Supply Market Research and Information Trends 2020

Scanning new resource launches and updates to include in ProcureSearch gives us a unique view into the supply market intelligence space. Every year end we write about the trends we see gaining traction. This year was especially challenging as resource launches sprouted up almost as fast as merger and consolidation deals were announced. These are unusual times and providers have responded quickly to the economical and societal impact brought on by COVID-19. Within a compressed timeframe, providers clearly signaled what mattered most to the consumers of their data. Here are the key trends that developed or have gotten more pronounced in 2020 and will likely continue into 2021.

Trend One – Digital Marketplaces: The Evolution Continues

Two types of marketplaces are especially important to note: 1) data marketplaces, and 2) niche B2B marketplaces.

Data Marketplaces

Data marketplaces, where buyers can shop online for different types of data, including third party data, are universally recognized as a major trend among research and content analysts.


  • FactSet announced it will acquire Truvalue Labs, a provider of ESG data. Truvalue Labs joined the Open:FactSet Marketplace in 2018 and its data is already successfully integrated for use with current FactSet content and products.
  • Farmobile – This is a new listing in ProcureSearch. The Farmobile DataStore exchange allows farmers to license single-use copies of data to approved third-party buyers. The Farmobile DataEngine platform is where data is ingested, standardized, viewed and shared.
  • FreightWaves is releasing the beta version of SONAR SCI, an expansion of the SONAR platform, a freight forecasting and analytics platform, allowing subscribers access to $80 billion of shipper-to-carrier freight spend.
  • S&P Global launched Marketplace, a new data platform that offers users the ability to explore datasets from across all four S&P Global divisions and select third-party “alternative” data and solutions.

Niche B2B Marketplaces

B2B marketplaces continuously offer new ways of providing value for both buyers and sellers, especially those that “build workflow tools that cater to both sides of the platform.”According to Forrester, one-third of all US business now flows through e-commerce, and 63% of that is through marketplaces. Concerning B2B, it was predicted that 17% of all transactions would be through e-commerce and marketplaces by 2023 with COVID-19 accelerating this prediction.


  • Metalshub has started to publish price indices for a variety of ferroalloys based on real negotiation and transaction data rather than journalistically reported trade and bid/offer indications.
  • Oceanworks, new to ProcureSearch, specializes in hard to access ocean and averted plastic to help drive recycled plastic offtake and reduce demand for new virgin plastic.
  • CheMondis, a global chemicals e-marketplace is planning on major growth in the United States, with its number of buyers and sellers worldwide increasing from 200 to about 1,400.
  • Air cargo booking platform, allows forwarders to search, compare and book air freight capacities across airlines and recently raised more than three million dollars.
  • FedEx Office and Canva, a free content design platform, have partnered to create a digital design-to-print marketplace for businesses to create professionally printed materials.

Trend Two – Measuring Societal and Economic Impact of Major Current Events

This past year, in response to COVID-19, the advancements already being made around AI-enabled data platforms dramatically accelerated. Supply-related market information providers, in an unprecedented manner, launched offerings that analyzed their real-time, or close to real-time, data to measure the impact of COVID-19. We saw this in the areas of corporate spend, consumer spend sentiment, and overall economic/societal concerns. In addition to COVID-19, race-related events, such as the death of George Floyd, during police incidents, caused outrage and shone a light on society’s need to focus more diligently on inclusion and diversity, including efforts in our organizations and workplaces.

Diversity and Inclusion Examples:

  • SurveyMonkey announced their new initiative supported by 23andMe and 15 other tech companies, to track the representation of women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ individuals within a supplier’s employee base, leadership team, and board of directors.
  • Workday launched VIBE Central and VIBE Index to measure diversity and inclusion efforts. The Index enables enterprises to focus on gaps in their belonging and diversity efforts.
  • The National Equity Atlas announced the launch of the Racial Equity Index, which provides a single comparative metric for racial equity in US cities, regions, and states.
  • The StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index (SPEII) was launched by StartOut and Socos Labs. The Index quantifies the economic value of under-utilized LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.

COVID-19 Impact Examples:

  • The Institute for Supply Management launched its Hospital PMI, which assesses domestic hospital supply chains, and is the first vertical ISM Report On Business.
  • FTR released the COVID-19 Freight Recovery Index for Rail and Trucking, which measures the industry’s response and recovery based on pre-pandemic levels.
  • Skift released the Skift Recovery Index, which is a real-time measure of where the travel industry, including core verticals, stands in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Everest Group – The new COVID-19 Dynamix Tracker tracks how COVID-19 is affecting leading offshore and nearshore locations.
  • Dun & Bradstreet developed two indices to help companies better understand risk related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Impact Index and the COVID-19 Recovery Index.
  • IRI announced the IRI CPG Supply Index to provide a standard metric for tracking weekly changes in the availability (in-stock rates) of CPG products.
  • Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business partnered to create the Back-to-Normal Index, intended to give a realistic sense of how businesses and consumers are responding to the pandemic.

Trend Three – The Growing Importance of ESG Data

Overall societal awareness of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues is the main driver of the growing desire for ESG data. ESG data is becoming an important component used in supplier due diligence research and for ensuring ethical supply chains.


  • TrackX and  Topl announced a partnership to provide a tracking and tracing solution to meet the demand for greater supply chain sustainability, transparency, and efficiency.
  • EcoVadis received a $200m investment in January from CVC Growth Partners to expand into new countries and “further invest in its technology platform.”
  • RepRisk launched its upgraded ESG Risk Platform that combines advanced machine learning with human intelligence and integrates the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Framework.
  • The recently announced S&P Global and IHS Markit mega merger is expected to further “consolidate global financial technology, data and ratings providers to form a new company that will increase its focus on ESG and climate.”

Look for Providers to Focus on These Trends in 2021

Integration of mobile + real-time + workflows (especially in the areas of public safety and agriculture), taxonomy and fluid product/service classification (DueDil, Brightfield), and open platforms (Thompson, Gulf Relay, Profitero, Platform Science, CRIF).

Examples of 2020 Mergers and Acquisitions to Note

  • ICIS, part of RELX, acquired Chemical Data, LLC (CDI). The combined capabilities will create a chemical intelligence powerhouse covering key petrochemical markets worldwide.
  • North America freight marketplace DAT Solutions acquired the Freight Market Intelligence Consortium from Chainalytics Inc.
  • Corporate spend management leader Coupa acquired diversity supplier discovery provider ConnXus.
  • Kinaxis Inc. acquired Prana Consulting, a supply chain consultancy based in India and a key services partner of Kinaxis for more than 15 years.
  •, a supply chain management platform for dairy commodities, has acquired Orbis, the developer of a Manufacturing Execution System for the food and beverage industry.

Note: The listings in ProcureSearch identify and update selected resources that contain one or more of the following characteristics: high quality content, exceptional value, procurement-centric, and/or representative of an emerging trend. ProcureSearch’s coverage focuses on third party content providers and excludes offerings from broader supplier and procurement management providers. Not all examples in this article are included ProcureSearch. We are in the process of switching to a new layout in ProcureSearch, so formatting might be uneven. ProcureSearch lists resources that are both open access and pay for use.

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