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What’s New in the Businesses Database in ENVISION

The latest vintage of this database includes several significant improvements and enhancements

By: Nuno Ricardo

Businesses is the most comprehensive database of verified American businesses. The 2019Q2 release features new variables to help you understand the competitive landscape of any area and inform your site location decisions. We have leveraged changes from our data provider to improve what Businesses can do for you.

  1. Corporate hierarchy

To understand your competitors or potential lessees, it helps to know their corporate hierarchy. Are they independent stores or part of a chain? Who owns the chain? Are there are chains with the same ownership structure? The new “Place type,” “Headquarters ID” and “Ancestor Headquarters IDs” fields will help you answer those questions. For example, a Taco Bell store will be described as a branch in the “Place type” field, which indicates that it is part of a corporate family. The “Headquarters ID” field will show that the restaurant is owned by Taco Bell Corp. and the “Ancestor Headquarters IDs” field will reveal the complete corporate structure for the Taco Bell store. In this example, the restaurant chain is controlled by Yum! Brands Inc., which owns Taco Bell Corp., which in turn controls the Taco Bell store.

Note that “Headquarters ID” and “Ancestor Headquarters IDs” only display numeric Business IDs. You can request additional data deliveries based on these IDs or specify that you want all business records with Yum! Brands as the top-level corporation.

The “Ancestor Headquarters IDs” field presents up to three comma separated, nine-digit business IDs. We recommend using a text editor when working with this field. Other software packages may treat the output of this field as a number, which may cause data degradation. Please follow this link for additional tips on how to work with data in this field using Excel.

  1. Date business open

Knowing when a business first opened is important to answer questions like whether a competitor is new to the market or has been around for years. Previous releases of Businesses featured a “Year established” field that presented a single year as an estimate of when the business opened. This field has been replaced in the latest version of Businesses with the “Date business open” field, which presents a range of dates when the business is estimated to have opened. As a result, more records now include an estimated open date. In several cases, the date range is as small as one month to provide a more precise picture of when the business opened. A single date will be displayed in this field if the actual date when the business first opened is known.

  1. Chain franchise label

The “Chain franchise label” helps you identify all locations in a chain by providing the common name associated with the business. Businesses such as hotels and restaurants have names that are difficult to find using the business name alone. For example, when using the Location Lists tool in ENVISION let’s say you want to search for records for all the Quality Inn hotels in San Bernardino County, CA. If you request “Business name=Quality Inn” the exact name filter will not return any records because the two Quality Inn hotels in that area are named Quality Inn San Bernardino and the Quality Inn-on Historic Route 66. To retrieve the desired information, we recommend using the “Chain franchise label=Quality Inn” in your specification to get both records. There are many other examples where this field can be useful, such as Animal Hospitals with the location number in the name or restaurant franchises with an owner’s name.

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