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Dun & Bradstreet to Use Social Media to Enhance Research

Dun & Bradstreet to Use Social Media to Enhance Research

Now there’s yet another compelling reason to pay close attention to what’s being said about your company on social media: information on Twitter and blogs will soon be finding its way into traditional research, including the reports issued by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).

In late January, D&B, which provides research reports on over 220 million companies worldwide, announced plans to include data from social media in its research products, which are branded under well-known names such as Hoover’s, D&B360, and First Research.

To incorporate data from social media, Dun & Bradstreet partnered with FirstRain, a San Mateo, California-based data analytics firm that uses the Web, corporate blogs, newsfeeds and Twitter to generate business insights.

The information gleaned from the wild and woolly online world is often called “unstructured information.” FirstRain has developed an analytic system that sorts through vast quantities of this unstructured data to find what’s of the greatest relevance for a business audience.

FirstRain does not work with data from Facebook, Tumblr or Pinterest because it says that the intelligence gathered from these online sources is not particularly relevant to B-to-B companies.

Although a number of D&B’s competitors also provide corporate research, such research is increasingly becoming commoditized. Experts therefore predict that Dun & Bradstreet could separate itself from the pack by using social media as a source for its proprietary reports.

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