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ChemicalInfo has a long history of providing business intelligence to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries going back over 40 years. Their Directory of World Chemical Producers has long been regarded as a must have tool for chemical sourcing and sales professionals around the world.
Beginning in 2014, ChemicalInfo looked to overhaul their product suite with new enhancements that aimed to significantly improve the way chemical and pharmaceutical professionals get the information they need to efficiently source and sell. With this goal in mind, Kelli Sajnani, Product Development Manager at ChemicalInfo reached out to PIERS to see how the two companies might be able to collaborate to provide an integrated offering where PIERS data could be shown alongside ChemicalInfo company listings. As it turned out the timing of this couldn’t have been better.
PIERS had just recently made a number of investments to their technology and infrastructure to allow them to better serve their customers by moving away from being a pure data provider and taking a much more consultative approach to help deliver actionable intelligence. This transition lead to the formation of the PIERS Solutions team, which creates customized solutions that provide immediate access to insights and intelligence with the highest degree of accuracy.
The PIERS Solution Process
To help better understand ChemicalInfo’s needs, the PIERS Solutions team flew to Dallas to learn more about their mission for their next generation of products. This was an opportunity for the PIERS Solutions team to appreciate the challenges and goals the ChemicalInfo team was taking on and grasped their vision for a comprehensive solution. After a full day of meetings with executives and product leads, the team came back armed with the information they needed to get to work. After agreeing on a proposed solution with ChemicalInfo, it was decided that PIERS would provide them with a quarterly feed of data that would first need to be normalized across 15 different data sets, if applicable translated into English, standardized to match ChemicalInfo’s company names and coding conventions, and optimized to ensure commodity descriptions were normalized for uniformity.
The first step was to match the company names in the PIERS U.S. waterborne data with their corresponding company ID in ChemicalInfo’s database. Thousands of different name variations needed to be standardized and rolled up into unique corporate entities before it could be matched to the correct company ID. Next, PIERS looked at records where the company names had been restricted by U.S. Customs and searched for brand names and trade names in the commodity description that would identify them as being shipped by a particular company. When it became time to match the company names from PIERS international databases, 11 of the 14 international datasets would first need to be translated into English before any of the company names could be standardized.
Once all of the company names were assigned the correct company ID the team went to work on normalizing the commodity descriptions in PIERS shipping data. This was no small feat given that most databases have unstructured commodity description that in many instances would first need to be translated from Spanish to English. Working closely with ChemicalInfo, PIERS created sophisticated rules and matching algorithms that identified specific keywords in the commodity descriptions, including trade and product names that would match each shipment to the correct product definition with the highest degree of accuracy. Now that an optimized data feed had been established, ChemicalInfo could begin uploading this data to their system to show aggregate import and export shipments by company.
“As we continue to grow our business by offering our users insight to the industry’s manufacturers and information around their products, it’s important that our NextGen service is based on smart, data-driven decisions,” said Kelli Sajnani, Product Development Manager, ChemicalInfo.
In July 2014, ChemicalInfo rolled out their product enhancements and the inclusion of the new integrated PIERS offering was an instant hit among their customers. Now in addition to complete contact information, patents, certifications, regulatory details, and product lists for over 12,000 global manufacturers, ChemicalInfo customers can also enjoy one-click access to a company’s import and export activity.
Today ChemicalInfo’s database contains over 800,000 import and export records from PIERS, providing users with a more complete view of each company and allowing them to easily identify the top producers for specific commodities and ultimately make better informed procurement decisions, as well providing sales teams with a powerful prospecting tool. And because PIERS is the only data provider that manually collects bulk export shipments not filed electronically, ChemicalInfo customers can be assured the data they are using to make these decisions is complete and accurate
The business intelligence tools created by PIERS allows us to identify trends in the chemical industry based on the companies and specific commodities being shipped around the world and apply that knowledge to our decision making,”