Dun & Bradstreet Spend Intelligence – Master Data Mastery

We mentioned here that we were featuring a banner on our website from Dun & Bradstreet recently (and as I said then, I worked for the firm back in the 1990s).

D&B are promoting a relatively new product, Spend Intelligence – which “provides full visibility into corporate spending with customizable dashboards and actionable data. Quickly gain deeper insights into corporate spending to make better-informed decisions and capture greater opportunity”.  That sounds good, we thought - so we spoke to Kellie Mater and Tom Cosgrove from the firm to find out a bit more about Spend Intelligence.

The concept is to take advantage of the potential for clients to experience improved “supplier master data management”, using the capabilities and data that reside in the D&B database, including the DUNS number protocol and all the company information the firm collects.  Most procurement people understand the importance of accurate, up-to-date and accessible supplier master data. It is not only spend analytics that makes use of that, but other areas of interest such as supplier and supply chain risk management totally rely on having that accurate and relevant information about suppliers.

That is where the size and strength of the D&B company database comes into its own. For instance, D&B will quickly pick up changes in firms’ situations, such as ownership, which are relevant to procurement-related spend analysis and risk management. It is all about the “intersection between master data and actionable intelligence”, as they put it.

The new D&B Spend Intelligence offering also makes data available via APIs, so this information can be integrated to other systems and accessed rapidly. It is not about waiting for the end of a month or quarter to review past spend – this is about being able to monitor quickly and easily real-time changes in supplier situations and link that to your spend portfolio.

“It’s really the intersection of procurement, risk and compliance”, says Cosgrove  – the compliance aspect coming in when you consider for example the need to understand your supply base in the light of legislation around sanctions, or the importance of understanding who the “beneficial owners” of businesses may be in certain situations.  Then there is modern slavery, anti-money laundering regulations and much more in that sphere for executives to worry about. In all cases, understanding your supply base and linkages between firms is vital.

The D&B offering is built on Rosslyn Analytics spend analysis capability, but obviously brings in the company data available through the D&B platform. That resource includes no less than 300 million business entities globally – which I would assume is the most extensive database of businesses in the world.

D&B sells directly in the US and UK and are actively promoting Spend Intelligence now. In other countries, D&B works on a franchise-type model (I must admit, I didn’t realise that) so those organisations will be involved too. Now many procurement functions will already have a spend analytics product, of course – but the extra dimension of the D&B data does make this interesting and worth considering, we would suggest. For first-time buyers of spend analytics, it must be worth a look.

And we’re told that more products of interest to the procurement world are likely to follow soon from D&B – so watch this space!

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