The Announcement of Moody’s Acquiring Cortera Prompts Another Look at this “Community Data” Provider

Last month, Moody’s Corporation announced its intentions to acquire Cortera, a North American credit data supplier. According to the press release, the acquisition will expand its coverage of small and medium-sized companies, as well as extend its risk assessment capabilities. More from the release:

Cortera maintains one of the most comprehensive databases of credit information, featuring data and analytics on over 36 million companies. Cortera gathers data from thousands of sources, which it then enhances through artificial intelligence, and provides analytics, reports and monitoring services to help businesses make informed decisions about their counterparties… Our customers will be able to leverage Cortera’s extensive information on small businesses with Moody’s proprietary analytic tools to make better decisions.”

Cortera’s data will be added to Moody’s private company database, Orbis, and integrated into their know-your-customer, commercial lending, and supply chain solutions.

This acquisition is a good one for Moody’s and Cortera has, in my opinion, stood out differently from the other credit data providers. This is due to their philosophy of making their basic data easily accessible and affordable, and now with the community-centered approach it adopted, mostly free.

Here is a brief review I wrote in 2014 entitled: “Cortera Credit Reports and Monitoring Service: Worth a Look”

Cortera credit reports are different. This company looks at business and company health by evaluating companies based on purchase behavior. In addition to payment behavior, Cortera looks at what a business buys and how that changes over time. “Cortera Pulse” is a monitoring and alerting service and the “B2B Insight Reports” are information reports ranging from “Flash” to “Deep Dive” reports. Pulse monitors for bankruptcies, tax liens, civil judgments, CPR score decline, purchase decline, news alerts, growth clues, and risk rating. The reports are visually appealing and easy to read. The credit reports can be purchased individually and are very reasonably priced. The Pulse subscription rate is also competitively priced.

Flash forward to the future, Cortera focuses on businesses with under 500 people and now provides insights across 45 supplier categories and down to the company level. The “community data” concept allows for companies to get free monitoring, data and analytics in return for contributing their own information.

In April, 2020, Cortera launched the COVID-19 Economic Tracker (CEIT), a free tool that shows how different sectors have been impacted the pandemic. The value of this tool is the comprehensive segment coverage, meaning the segments are surprisingly detailed. CEIT provides insights into the spending and payment behavior of businesses where you can filter the impacts via industry, geography, business size and various metrics, such as payment speed and average monthly spending per company.

It will be interesting to take another look when the acquisition is completed and to see the integration efforts of Cortera’s data. Hopefully it’s concept of community and ethos of making data more freely accessible remains.

Update note: Moody’s announced the completion of the acquisition on March 19.

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