Powering Data Management in the Cloud with Mendix's Application Platform

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Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) provides access to data of over 225 million companies in over 200 countries worldwide. D&B chose Mendix's application platform to power “D&B Data Manager”, a SaaS Master Data Management Solution, allowing its partners and customers to take control of all their master data management projects in one secure, online application.

  • D&B uses Mendix's application platform to bring SaaS application to market in record time
  • SaaS application provides partners and customers a complete environment to manage all their D&B master data management projects and data in the cloud
  • Self-service application streamlines and automates the process of enriching client data with D&B data

Challenge

Around the world, millions of companies of every size rely on the unsurpassed depth and quality of Dun & Bradstreet’s (“D&B”) proprietary databases to research prospects, assess customer creditworthiness, evaluate suppliers, and more. Increasingly, however, D&B clients had sought greater latitude to supplement the rich D&B information sources with their own internal data to achieve an even clearer, 360-degree view of the companies they do business with.

Previously, that integration process required cumbersome manual interventions before the client could access a fully integrated system. Clients would email their data to D&B, where specialists would manually cleanse and enhance the data before returning an integrated superset of data back to the client. According to Jean-Marie Christophe, Leader – European Partnerships, that process wasn’t meeting the needs of clients, or D&B. “Today, our clients expect a more streamlined and automated process,” he explained. “We wanted to simplify the process for our customers, eliminate the manual work required here at D&B to prepare client files, and accelerate our service delivery.”

When our requirements changed – which isn’t unusual with a project of this nature – Mendix enabled us to quickly adapt and adjust on-the-fly. This was extremely important for us.

Jean-Marie Christophe

Leader, EMEA Partnerships, Dun & Bradstreet

Solution

The sophisticated data conversions, enhancements and other functionality and usability that D&B required were unavailable in any commercial utility. Instead, the company envisioned developing its own SaaS-based Web application where clients could log in, upload their files, select conversion parameters, and receive their cleansed, D&B-enhanced data sets. “This is the kind of streamlined process that our clients expect and deserve,” said Christophe. “This application would tie our clients more closely to our data and improve their satisfaction with our services.”

To build that application, Christophe and his team selected Mendix's application platform due to its technical flexibility, collaborative environment, and unmatched speed of delivery. Developers start with high-level requirements, share results immediately, get the app in the hands of key users quickly, and iterate for optimal results. “We had previously used Mendix and were impressed with the technology, the speed of development and their support for the agile methodology,” Christophe said.

Two D&B developers used Mendix to create the D&B Data Manager application in less than six months. “In addition to tremendously fast application development, Mendix provides an exceptionally high level of flexibility,” he said. “When our requirements changed – which isn’t unusual with a project of this nature – Mendix enabled us to quickly adapt and adjust on-the-fly. This was extremely important for us.”

Results

Today, clients across Europe – the initial region for deployment – can use D&B Data Manager from a secure Web browser to upload their proprietary data to D&B’s servers, where it gets automatically and immediately cleansed and enhanced through a series of processing routines. Clients can upload their data sets – which typically include hundreds of thousands of records – as often as desired: daily, weekly, or monthly. When the integrated data is returned to the client, it’s ready to be added to their databases and systems where it drives their credit, marketing, and supplier applications and decisions. “As a global company, D&B is highly protective of all aspects of its brand – and that includes this application,” said Christophe. “We put the D&B Data Manager through rigorous testing to ensure it met our standards for performance, hosting, support – everything had to be of high caliber. With Mendix, we exceeded these demanding standards.”

D&B Data Manager helps the company forge closer relationships with customers by streamlining their access to D&B’s and simplifying the process of integrating it with client data and, thereby, deriving greater value from their D&B relationship. “Our existing clients have been very happy with this new innovative application,” Christophe said. “It’s a dramatic improvement over our previous methods. And our new customers – well, this is the sort of process that they’d expect.”

About Dun & Bradstreet

D&B (NYSE:DNB) is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, enabling companies to Decide with Confidence® for 172 years. D&B’s global commercial database contains more than 225 million business records. The data¬base is enhanced by D&B’s proprietary DUNSRight® Quality Process, which provides our customers with quality business information. This quality information is the foundation of our global solutions that custom¬ers rely on to make critical business decisions.