Chris Porter D&B Hoover's - Latest Developments at a Company Information Giant
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By Chris Porter


Chris Porter takes a fresh look at long-established global company data provider D&B, with a particular focus on the company, executive and industry information within its well-known Hoover's service.


In the world of company information, D&B is one of the giants. It traces its history back to 1841; boasts four US presidents among its former staff; and even says that Marilyn Monroe is to be seen "seductively posed" with one its reference publications (in the 1953 movie "How to Marry a Millionaire", according to the company's history).

D&B has owned the Hoover's company, executive and industry information service since 2003. In terms of data coverage, Hoover's can point to some giant numbers: it carries information on over 86 million companies and 100 million executives - headline numbers significantly higher than many competing services - as well as 900 industry segments.

Depth of Data

Of course the interesting thing to the information professional is not just the headline number, but what level of data lies behind it. As in other recent profiles of company and information services, FreePint has taken a very detailed look at the amount of data depth you can expect to find in Hoover's, for both quoted and unquoted companies in different locations around the world.

Vendor Strategy

Equally interesting to the information professional is the underlying strategy of the vendor. Here it is worth noting that the business focus for Hoover's has evolved over time. Initially the service sat in a separate business division, "E-Business Solutions" - later renamed "Internet Solutions", where it enjoyed many good years of solid growth in subscriptions.

More recently, in 2012-13 D&B senior management could be heard commenting on earnings calls that revenue for the division was now declining due to tight customer spending, especially at small businesses, as well as competitive pressures.

A Force to be Reckoned With

As of 2013, the business unit ceased to be presented as an independent entity and instead became wrapped in with the wider D&B "Sales & Marketing Solutions" segment. However the Hoover's product itself remains very much a force to be reckoned with, and is evolving in some interesting ways, especially with regard to sales and marketing workflow.

Hoover's can certainly serve the general business researcher. However, the FreePint review makes clear that several of its most striking differentiators relate to the work of sales and marketing professionals, where D&B has provided some fascinating value-added tools to help add insight and increase effectiveness.

Comprehensive Review of Hoover's Now Available

For more information on D&B and the recent evolution of its Hoover's service, click here for the detailed Product Review of D&B Hoover's.

This review is part of the FreePint collection of product reviews and articles on company information providers. Find out more in Company Information Providers Under FreePint's Scrutiny.

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