could wish for. Payscale puts more of an emphasis on employee- and employer-reported data than third-party survey data. takes a more traditional approach. Both of these tools are eons better than something like Glassdoor, which only provides unvetted, user-reported compensation information. 

So which one should you use: or Payscale? If you’re a small or mid-sized business, Payscale offers a simpler and more intuitive platform. It’s also ideal if you value insights from employees. 

But if you need global data, you’re better off using It has a lot more to give when it comes to global compensation trends. It’s also more of a formal, enterprise-level platform all around.

If you’re not quite ready to make a decision, explore other compensation planning alternatives here

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