Mining Maximum Insight from Your Dun & Bradstreet Credit Reports
The modern-day explosion in data and insight has presented new challenges to understanding and interpreting credit reports. At the same time, we often struggle to do more with less bandwidth. We have to be more efficient with the resources we have and the data we use to make our decisions, whether we’re talking with a new customer or an existing one.
Credit reports are a critical component of making important decisions. It’s important to take the mystery out of these reports and find a methodology for mining the value from their less commonly utilized parts. By doing this, we begin to enhance our ability to understand the data that in some cases may seem to tell us different stories.
A few tips and tools will enable you to bring everything together when making tough credit decisions:
1. Finding the Right Business
Locating the right business is a critical step to ensure you are viewing the right data on the right company. We offer several ways to search for a business—a simple keyword search, a location search, or an executive search.
2. High-Risk Triggers and Special Events
In addition to finding the right business and before you delve into the details of the report, you need to assess potential high risk triggers and/or special events. There are many things to look out for that could signal a potential red flag, such as a lack of information on the business or an ostentatious business name. It is critical to understand exactly who you are doing business with.
3. Historical, Operational, Corporate Linkage Information
A good place to start when reading a Dun & Bradstreet credit report is to understand the “basics” of a company. This includes historical and operational data. Sometimes this information can be overlooked, but it’s nonetheless very important. Corporate linkage is yet another critical but underutilized part of the Dun & Bradstreet credit report. When determining the credit risk of a company, you must assess the total exposure at a family level.
4. Public Records and Trade Payments
Trade payments are the most critical piece of information the credit professional can have. Dun & Bradstreet’s trade payment data comes from over 10,000 trade participants that provide us with accounts receivable information each month.
5. Dun & Bradstreet Scores
For years, credit professionals have relied on raw data in a credit report to make decisions. A score isn’t meant to replace the need to look at the raw data; it simply supplements and makes sense of that raw data. Once you understand the scores, they will become very powerful and easy-to-use tools.
Ideally, you will examine all of our scores and data elements in conjunction with each other to quickly arrive at a credit decision. By approaching these underutilized areas in the D&B credit report in a systematic, consistent way, you can make smarter, faster decisions.