Graham Southorn Cortera Pulse's New Approach to Credit Risk
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By Graham Southorn


With big data providing behavioural insights on suppliers and customers alike, Cortera Pulse wants to maximise your revenue and minimise your risk.


One of the most important aspects of running a business is making sure you're paid, and ideally paid on time.

Having insight into companies' business behaviour and changes in behaviour isn't easy but fortunately there are products out there which can help, and among them is Cortera Pulse. We previously covered Cortera Pulse in a FreePint Mini Review in 2013, and now our reviewer Andrew Lucas has taken an in-depth look at this distinctive offering.

Most B2B companies rely on demographic data, based on the size of other companies they deal with and what those companies do. In contrast, Cortera Pulse examines companies' behaviour, just as B2C operations like supermarkets analyse customer spending patterns.

Big Data Brings Behavioural Targeting

Underpinning all of this is big data, which enables Cortera Pulse to offer "behavioural targeting" and increased personalisation. Cortera CEO Jim Smith explained this approach in a FreePint Q&A in January. As Andrew writes in his review, "Jim Swift thinks that the B2B space has been a long way behind in collecting and using behavioural data."

Getting insights from big data requires having the information in the first place. Cortera's database boasts 18 million currently active companies in Canada and the US, which is no small feat. As Andrew explains, "There are 4.5 million companies with less than 10 employees and 1.1 million businesses with between 10 and 99 employees." What's more, some 600,000 companies close every year.

A Difficult Task

That Cortera Pulse aims to include information on any company in the US and Canada with more than two employees is still more impressive given the bureaucratic obstacles. "There is no legal requirement for private companies in the US to make their data publicly available. Each of the 50 states and 3,300 counties have their own rules on how available public records should be," writes Andrew.

Cortera Pulse's target market of finance, sales and marketing businesses have plenty of alternatives to choose from. Our 2015 round-up of company information providers looked at 13 key vendors, which included Cortera Pulse and its main rival - the global Hoover's database from Dun & Bradstreet.

However, "Cortera sees itself as the insurgent taking on D&B with its alternative approach to assessing risk through business purchase behaviour rather than historical payment habits, and through its low subscription costs and Pay As You Go pricing," writes Andrew.

Find Out More

Cortera is certainly not content to rest on its laurels, pledging to introduce innovations every week, including new scores, data attributes and benchmarks.

FreePint Subscribers can log in now to read FreePint's Product Review of Cortera Pulse, which includes a full breakdown of pricing, data types and sources, and a detailed explanation of how you can put it to use.

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