Sergio Hernández
President and CEO
CIAL Dun & Bradstreet
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View from the Top

CIAL Dun & Bradstreet: Empowering Companies Amid Uncertain Times

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Tue, 11/30/2021 - 10:53

Q: What role does CIAL Dun & Bradstreet play in driving the growth of its clients in Mexico?

A: CIAL Dun & Bradstreet is the leading data and business information provider in Latin America. We define ourselves as a technology, data science and services company and provide companies of all sizes data and reports on their business counterparts and competitors, which allow them to make decisions about commercial credit, procurement and compliance. With this data, both our clients and our company can run analyses to achieve a better decision-making process. 

We have no common shareholders with Dun & Bradstreet, only a long-term license to use their brand and database in addition to our own. This data-sharing allows us to be a global company. For instance, we can give a Mexican client information about a counterpart located anywhere in the world. We have access to a database with more than 460 million companies, of which 40 million are in Latin America. Currently, in Mexico we have more than 1.1 million companies identified.  

Our purpose is to contribute to the development of Latin American economies through world-class data and technology platforms. In Latin America, we have more than 20,000 customers, of which around 3,700 are based in Mexico. Most of these companies are SMEs although we also have hundreds of large corporations and multinational companies. 

Q: What are the main concerns among companies in Mexico?

A: Practically all companies in Mexico and Latin America have been hit by the pandemic so their priority is to shift from cost containment to growth. Companies have three main concerns. The first is granting credit to clients, which are under pressure to pay within the established time frames. The second is supply. Mexico is highly integrated into global supply chains and numerous industries, such automotive, have suffered major disruptions.

The third concern is regulations, an area that is especially critical in emerging markets in Latin America. Given the regulatory climate in Mexico, many companies are facing significant uncertainty. Often the continuity of a business may depend on compliance with certain regulations. 

Our value proposition is aligned to these three areas. CIAL Dun & Bradstreet’s products allow companies to perform customer and credit viability assessments. We also offer tools for portfolio and risk analysis, as well as databases for market segmentation and targeting. We also have products for supply chain analytics and monitoring and supplier viability research. Finally, we offer products that allow companies to stay up to date with regulatory compliance.

Q: How is data analytics changing the way companies do business in Mexico and what is their Achilles' heel in making the most of data in their operations and strategies?

A: Data analytics is a long-term global trend that goes far beyond the effects caused by the pandemic. Data analytics and science are the main source of growth for all business models. Mexico’s challenge is that data and public information are not easily accessible or organized, compared to any other country in Latin America. There are public databases that gather business information, such as those of the Tax Administration Service (SAT) and the Economic and Market Information System (SIEM), which we access to pull information on companies that we are researching. The challenge there is data science. We sweep through millions of pieces of data every day and we have to apply advanced technology to clean and contrast the information.   

Q: How do you help your clients assess, monitor and enhance their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy?

A: The next big step and challenge for all companies is sustainability. ESG is a global corporate responsibility trend that is here to stay. The catalyst that drove businesses to take this matter seriously is that financial markets and institutional investors started taking it into account as a fundamental criterion for investment decisions. The challenge is to assess in an objective and standardized way what it means for a company to be ESG responsible. To address this, we are working with our parent company Dun & Bradstreet to develop an ESG ratings product and measurement mechanism. We are doing this based on data we already have and expect to launch this product in the US before the end of 2021.

Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst