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25 July 2017

How broad, rich company data can improve your credit risk research

Wendy Gore

Credit and procurement professionals have to regularly decide whether getting involved with a potential customer or supplier poses an unacceptable credit risk. And, as you probably know all too well, making the right call can be a tall task.

One of the factors that makes your job so difficult – as we addressed in a recent white paper: Internationally standardised company information for credit risk – is the fact that various regions and jurisdictions around the world have all evolved different reporting regulations and standards, due to differing cultural and environmental factors. This phenomenon can drastically affect the availability, or lack thereof, of company data from region to region.

For example, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark (known collectively in this context as the Anglo-Saxon countries) have a long history of businesses filing open and honest company information. As a result, an extensive amount of company data in these nations is quite readily accessibly.

In contrast, companies in other European nations traditionally have displayed a less-transparent approach to the sharing of their data (although that has been changing somewhat since EU regulations began to recalibrate the reporting environment in 1974).

And, almost on the other end of the spectrum entirely, US companies, unless they are publicly traded, operate in a framework that doesn’t require or even strongly encourage the reporting of information. Since only about 4,000 of the nearly 30 million companies that operate in the United States are listed, this leads to a situation where it can be extraordinarily difficult to gather data on the lion's share of US businesses.

Orbis's broad, deep and structured information can strengthen your decision-making

Clearly, therefore, when researching potential customers or suppliers for credit risk warning signs, you could find yourself – depending on the jurisdiction where a company or its parent or corporate group is based – struggling to find sufficient information to make an informed decision.

Our Orbis database, which covers more than 220 million companies across all countries worldwide, can help by giving you the ability to significantly expand the amount of rich, treated private business information you can access.

Orbis draws from more than 160 information providers (many of them local), as well as our own proprietary research, to offer one of the largest and richest private company data resources currently available. This can prove especially valuable in jurisdictions, such as the United States, where private companies are not required to disclose information.

Despite the lack of readily available US corporate data, as pointed out above, Orbis still manages to provide at least some, and in many cases quite a lot of, information on the c.27 million private US companies that are not required to provide company details. Without the information covered in a database like Orbis, you’d be hard pressed to access much, if any, data on the vast majority of these companies, as the image below clearly illustrates.

Wendy Gore

Wendy Gore, Copywriter

A member of the global marketing division, Wendy’s focus is on short-form blog posts covering Bureau van Dijk’s full range of interests.

A member of the global marketing division, Wendy’s focus is on short-form blog posts covering Bureau van Dijk’s full range of interests.

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How Bureau van Dijk can help you

Certainty is a highly-prized commodity in business. Data might be getting bigger all the time, but this only makes extracting value from it more difficult.

In capturing and treating private company information we aim to give you more certainty – and help you make better decisions and work more efficiently.



Our solutions are designed to help different business challenges and streamline your workflow. Many of our customers blend our information with their own internal data to get a more complete picture of the companies in their ecosystem.

Try our more certain approach –
welcome to the business of certainty.