Case Study:

Dun and Bradstreet: Delivering Scale

Dun and Bradstreet: Delivering Scale

 At A Glance

  • Founded in 1841, Dun & Bradstreet is a Fortune 500 company and a global leader in the provision of business information.  
  • A truly global business, Dun & Bradstreet has 5,000 employees, utilises 30,000 data sources and holds business information on 265 Million companies. 
  • In 1963 Dun & Bradstreet introduced the D-U-N-S Number (Data Universal Numbering System).  Today it is the standard business identifier, used by organisations globally including the United Nations, the European Union and the U.S. Government. 
  • Dun & Bradstreet offers a comprehensive range of products and services across 3 key areas: Finance, Credit & Risk; Supply Chain Management; Marketing & Sales. 

The Challenge

One of the key products for Dun & Bradstreet’s Macro Market Insight Service is the Country Insight report (CIR).  Produced annually, the reports covers a country’s overall political, economic and commercial status.  They allow readers to confidently evaluate the situation in a country, providing them with the necessary detailed intelligence to form a full view of underlying risks and opportunities.  The reports are produced by a team of highly-trained expert analysts using D&B’s quality data and are presented in an engaging visual format. 

Individual CIR reports for 132 countries were produced annually.  The key issues in producing them were:- 

Manual Report Authoring and Editing: The report building process was entirely manual and extremely laborious for the numerous editors and analysts involved in the production process. Additionally, many of the analysts were freelance, and not co-located with the rest of the team. 

Fragmented Access to Data: Data integrity, sourcing and attribution were extremely laborious and time consuming processes, with hundreds of separate datasets being sourced, managed and updated. 

Costly Process Overheads: Too much editorial and analytical time was consumed by production issues such as formatting, data validation and process management. 

Inconsistent Quality Control: Consistency and quality of output were huge concerns, as was the inability to re-use content in different contexts. 

Lack of Economies of Scale: The manual management of the overall process was identified as the key barrier to the ability to add scale to the product offering. 

The Solution

Firstly, Gavurin took ownership of the data for D&B, hosting and consolidating it on a Gavurin platform with effective data validation, input and update processes implemented.  This ensured the data offered a ‘single source of the truth’ for the analysts and was always attributable and auditable. 

Once complete, the Gavurin Analytics platform was deployed.  This provided analysts with the tools with which to analyse and visualise data sets, allowing them to provide insightful and usable data views in reports. 

The next challenge was to simplify and standardise the report writing and production process.  The Gavurin Reporting templating and authoring tools gave analysts pre-formatted templates with which to write professional quality, standardised reports.  Critically, the automated data update functionality component of the platform removed the need to manually source and update data.  Gavurin Reporting facilitated several output formats – PDF, Word, HTML and XML – together with bespoke content management capability.  This modular content architecture framework delivered ‘write once, use often’ functionality which was crucial in delivering efficiencies. 

Finally, the process was underpinned by the Gavurin Workflow platform which provided a configurable editorial process with simple and robust governance and quality control functionality.  This was augmented by a production schedule that delivered huge efficiencies around resource planning and report scheduling.   

The Benefits

The overall benefit to D&B was significant in terms of scale, quality and efficiency.  Key outcomes included:- 

Increased scale: There was a step-change in output as D&B now publishes its 132 country reports quarterly, a 400% increase in productivity.  Additionally,  content recycling has enabled delivery of new monthly country ‘snapshots’. 

Better utilisation: Administration and process management has been diminished, allowing editors and analysts to focus on their primary functions.  This has facilitated a significant increase in time utilised creating analysis and editing content. 

stronger team: With greater quality control and data management, Dun & Bradstreet has expanded its freelancer network, allowing it to harness expertise from around the World whilst maintaining a flexible and cost effective resource pool. 

Future-proofed content: A vast and extremely valuable content and data repository has now been built up.  This report content is now being integrated into new channels with new product concepts developing all the time. 

In their own words:

"D&B formed a strategic partnership with Gavurin in 2011 to develop an internal production environment to run our Global Country Insight Services. Our team located around the world is now using Gavurin to run report production across 130+ markets globally. We’ve been delighted at the results and benefits seen to date.
We have since extended our partnership by appointing Gavurin as our main service provider for Supply Chain Solutions through the use of Gavurin Analytics™ and Gavurin Reporting™ with some of our largest customers benefiting from this service. We continuously rely on the trusted team at Gavurin, not only as a technology provider but more importantly as a data intelligence and thought leadership partner to continue to evolve our product roadmap and deliver value to our customers."

Eva Karagianni, Director Global Macro Market Insight Services, Dun & Bradstreet