Alacra Store, who provide pay as you go access to company and industry data, have added EIU content. You can now find all types of EIU Country Data in the store including Country Profiles, Country Reports, Country Forecasts, ViewsWire articles, and Risk Briefings. They have also included all of the content from recent issues of The Economist magazine.
A new feature currently being tested on the EIU files is “Search This Document”. It enables you to see the keyword in context for each place it appears in a given report. I find that this is the only way to confirm that the information you want is in a document. Tables of contents can not always do this. I note, though, that any figures in the text surrounding the keywords are replaced by ###. Drat, drat and triple drat! But not surprising as it would be a sneaky way to get free market share information:-). But the reports are reasonably priced and in dollars, which at the moment is good news for those of us in the UK.
Marketscan offer direct mail services to businesses and individuals. The lists appear on first glance to be heavily UK biased but there are also International and European lists. You can browse and build lists via a number of different routes: business, consumer, company directors, market sectors, SIC codes, geographical planner. The business lists, for example, include New Connections, Job Function, Medical Data Set, IT Data Set and email lists. I found the market sectors approach far more flexible than SIC codes, which is the usual option offered by most other services. Building a list is straightforward and prices start at GBP 115 per 1000 records.
There is also a guide to direct mail marketing (http://www.marketscan.co.uk/direct_marketing_guide.asp) that can be viewed on site or downloaded as a PDF. The points and issues raised should be common sense to anyone experienced in direct marketing but it is all too easy to lose track of where you are in a campaign. For newcomers to direct marketing, this is an essential primer: for seasoned veterans it is a useful checklist and reminder.
The new 2006 EBRD Directory of business information sources on central and eastern Europe and the CIS is now in press.
Available from February 2006, the directory has been completely revised and extended to provide a comprehensive guide to business information resources on the region. The sites are is from the world’s leading publishers, banks, commercial and investment agencies. These are sources used daily by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Business Information Centre. As well as the printed directory, you receive an Internet password that gives you access to updated information. I do quite a bit of research on central and eastern Europe and I find this an invaluable resource on these regions. Yes, I could probably locate much of the information via a Google/Yahoo/Exalead search but the directory is much quicker and I know that their resources have been quality assessed and evaluated.
The price is GBP 165, EUR 250, USD 320 but if you place your order before December 31st you save 15% (GBP 140, Eur 213 or usd 272).
Email your order to email@example.com, stating your name, organisation, postal and email addresses together with any applicable order number and Dataresources will send you a pro-forma invoice by return.
Business Week have released their 2005 league table of top 100 global brands. The table ranks 100 global brands that have a value greater than $1 billion. The brands are selected according to two criteria: they have to be global in nature, deriving 20% or more of sales from outside their home country, and there also has to be publicly available marketing and financial data on which to base the valuation. The table also gives rankings for the years 2001 to 2004.
There is no change in the top 5: Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE and Intel. Google makes a first appearance at number 38 sandwiched between Goldman Sachs and Kellogg’s, and Yahoo is up two places at 58. Apple has also gone up two places to number 41. Amazon has gone down slightly from last year’s 66 to 68 this year while eBay has risen 5 places to number 55.
Alacra has launched AlacraWiki, a guide to business information companies, publishers and databases. The Alacra Industry Spotlights in particular are extremely useful in providing reviews and commentary on industry specific web sites and the Types of Content section lists resources under headings such as mergers and acquisitions, news, people and corporate governance. There is also information on content aggregators, databases and the best business information blogs. Anyone can contribute and edit the pages, apart from the Industry Spotlights which are locked, but you have to create an account in order to do so. If you want to keep up with what’s new at Alacra, they also have a blog and news feed.
Alacra Store – The Premium Business Information Source ™
Alacra have launched a pay-per-view version of their priced service. Still in beta, it covers just 30 of the 100 or more databases available via the subscription service. Any half competent researcher should be able to find much of the company information in Alacra free on the net (certainly for publicly traded companies) and the news articles from Business and Industry are a bit pricey compared with the per article pricing of LexisNexis. But there are some good market research sources here and – Oh Joy! – they have Tablebase, one of my favourite databases. It is the quickest way I know of tracking down rankings and market shares in a particular industry/country. I’ve tried accessing it via Dialog’s Open Access and Skyminder but have always had mixed and sometimes rather odd results. Dialog, in particular, I find clunky and slow. In contrast, the Alacra Store interface is much ‘smoother’ and faster, and I seem to get far more sensible results.
I shall be doing a more detailed review in the next Tales from the Terminal Room.
Update 20 April 2011: This service has now moved to http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vieshome.do
VAT number validation
If you are VAT registered and trading with companies based in the EU, this site enables you to verify the validity of a company’s VAT number. Select the Member State from the drop-down menu and enter the number to be validated.
SPG Media RSS Feeds
This is a really neat site from UK based SPG Media. RSS news feeds, compiled from news sources world-wide, are organised by sector for example energy, telecoms, transportation. The emphasis is on technologies and the companies that supply them. Feeds are available as both ATOM and RSS.
In addition to the news feeds, there are 28 sector specific technology web sites. Each site provides information on industry projects in production or under development, an A-Z company index of contractors and suppliers, a catalogue of companies by product or service, a diary of relevant exhibitions and conferences, and a list of industry organisations.
Zephyr M&A coverage increased
Bureau van Dijk’s M&A database, Zephyr, has been increased to more than 300,000 deals. Zephyr contains information on M&A, IPO and private equity deals and includes company financials. In addition to current deal information, historical deal information has been added for Asia and other regions. There is now five years of global coverage. Deals involving US or European companies go back to the beginning of 1997. More information on Zephyr can be found at http://www.bvdep.com/, or by calling +44 20 7549 5000.