Wednesday, 20th July 2011
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Dun and Bradstreet has concentrated a lot of its efforts recently on helping small enterprises with their business information requirements, continuing the trend highlighted by Tim Buckley Owen in vendors concentrating on this sector. In April, D&B launched a new credit report service called DNBi Professional – also reported by Tim – which helps identify potential late payers. Last week, Information Today alerted us to the overhaul of D&B’s free, ad-supported site for SMEs called Allbusiness.com.
Acquired by D&B in 2007, Allbusiness is part of the company’s online media business, D&B Digital, and sits alongside Hoovers and DNB in providing web-accessed business content. Allbusiness is billed as the “world’s largest online resource for small businesses”, and there is certainly a wealth of information on the site, all aimed at the US SME entrepreneur. However, info entrepreneurs in any English-speaking part of the world will find relevant information here.
There are plenty of “How to” articles, videos and presentations, reports on business trends and blogs on a variety of topics. I found the ranking of companies by industry sector – there are 14 million in the database – quite useful, and there is of course a link to Hoovers for in-depth profiles of businesses – at a price. The downloadable business templates on subjects such as marketing plans and budget analysis are well worth a look. Where I found the service disappointing was in the provision of articles from professional journals. A cursory glance at a few of these revealed that many were quite out of date, as confirmed by the editor of Online Magazine, Marydee Ojala in this amusing commentary on the site’s approach to indexing. It is probably best to stick to the current news stories and blogs for up-to-date information.
Another D&B product, Hoovers will have endeared itself to librarians using the Serials Solutions Summon Service. It has recently signed an agreement with ProQuest’s Serial Solutions for the provision of Hoovers company records on its cloud-based Summon web-scale discovery service. According to the press release, Hoovers content will be integrated into the Summons single index service – a welcome addition to a service apparently used by 250 libraries worldwide.
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