OpenCorporates demonstrates potential with its open access corporate structure network and upcoming supply chain platform.
“We’ve often heard company hierarchies and networks referred to as the Holy Grail of business information. That’s not just a recognition of the value and importance of this data. It’s also that it’s really difficult to find… and to collect, and to make usable too.” – OpenCorporates website
Chris Taggart, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenCorporates describes open data as a driver of creativity, innovation, competition, efficiency and sharing. This philosophy forms the basis of OpenCorporates’ work, which involves “logging and sharing data on corporate entities in order to build the world’s largest openly licensed database of companies. The information is available through a searchable, sortable API as well as the website and various maps and data visualizations.” The potential here is enormous for understanding corporate structures for supply market intelligence purposes, especially with their work on the open data corporate network platform. Funding to support this work came from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. To get an idea, view these interactive visualizations of the global corporate networks of BP, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo. The image above is of the Goldman Sachs network. The hope is to be able to create networks for every corporation. To address the volume and difficulty issues, OpenCorporates embraces crowdsourcing, which it acknowledges as having its own set of challenges. This platform is still in Beta and in the beginning phases. It is an exciting venture and one worth following closely.
Open Supply Chain Platform
In May 2014, Sedex Global announced a partnership with the World Bank Institute to develop Open Supply Chain Platform, an initiative to address global gaps in the availability and visibility of responsible supply chain data. “The Open Supply Chain Platform will help companies better understand their performance, increase sustainability and diversity, and generate shared values along global supply chains….For buyers, the platform will inform sourcing decisions by empowering them to search for, and source goods and services from suppliers that demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of sustainability requirements and commitments.” The platform will leverage the “existing reach” of OpenCorporates data.