Magazine article Online

D&B Solutions: Dun & Bradstreet Partners with Prodigy

Magazine article Online

D&B Solutions: Dun & Bradstreet Partners with Prodigy

Article excerpt

Dun & Bradstreet and Prodigy? This seems as likely a pairing as the Wall Street Journal and People, the National Gallery of Art and Disneyland, or Brooks Brothers and the Gap. What can Dun & Bradstreet, guardian of some of the world's most exclusive financial data, and Prodigy, the laid-back, "have-a-nice-day" consumer service, have in common? The search for new customers and new markets, of course. In one of today's more unlikely online alliances, D&B and Prodigy have teamed up to deliver D&B Solutions. it is the yin and yang of electronic information, a union of D&B's sought-after company information and Prodigy's easygoing interface.

On closer examination, the D&B/Prodigy partnership is not so unusual. Certain kinds of business information have long been staples on all the consumer online services. Stock quotes, business news, investment advice and discount brokers are commonplace in the consumer online world. They are important to the business people and personal investors who make up a big segment of the consumer online market. After a poor and very uncertain start, Prodigy has steadily built a diverse and respectable collection of business databases.

For its part, D&B has for several years been making its information more widely available on public online services. Company financial and operations data, not long ago available only to qualified D&B subscribers, can now be obtained through several professional online services. Most recently, D&B has made its credit reports available through DIALOG and announced that Dun's Market Identifiers, International Dun's Market Identifiers and Dun's Financial Records plus will come up on Datatimes. With D&B Solutions on Prodigy, a large and important chunk of D&B data is within easy reach for yet another large new group of customers.




D&B Solutions is a version of Dun's Market Identifiers, which is available on Data-Star, DIALOG, Datatimes (scheduled for 1995) and Dow Jones News/Retrieval. The database is a directory of more than seven million United States business establishments, including corporations, partnerships, proprietorships, divisions, subsidiaries and branches. It contains public companies, but the vast majority of its entries are for hard-to-research private companies, including very small businesses. For providing critical information on an enormous number of business entities, it is one of the most important of all business databases. Each record contains a succinct set of key organizational, operational and financial facts including:

* Name, address, telephone number, D-U-N-S number, date and state of incorporation, corporate parents and principal officers

* Line(s) of business and primary and secondary SIC codes, using D&B's expanded, eight-digit codes

* Establishment type (branch, proprietorship, etc.), physical size in square footage, accounting firm and bank

* Sales territory, number of accounts, number of employees and employment growth

* Annual sales for latest year, two years previously (trend year) and four years previously (base year), sales growth and net worth

D&B Solutions includes all of the business establishments found in Dun's Market Identifiers, but the records are abbreviated. D&B Solutions records have the most critical company data elements, but they do lack:

* Base and trend year sales and net worth * Sales territory and number of accounts * Accounting firm and bank * All officers except principal executive


D&B Solutions is a gateway to D&B, accessed with a simple, menu-driven interface on Prodigy. Although it can be used efficiently by anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of company information, it nevertheless provides a surprising amount of search power. Searching can be done on a pleasing variety of criteria:

* Company name * Organizational status * SIC codes * Annual sales * Number of employees * D-U-N-S number * Region * State * County * City * Area code * ZIP code

Most of these choices have additional menus - of state abbreviations, SIC codes, etc. …

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