The next family of PIERS products I will expound upon were acquired not evolved.
Whereas Piers TI, IPiers, and MyPiers (along with individualized customization and forthcoming dashboards) utilize a common platform and database with varying features, add-ons, and options. Stats Plus, Prospects and Trade Finance are an entirely different ilk.
All referenced trade intelligence applications were acquired last year from CenTradeX, the company I developed and directed for 10 years. For those interested, the background, start-up, development, acquisition of CenTradeX Applications by PIERS as well as retained assets that were excluded from the sale have been documented in earlier WTD articles. Furthermore, I’ve already outlined the development and attributes of Stats Plus and Prospects in previous posts too.
PIERS Trade Profiles and its sister application, Trade Finance were previous PIERS applications designed for sales prospecting (international trade leads) by the maritime/commercial and financial industries respectively. These products were phased out and replaced by the (CenTradeX) Prospects platform. The only difference between the two applications is that Trade Finance offers several additional search fields and sums up data quarterly (bankers like it sliced that way).
Several TI Providers have recently started to offer silos of other data (besides U.S. Customs data), such as Census or U.N. trade statistics. The primary and revolutionary difference with Stats Plus, Prospects, and Trade Finance (again which is really just Prospects) is that they were developed and evolved as INTEGRATED data platforms.
Statistical information (State, U.S., World), Company information (from D&B aka Harris Info and Hoovers, Kompass, Zoom, Yahoo, etc.), PLUS daily U.S. Customs (transactional) manifest records are all interconnected. They are not contained and accessed from individual, unrelated silos. They are served up as a unified whole. Thus there is greater dimension and depth to the data.
Also, integrating third-party information sources with the U.S. Customs data tremendously aids in the normalization and standardization processes. In fact, it is really impossible to do otherwise. For instance, D&B profiles can be employed to normalize the many possible iterations of a consignee name. Statistics can set the context by which to evaluate potential foreign suppliers.
These novel PIERS platforms integrate disparate data sources in ways that empower users to get more complete, accurate pictures of international trade as well as the underlying global traders involved.
The alternative is to depend upon singular (and incomplete) snapshots taken from transactional (Customs) data, maybe piece them together with other fragments of information gathered here and there from other sources, try to patchwork it all into some incomplete profile by which to then make an (important?) business decision in order to better (successfully?) navigate within the choppy and highly competitive waters of global trade.