What Is the Viability Rating?
The D&B Viability Rating is a multi-dimensional rating that delivers a comprehensive assessment of a company’s future viability. It combines the deepest measures of risk to deliver a highly reliable rating that analyzes current and future health.
The Viability Rating comprises both predictive and descriptive components. Predictive components predict the likelihood that a company will go out of business, become inactive, or file for bankruptcy over the next 12 months. The descriptive components provide an indication of the amount of predictive data available to make a reliable risk assessment, as well as insight into the age and size of business.
Other scores answer important, but one-dimensional business problems or questions like “Will I get paid?” or “How can I reduce bankruptcy losses?” The Viability Rating helps to answer fundamental questions with more precision:
- Is this a viable business?
- Can I identify growth opportunities with thriving businesses?
- Do I want to initiate or continue a relationship with this business?
- Do I have complete confidence in the depth of data driving my decision?
- Do I have complete visibility into the financial performance of this business?
- Can I increase my objectivity of my risk assessment?
- Can I customize my decisions based on how much there is to know about a company?
What Does the Viability Rating Look Like?
The Viability Rating is a multidimensional rating comprised of four components: the Viability Score of 1 – 9; the Portfolio Comparison of 1 – 9; the Data Depth Indicator, based on an alphabet scale of A – M; and the Company Profile, based on an alphabet scale of A – Z.
How is the Viability Rating Calculated?
The Viability Score assesses the probability that a company will no longer be in business within the next 12 months, compared to all US businesses within the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud.
Going out of business is defined as:
- Voluntary or involuntary close of business
- Becoming dormant or inactive
- Filing for bankruptcy
Viability Score Projected Performance Table
The Portfolio Comparison assesses the viability of a company, compared to similar businesses, within the same model segment. The type of data used to classify these segments is:
- Available financial data
- Established trade payments
- Limited trade payments
- Firmographics and business activity
How do I Understand the Portfolio Comparison Table?
As an example, the table below shows how the portfolio comparison is calculated for companies that have established trade payments with Dun & Bradstreet.
- Portfolio Comparison: Ranges from 1 to 9, with 1 representing least likelihood and 9 representing highest likelihood of going out of business.
- Percent of Total: The percent of US businesses within the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud that have a specific Viability Score.
- Out of Business (Bad) Rate: The percent of US businesses expected to go bad over next 12 months.
- Cumulative Percent of Total: The cumulative percent of US businesses within the Data Cloud that fall within a Viability Score range.
- Cumulative Percent of “Bads” Captured: The cumulative percent of bads captured within the score range.
- Cumulative Out of Business (Bad) Rate: The cumulative bad rate within a score range.
What’s the Difference Between the Viability Score and Portfolio Comparison?
The Viability Score assesses the probability that a company will no longer be in business within the next 12 months, compared to all US businesses within the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud. It’s best used when ranking all businesses within a portfolio.
The Portfolio Comparison refines the viability assessment of a company, comparing it only to businesses assigned a similar “model segment” classification, which is determined by the amount and type of data available. Here, businesses are only ranked along with other businesses that provide financials, have 3+ trades, have 1 or 2 trades, or have no trades.
Data Depth Indicator
The Data Depth Indicator presents the level of predictive data available. This indicator is based on a scale from A – G, where A indicates the greatest level of predictive data, such as financial statements, and G reflects a minimal level of data, such as firmographics only. The indicators H – M are assigned to businesses with special risk circumstances such as bankruptcy, business deterioration, severe risk and others, including:
- Commercial trading activity
- Financial attributes
- Firmographic data
Data Depth Indicator Detailed Table
The Company Profile examines how established a company is based on a combination of categories including financial data, trade payments, and demographics on the different categories within the profile include:
- Financial data
- Trade payments
- Years in business
- Company size (number of employees or sales)
- Firmographic data
Why Does the Viability Rating Matter?
The Viability Rating provides finance and credit professionals with a comprehensive snapshot of a business and incorporates the most critical information about whether to engage with a company. It builds on Dun & Bradstreet’s legacy of providing insight to customers, integrating multiple key risk indicators into industry-leading analytics. This multi-dimensional view includes:
- Expanded scale – assessing all levels of business closure, including voluntarily and involuntarily going out of business, becoming dormant or inactive, and bankruptcy
- Complete context – evaluating the viability of a company compared to all US businesses and to its peers
- Total data depth transparency – indicating how much predictive insight is known based on trade references, financial records, and firmographic data
How Can I Check My Business’s Viability Rating?
By purchasing a Business Information Report on your company, you can view your scores and ratings. You can also monitor changes to your company’s credit scores and ratings* to better understand how your company is viewed in the marketplace. If you’re interested in another company’s business credit file, you can purchase its report or monitor changes to its file as well.
Who Else Might Check My Business’s Viability Rating?
Suppliers, lenders, landlords, and customers are just a handful of business partners who could be interested in your company’s Viability Rating. Businesses and financial institutions often consult Dun & Bradstreet’s credit scores to help manage risk. A poor Viability Rating could make it difficult for your business to access capital or result in less generous loan terms. You could also potentially miss out on lucrative contracts due to concerns about your business’s ability to fulfill its financial obligations.
How Can I Help Impact My Business's Viability Rating?
You can take steps to ensure Dun & Bradstreet has up-to-date information about your firm, which can help impact your scores and ratings. You can also regularly check your business’s credit file so that potential errors and omissions can be spotted early on. (To learn more about updating your business information for free, visit D‑U‑N‑S® Manager.) Trade references can also help impact scores and ratings, and they can be sent to Dun & Bradstreet for approval via CreditBuilder™ Plus. Finally, CreditSignal®* is a free tool that will alert you to changes in four of your company’s scores and ratings, so you always know what’s going on with your file.
*CreditSignal only shows certain of your Dun & Bradstreet scores for 14 days, then provides directional changes to such scores. It also indicates the number of individual request(s) for information, which may include but is not limited to credit information, by a unique external customer(s) on a D‑U‑N‑S® Number. To view additional scores and ratings, view scores and ratings following the 14 day period, or learn about what industries are making such requests, we recommend that you upgrade to one of our paid credit monitoring or credit building solutions. Please note, due to the proprietary nature of these inquiries, we do not provide the names of the companies inquiring on your business credit file– only the industries in which they reside.
†Trade References will be added subject to Dun & Bradstreet verification and acceptance. Dun & Bradstreet cannot guarantee that trade references will be accepted or that accepted trade references will impact your business credit file. Please see https://www.dandb.com/glossary/trade-references/ for eligibility, process and other information regarding Trade References.