Welcome to Dun & Bradstreet – Fascinating History and Spend Intelligence

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed two new “lead sponsor” banners appearing on the right-hand side of the page in over the past few days.

One is from SAP Ariba, who are promoting a new paper the firm has produced titled “The World's Unhealthy Obsession with Plastic - How procurement and supply chain can help”.  You can download that here and we’ll be reviewing that very shortly – in the meantime, and on a related topic, don’t forget our pub debate on July 4th in London. “This House Believes that Procurement with Purpose can Save the World!”

The other banner is from Dun & Bradstreet. Everyone knows the firm of course, and I actually worked for the Corporation back in the 1990s, as European Procurement Director, when the D&B Corporation actually owned a whole range of firms including Moody’s, Thomson Directories, Nielsen market research and even Gartner for a while.

D&B has a fascinating history, going back to “the Mercantile Agency” founded in 1841 - did you know that even US Presidents worked for the firm back when it gathered information about the reliability of businesses from trusted local “reporters”, who recorded in writing their views on whether tradespeople could be trusted with credit!

Among the reporters who went on to establish names for themselves were no less than four U.S. presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland and William McKinley. The firm grew then through the 20th century to have what certainly at one time was one of the very largest private sector computer databases in the world.

While it is best known for that wealth of global finance and credit information, the depth of business data still held by D&B can be used in many different ways. Even back in my day, we were looking at how the information could be used by procurement managers (in addition to checking on supplier robustness and other risk-related matters). As a unique business identifier, the D-U-N-S® Number, for instance, offers obvious possibilities when it comes to identifying and classifying suppliers.

And that classification capability is one key aspect of the relatively new D&B product that is being highlighted on our site. D&B Spend Intelligence is a spend analysis product, that brings the power to the D&B database to bear on accurately classifying and measuring third-party spend in a classic “spend analytics” sense.

“D&B Spend Intelligence 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”.

We haven’t had a close look at the solution yet, but intuitively it sounds like D&B should be able to use their traditional strengths here in a worthwhile manner. So definitely worth considering for anyone looking at analytics solutions - and we’ll report back with more when we have had that closer look ourselves.

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