The Power Behind B.E. Research

Black Enterprise, September 2004 | Go to article overview

The Power Behind B.E. Research


Ever wonder how the BE 100s are put together, or how we develop our various lists throughout the year? The B.E. research division of our marketing department is where we turn. Whenever a person or department needs crucial information presented in a reader-friendly way, we turn to the intelligence of B.E. research, a small unit responsible for gathering and analyzing demographic data and other relevant information to support the advertising, editorial, and circulation departments. In essence. B.E. research is the backbone of proprietary franchise staples such as the BE 100s lists. our advertising department's industry reports, and, in this issue, our list of today's hottest franchises.

The key person behind B.E. research is Marketing/ Research Coordinator Lisa Sumner. Over time, her research has proven reliable and incredibly accurate. That's no easy task, especially when it's time to put together our annual June report on the nation's largest black-owned businesses. For instance, in light of recent corporate improprieties, accounting irregularities, financial mismanagement, revenue overstatements, and executive malfeasance, B.E. research and editorial have tightened our standards on how companies report their gross sales, billings, and other financial measurements. Once a company responds to our BE 100s survey, it's Sumner. under the direction of Vice President of Marketing Stacia Tackle, who makes literally hundreds of phone calls to verify the survey information. She checks the accuracy of the financial and business information through government agencies, corporate purchasing offices, and industry reporting services such as Dun & Bradstreet.

In fact, financial services firms underwent a stringent due diligence process. With the assistance of a consulting firm, B.E. research contacted the Securities & Exchange Commission to get an accurate account of the filed assets under management for the companies appearing on our asset managers list. (These companies make investments in equities and fixed-income vehicles for institutional and individual investors.) As a result, several firms were dropped from the list when it was discovered that they failed to meet our requirement of being registered with the SEC. …

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