D&B Connect Data Management Platform

Dun & Bradstreet launched D&B Connect, a self-service data management platform that “intuitively connects, manages and visualizes critical data across an organization using the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud.”  D&B Connect helps users benchmark, access, clean, enrich, and monitor their customer and contact data.

D&B Connect provides an “easy-to-use portal for managing sales and marketing data.”  The service enriches and unifies data for a “complete view of the customer.”  Along with Dun & Bradstreet firmographics, linkages, and contacts, D&B Connect enriches customer files with over 2,500 insights and supports custom data layouts.

D&B Connect builds on Dun & Bradstreet’s data management solutions for sales and marketing platforms and leverages Dun & Bradstreet’s global WorldBase file, D-U-N-S Numbers, and DUNSMatch capabilities.  These assets support identity resolution, including corporate linkages, to tie together account hierarchies, providing a unified customer view that spans regions, product lines, multiple company names, and enterprise software platforms.

D&B Connect acts as a centralized hub to manage and report on data quality in enterprise platforms, including CRMs, MAPs, ERPs, data lakes, and CDPs.  A machine learning engine normalizes input records, removing manual file preparation steps.

Users can set match quality rules and thresholds based on D&B Confidence Code, Match Grade String, and the number of match candidates to be returned.

Other features include embedded intelligence, “simplified workflows,” and “team-based controls and dashboards to improve collaboration across departments.”

D&B Connect can process millions of records “in a SOC 2 certified, CCPA, and GDPR-ready environment.”

“With D&B Connect, we put the power to manage data quality in the user’s hands, enabling our clients to reduce time spent on data management from weeks to hours,” said Michael Bird, President of Sales and Marketing Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet.  “We will continue to innovate across our sales and marketing portfolio to reduce MarTech complexity by integrating directly into the workflows of our clients so they can focus on growing their businesses.”

D&B Connect is supported by a team of 28 data advisors, each with at least ten years of experience.

In 2021, D&B Connect will be extended into finance and risk use cases.

Dun & Bradstreet has had a strong 2020 that included an IPO, the acquisitions of European partner Bisnode and firmographics vendor Orb Intelligence, and the launch of several products and services (COVID-19 Risk Data, Pipeline Risk Analysis, D&B ABM Platform, and D&B Analytics Studio).

Dun & Bradstreet Acquires Bisnode (Part III)

Last week, Dun & Bradstreet acquired long-time partner Bisnode, greatly strengthening its position in Europe. Bisnode provides them with direct access to regional and multi-national customers in the Nordic region, Eastern Europe, and D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

Start at Part I


Dun & Bradstreet described the execution risk as low to medium as they know the company well, have established relationships with Bisnode, and Bisnode is “very familiar” with Dun & Bradstreet’s products and solutions.  The deal was also structured as a mix of debt and equity so as not to increase Dun & Bradstreet’s financial leverage.

One the announcement call, Dun & Bradstreet did not discuss Bisnode products, but one asset that Dun & Bradstreet will likely operationalize quickly is Bisnode’s file of 40 million GDPR-compliant business contacts across 21 European countries.

Dun & Bradstreet anticipates the deal will close in January 2021 subject to standard regulatory reviews.  The acquisition will add around 2,000 headcount to Dun & Bradstreet.

Bisnode revenue will be included in Dun & Bradstreet’s international division and will be broken out for the first year after acquisition.

Jabbour indicated that Dun & Bradstreet is strategically reviewing its World Wide Network of partners to “look for ways to improve the commercial arrangements that we have or make them more relevant.”  Options include purchasing the partner, ending the partnership arrangement and picking a new partner, or renegotiating the relationship.

The market appeared pleased with the transaction as Dun & Bradstreet’s stock price increased 8.53% last Thursday following the announcement and analyst call.

Dun & Bradstreet Acquires Bisnode (Part II)

[Part I] Last week, Dun & Bradstreet announced the acquisition of Bisnode Business Information Group for $818 million. The deal greatly strengthens their European presence across 18 countries, including the Nordics, D-A-CH, and Eastern Europe.


When the deal closes, Dun & Bradstreet will “rapidly introduce” its credit and supplier risk management solutions, along with its sales and marketing services, to clients across Europe, “providing vital business intelligence to help them compete, thrive and grow.”

Ratos AB CEO Jonas Wiström noted that Bisnode’s focus has “improved customer offering, stability, and profitability,” but that ongoing growth “requires that Bisnode participate in the consolidation that is taking place in the increasingly global market for data and analytics.”  

Over the past four years, Bisnode has doubled its operating margin from 7% to 14%.  In H1 2020, eleven to the twelve companies within the Bisnode group improved their earnings.

“We are convinced that Dun & Bradstreet is the best possible partner to lead this consolidation. The combined strengths of our assets and capabilities will greatly serve our respective clients, increase competitiveness and position Dun & Bradstreet/Bisnode for long-term growth. I look forward to joining the Dun & Bradstreet International Strategic Advisory Board.”

Ratos AB CEO Jonas Wiström

Ratos’ strategy is to hold companies that are or can become market leaders, but Bisnode, as a standalone organization, is not in a position to build a market-leading position in data and analytics.

Dun & Bradstreet offers a suite of advanced B2B sales and marketing solutions that can be cross-sold into the Bisnode customer base.  Cross-sale opportunities include D&B Lattice (a customer data platform), D&B Analytics, D&B ABM Platform, D&B Audience Solutions (Visitor Intelligence, webforms, and programmatic advertising), D&B Optimizer (DaaS enrichment and validation), D&B Direct (API), and D&B Hoovers.

Dun & Bradstreet anticipates operational efficiencies from migrating Bisnode customers off legacy platforms onto Dun & Bradstreet solutions, more efficient data sourcing and curation, and leveraging global resources to make all functions more efficient.  

Owning the full revenue stream of Dun & Bradstreet products increases the profitability of localizing services due to the removal of revenue shares and the availability of local sales and support teams.  The D-A-CH region would likely be the initial target for localization.  For example, D&B Hoovers has Nordic, German, and Austrian financials and corporate linkages, but the UI and event triggers are only in English. 

“When you get into some of those 18 countries within the Bisnode territory, there wasn’t that level of localization” as compared to the UK, said Jabbour.  “So there is a fantastic opportunity to bring our modern platforms [and] modern APIs and make small tweaks from a localization perspective.”

“The products that we have rolled out have been very successful,” continued Jabbour.  Dun & Bradstreet expects continued success and greater market focus on the Bisnode markets.  During the pandemic, Dun & Bradstreet’s product sales by Bisnode grew “nicely.”

“The closer we can get to the headquarters of any business and really share our value proposition [and] ways [that] we can help that business grow their revenues, improve their margins, and remain compliant,” the greater the opportunity.  “We have a lot of confidence in our go-to-market approach, and this simplifies it because now there is one instead of two companies involved in serving that large enterprise on a global basis,” observed Jabbour.

Another advantage of direct ownership is Dun & Bradstreet is no longer looking to influence the sales team but will have direct control over incentive and compensation plans.


Part III publishes tomorrow.

Dun & Bradstreet Acquires Bisnode

Dun & Bradstreet, which has long relied on global partnerships to address the sales, marketing, and risk evaluation needs of its multi-national customers, is expanding its presence in Europe with the acquisition of Bisnode Business Information Group.  Bisnode is 70% owned by private equity firm Ratos and 30% by Bonnier.

The $818 million acquisition, which is 75% cash and 25% common stock, expands Dun & Bradstreet’s presence in Scandinavia, Central Europe, and D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).  The acquisition provides direct ownership in eighteen “strategic territories in Europe” and “provides opportunities for scale by leveraging existing Dun & Bradstreet product portfolio, data supply chain, and technology infrastructure.”

Upon close, Ratos will hold a 1% stake in Dun & Bradstreet.

Bisnode’s Belgian operations were not included in the deal.

The deal adds 110,000 Bisnode customers to Dun & Bradstreet’s customer base and provides direct access to an additional fifty Global 500 companies headquartered in the Bisnode countries.  The deal provides direct ownership of 33 million business records (around nine percent of the WorldBase file).  It also allows for the direct sale of Dun & Bradstreet products into major European markets.

Bisnode currently has an annual revenue of around $400 million, net income of $28 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $70 million.

Bisnode has been a Dun & Bradstreet reseller since 2003.  Dun & Bradstreet’s solutions account for 33% of Bisnode revenue, and revenue has been “growing in a solid manner for the past few years” in the Bisnode territories.  The remaining Bisnode revenue consists of proprietary in-market solutions.

“We are pleased to bring Bisnode into the Dun & Bradstreet family following a nearly two-decade strategic alliance.  The powerful combination of our data, analytics, and innovative solutions, paired with Bisnode’s deep client relationships and expertise in European markets, will provide our existing and future clients with vital business intelligence to support their own growth ambitions. We look forward to welcoming the Bisnode team to Dun & Bradstreet and to working together to grow the global business.”

Dun & Bradstreet CEO Anthony Jabbour

When the deal closes, Dun & Bradstreet will create an International Strategic Advisory Board headed by Neeraj Sahai, President of Dun & Bradstreet International.  Ratos AB CEO Jonas Wiström will be joining the Advisory Board.

“Integrating our two leading organizations provides significant opportunity to deliver a broader product set to a substantially larger global client base. As the international business community becomes increasingly data-driven, we look forward to combining our teams to unlock further potential, drive innovation, and deliver solutions that are tuned to client and market needs,” said Sahai.


Continue to Part II.

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements: COVID-19 Impact Index

Soon after the pandemic began, Dun & Bradstreet developed a COVID-19 index which allowed companies to assess the pandemic risk to their loan portfolio, suppliers, and customer base. The firm moved to further enable analysis by implementing the scores within their D&B Hoovers sales and marketing intelligence platform.

“The COVID-19 Impact Index provides insight into how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting a company’s location, industry, and financial strength,” wrote VP of Product Management McWade.  “This data can help you actively monitor the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on accounts and prospects and refine targeting strategies accordingly.”

“The Index assesses impacts to a business based on the proximity of corporate locations to the pandemic, as well as the level of disruption to the company’s network due to site suppliers and business customers impacted by the pandemic.  Each week, the company and network situation are assessed, and a score ranging from highest to low is assigned to five key impact areas to provide visibility into the level of disruption that may be impacting the account.”

D&B VP of Product Management Phil McWade

The new index is displayed in the Company Summary with simple Green / Yellow / Red indexing.  The five variables have also been added to the Advanced Insights section of Search & Build a List.

The COVID-19 Impact Index Variables are

  1. Financial Impact – Leverages Dun & Bradstreet’s trade credit and risk data to understand financial health by assessing a company’s ability to meet payment obligations, as well as the probability of declaring bankruptcy, experiencing significant financial distress, engaging in M&A activity, and other high-risk activities.
  2. Location Impact – Reviews business site and corporate family locations subject to lockdown, stay-at-home, and shelter-in-place orders and weighs this information by the number of confirmed cases and growth in cases by location.  Country, state, county, and city-level location restrictions are assessed.  Local hospitalization rates are also factored into the variables.
  3. Industry Impact – Looks at industry impact signals to understand industry-associated risk by identifying essential businesses, which can operate remotely, require the physical presence of customers, and need employees to be at a central location.
  4. Overall Impact without Network Effects – Combines the financial, location, and industry impact indicators to determine the overall risk of the business.
  5. Overall Impacts with Network Effects – Reviews business connections with other organizations, such as customers, suppliers, or other third parties, to understand impacts on the company’s network.  This score provides the most comprehensive view of the current situation by adding network impacts to the company’s financial, location, and industry elements.

In Build a List, sales reps can filter for companies that are less impacted by COVID-19.  For territory reps located in hotspots, the location filter should be removed so they can identify companies that are better sheltered from the pandemic.  For example, both Carnival Cruises and Univision are headquartered in Miami, but Carnival would be a weak prospect due to COVID (all five indicators are highest) while Univision would be a good target (Location is highest, but the remaining variables are low).  Conversely, verticalized reps that sell into one or a few industries would omit the industry risk variable but include the location variable.  This strategy would identify firms that are otherwise low risk.

Lists can be saved as SmartLists of low-risk prospects that are updated weekly.

COVID-19 Index variables should not be employed as ABM variables for determining which companies to target strategically.  The variables are ephemeral and are unlikely to align with strategic fit.  However, they provide a valuable overlay to ABM lists for focusing on companies that are better sheltered from the economic and operational impacts of the pandemic.  They also provide a warning flag to Customer Success Managers and Account Executives around which firms may be looking to downgrade or churn, allowing sales to plan for one-time discounts, additional services, or alternative financing terms.

Variables are view-only in the desktop and CRM editions, but not downloadable to the desktop or synced with CRMs.  

The index variables are global.


Other recent enhancements to D&B Hoovers were discussed yesterday.

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements

D&B Hoovers released a set of enhancements to its sales intelligence service.  New content and features include expanded company identifiers, company identifier searching, additional URLs, and a COVID-19 Impact Index.

D&B Hoovers has improved the scope and display of global registration numbers (AKA Regnos) within their service, with identifiers available for more than 129 million companies spanning more than 500 different National Identification Numbering Schema.  Regnos are now more prominent in Company Profiles and searchable in the “Company Identifiers” section of “Search & Build a List.”

Identifiers include US Federal Tax IDs (EINs), VATs, and French Siret Numbers.  Up to four identifiers are displayed in company profiles.  While the service has long supported Dun & Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S Numbers, stock tickers, and registration numbers, the expanded scope assists with company lookup and research.

Dun & Bradstreet cautioned that not all registration numbers are unique, and multiple family members may share a Regno.

Users may search for a single identifier or upload a list of up to 1,000 ids.

“This new presentation of global registration numbers with Company Profiles and the Search & Build a List Form better aligns with the display of this information across Dun & Bradstreet products, providing a more consistent data experience for users who have multiple offerings.”

Senior Product Director Phil McWade

D&B Hoovers added 3.5 million additional URLs to their service, bringing the global count to 24 million.

D&B Hoovers continues to expand its company and executive coverage, with nearly 180 million active companies and 160 million active contacts.

Another new feature is a Coronavirus trigger for reps looking to monitor prospects and accounts along with a set of COVID-19 Impact Indices.  The new Impact Index is available as an optional add-on, priced per seat.

The new COVID-19 Impact Index will be covered in tomorrow’s blog.

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO (Part IV)

The is the fourth, and final, blog on Dun & Bradstreet’s upcoming IPO. Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE Ticker: DNB) will be offering 65.75 million shares at an IPO price between $19 and $21.  The offering would raise just over $1.3 billion and value the firm at $8 billion. [Top of Coverage]

North American revenue increased by $12.1 million or 4% (both after and before the effect of foreign exchange) in Q1 2020 vs. Q1 2019.  North American Finance and Risk rose $10.7 million (6%) year-over-year.  Finance Solutions were up $13 roughly million, while Compliance fell approximately $2 million.

North American Sales & Marketing grew revenue by $1.4 million (up 1%) in Q1.  However, $4.9 million of S&MS revenue was attributed to Lattice, which was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet in July 2019.  North American Advanced Marketing Solutions revenue rose $4 million due to increased demand, but D&B Hoovers and the Data.com legacy partnership with Salesforce posted declining revenue.  The Data.com service is being phased out, so the $4 million in quarterly revenue drop was anticipated.  However, the drop of $3 million in quarterly revenue at D&B Hoovers, attributed to lower sales, was surprising.

International revenue fell by $0.2 million in Q1.  International Finance & Risk revenue increased $2.3 million, or 4% (both after and before the effect of foreign exchange) for the three months ended March 31, 2020.  International Sales & Marketing revenue declined $2.3 million, primarily driven by lower product royalties from their WWN alliance.

Annual revenue dropped $139.8 million (8%), but the drop was due to purchase accounting deferred revenue adjustments (9%) due to the take-private transaction and Lattice acquisition.  There also was a one month lag in international revenue reporting due to the take-private transaction resulting in an additional 1.5% drop in revenue.

2019 North American revenue rose by $44.1 million (3%) with increases in both product lines.  The Finance & Risk division increased revenue by $16 million, or 2%.  The Risk & Compliance products grew revenue by $11 million, and the D&B Credibility products contributed an additional $4 million.

2019 North American Sales & Marketing revenue grew $28.1 million (4%), with $17 million in increased revenue from Master Data solutions and $12 million from Lattice, which was acquired at the beginning of Q3.

2019 International revenue fell $3.1 million after the impact of foreign currency but was up 2% before foreign currency impacts of $9.5 million.  “Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, growth of $6.4 million was primarily due to increased revenue in our U.K. market driven by higher demand and usage related to our Finance & Risk solutions, including Risk & Compliance products.”

2019 International revenue was negatively impacted by $1.8 million, mostly in the UK, “as a result of transferring legacy Avention contracts to our WWN alliances pursuant to preexisting agreements governing partner exclusivity in certain territories.”

The filing also provided some color into their 2018 performance vs. 2017 as a private company:

“The increase in Sales & Marketing Solutions reflects increased revenue from new business in our Master Data offerings of approximately $7 million as well as our Audience Solutions products (Visitor Intelligence and Programmatic) of approximately $5 million and Analytics products of approximately $5 million.  The aforementioned increases were partially offset by lower royalty revenue from our Data.com legacy partnership of approximately $7 million and decreased revenue in D&B Hoovers of approximately $5 million.”

Dun & Bradstreet S-1 Filing

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO (Part III)

Continuing my discussion of Dun & Bradstreet’s planned IPO. The firm was taken private by a group of private equity companies in January 2019 and restructured.

The S-1 laid out how the firm has been restructured over the past eighteen months:

  • “We immediately reorganized our management and operating infrastructure into vertically aligned business units to increase focus and accountability.
  • As a result of this realignment, 18 of the 19 executives, or 95%, and 30 of the 46, or 65%, members of the broader leadership team are new or in a new role, with nearly half of all employees reporting to a new leader.
  • Our total employee turnover was approximately 1,500 and our leadership was able to identify and eliminate ineffective headcount resulting in a net employee reduction of approximately 850, or 17% of total employees.
  • We will continue to optimize our organizational structure and make targeted hires to build out our team at all levels.”

Other changes include

  • Incentivizing long-term contracts in commission plans
  • A focus on tracking and monitoring service metrics
  • “Modernizing our infrastructure and optimizing our architecture to increase control, create efficiencies, and greatly enhance the ability of our platforms to scale,”
  • Expanding their ability to “seamlessly add and integrate new data sets and analytical capabilities into our simplified and scaled technology infrastructure.”
  • Increasing their coverage of SMBs and “incorporating new, alternative data sets to expand the breadth of companies covered and depth of information we are able to provide clients.”
  • Implemented a Data Watch Program which proactively monitors and repairs issues
  • Improved AI capabilities across a broader set of content

According to the S-1, “Enhanced analytics enable us to provide easy to implement end-to-end solutions; by creating configurable, rather than customizable, analytics solutions, we believe that we can increase the adoption of solutions by our clients and expand the size of our client base.”

The reorganization and other changes have resulted in a $206 million annualized run rate savings as of March 31, 2020.

“DNB has been reconstituted into presumably more efficient and responsible operating units,” stated Donovan Jones of IPO Edge.  “The problems with the IPO are that it is too early to tell if the reorganization is delivering better results than the previous structure and the firm is heavier with debt.”


In Part IV, I will be covering their financials.

Dun & Bradstreet Files for IPO (Part II)

Yesterday, I began my coverage of Dun & Bradstreet’s IPO filing. Today, I am discussing the restructuring section of their S-1. Dun & Bradstreet was taken private 18 months ago by a group of PE firms that quickly moved to reduce costs and replace management.

The S-1 laid out how the firm has been restructured over the past eighteen months:

“- We immediately reorganized our management and operating infrastructure into vertically aligned business units to increase focus and accountability.

– As a result of this realignment, 18 of the 19 executives, or 95%, and 30 of the 46, or 65%, members of the broader leadership team are new or in a new role, with nearly half of all employees reporting to a new leader.

– Our total employee turnover was approximately 1,500 and our leadership was able to identify and eliminate ineffective headcount resulting in a net employee reduction of approximately 850, or 17% of total employees.

– We will continue to optimize our organizational structure and make targeted hires to build out our team at all levels.”

Dun & Bradstreet S-1

Other changes include

  • Incentivizing long-term contracts in commission plans
  • A focus on tracking and monitoring service metrics
  • “Modernizing our infrastructure and optimizing our architecture to increase control, create efficiencies, and greatly enhance the ability of our platforms to scale,”
  • Expanding their ability to “seamlessly add and integrate new data sets and analytical capabilities into our simplified and scaled technology infrastructure.”
  • Increasing their coverage of SMBs and “incorporating new, alternative data sets to expand the breadth of companies covered and depth of information we are able to provide clients.”
  • Implemented a Data Watch Program which proactively monitors and repairs issues
  • Improved AI capabilities across a broader set of content

According to the S-1, “Enhanced analytics enable us to provide easy to implement end-to-end solutions; by creating configurable, rather than customizable, analytics solutions, we believe that we can increase the adoption of solutions by our clients and expand the size of our client base.”

The reorganization and other changes have resulted in a $206 million annualized run rate savings as of March 31, 2020.

“DNB has been reconstituted into presumably more efficient and responsible operating units,” stated Donovan Jones of IPO Edge.  “The problems with the IPO are that it is too early to tell if the reorganization is delivering better results than the previous structure and the firm is heavier with debt.”


Part III of my coverage publishes on Monday with a discussion of their restructuring.

D&B: Pipeline Health Analysis for Risk Reduction and Targeting Ideal Customers

Dun & Bradstreet, which has been running pipeline health analyses for its clients over the past three weeks, assessed over 35 million accounts across 125 pipelines.  They found that 21% of accounts were subject to high financial risk based on several factors: slow payment, bankruptcy, unpaid debt, and business viability, a statistic which VP of Product Marketing, Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Solutions Dennis Olcay called “jarring:”

“We continue to keep a close eye on this number, but that is a jarring statistic that demands attention as it relates to go-to-market strategies,” wrote Olcay.

“The dominant theme of our customer conversations today is how to be both sensitive and impactful in the new environment.  We have found the new environment has unleashed entirely new forms of sales and marketing campaigns – far less driven by self-positioning and more characterized by seeking to meet customers where they are.”

Digital Marketing Solutions CRO Michael McCarroll

Dun & Bradstreet offered a high-level risk segmentation based upon SIC codes and each industry’s risk profile (see chart on the right).  Industries were stratified across five categories: Essential businesses (e.g. food supply, hospitals), Supports Remote (i.e. businesses which were able to transition to WFH), requires contact (e.g. hospitality, entertainment), delivery-based retail (e-commerce, e-delivery, logistics), and central production (e.g. manufacturing, natural resource extraction). 

Dun & Bradstreet cautions that simple SIC analysis is only the first pass in performing a risk assessment.  Firms may be in the same industry but have different go-to-market and operational strategies that impact their risk profile.  Another factor is their exposure to supply chain and customer risk.

“Despite the promise of MarTech to enable speed and scale for your go-to-market strategy, this is a time to hit the pause button and rethink your go-to-market approach,” cautioned Olcay.  “Don’t sacrifice tailored messaging for the sake of scale and speed to market – the additional thought you put in now to think about fit, intent, and risk will pay dividends when your audiences notice you’re empathizing with them and offering real value that aligns to the specific challenges they are experiencing.”

And Dun & Bradstreet isn’t the only firm that is promoting pipeline analyses for its clients. Zoominfo is offering a similar service which I will cover in my next blog. If you don’t know where to find revenue in June and Q3, a pipeline analysis is an excellent place to start.

Dun & Bradstreet and DueDil (UK) are offering industry barometers to help refine your targeting. Vertical IQ is offering industry-specific pandemic analysis as part of its industry overviews. Experian is providing a regional and industry analysis by risk level.

And on the marketing side, HubSpot has been publishing weekly marketing metrics for their 70,000 customers. Data includes deal open rates, deal close rates, email prospecting, site visit rates etc. Users can even drill down by segment and country to benchmark their sales and marketing performance against peers. The most recent analysis is for the week of May 18.