Jonathan Gordon-Till Russian information services come of age
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By Jonathan Gordon-Till


Even when the internet opened up a world of opportunity, first to information professionals through online databases, then to end-users through millions of websites, authoritative information about Russian businesses remained difficult to find. Moreover, where information could be obtained directly from official sources, there often remained a language barrier as much of it continued to be published in Russian.

Perhaps as a response to the growth in interest in the so-called BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, official sources of company, news and market information in Russia have now been augmented by major western information publishers. In this month's VIP Magazine we take a close look at two of the major products in this area - Bureau van Dijk's Ruslana company information database, and  Emerging Markets Information Service (EMIS) from ISI Emerging Markets.

Both of these services provide a valuable entry point for Russian company information, with a variety of search and filter features on a wide range of company information variables. Ruslana has adopted the popular interface used by many of BvD's company information products, enabling effective creation of detailed peer groups, the identification of specific ‘target' companies, or complex analysis of financial time series with charts and data tables. What is really impressive with Ruslana is that is contains at least summary information on over 6 million companies across Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

EMIS's wealth of complementary information in English as well as Russian such as analysts' reports, local and regional news sources, and macroeconomic data also come as a pleasant surprise. Not only is there so much information packed into every company page, but the news and reports are right up to date.

Both services present occasional challenges of poor transliteration making a little knowledge of the Russian language very helpful in using these databases. Moreover, because both services rely on official registers for most of the core company information, the vagaries of inefficient reporting by company secretaries in this region results in incomplete or erroneous company accounting information. But this is the best information anyone can find across so many companies in the region and it is at least reassuring to find the Russian market now so deeply covered by two robust information services.  

Purchase the full report comparing Ruslana and EMIS - Russia:

Save money by purchasing VIP Issue No. 77, April 2010, which includes this full report, as well at the report on Mergent Online:

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