OpenCorporates’ data helps the OECD analyse multinational enterprises

Multinational enterprises have a major impact on our economies and societies – so we all need to understand where they are, how they operate and where they pay taxes. 

That’s why the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) set up a knowledge graph to improve the available information on multinationals. 

The Analytical Database on Individual Multinationals and Affiliates (ADIMA) brings together traditional and alternative data sources to build up a picture of 500 of the world’s largest multinational enterprises.

OpenCorporates is proud to be a Data Partner of this initiative. In this blog we’ll explore the role our transparent company data plays in enabling the OECD to analyse multinational enterprises.

How does transparent company data help?

Surprisingly little information on the foundational structure of multinational enterprises is available, other than often self-declared information like annual reports or account filings. This limits our ability to understand the full extent of their activities.

To build up a picture of multinational enterprises, ADIMA uses a number of big open data sources, including: company identifiers (e.g. Legal Entity Identifiers), website domain ownership data and social media or Wikipedia profiles.

This broad range of data sources takes an equally broad definition of a company, so it is crucial that ADIMA users can identify which legal entity a reference to a company is referring to.

That’s where data from OpenCorporates helps.

Our data, provided via API, allows the team building ADIMA to reconcile the inconsistent company names they identify from the various data sources they use to a corresponding legal entity.

This entity resolution exercise helps the ADIMA team to piece together the legal entities that make up a multinational enterprise and conduct this exercise with greater confidence – as the OpenCorporates data which is being referenced against is only from official company registers and contains full provenance.

Based on OpenCorporates’ data and the other sources mentioned above, ADIMA users can then view a knowledge graph to profile some of the world’s largest multinational enterprises. 

Visualisations, such as the ones below, can then be built where each dot in the graphic represents an identifier for the multinational and its affiliates, with different colours representing different sources. Relationships are represented by the connecting lines.

Source: A visualisation illustrating connections identified by the ADIMA, OECD

We’re proud to be supporting this initiative as it’s yet another example of how focusing on legal entities, the foundational building blocks that make up the business world, can help us all to understand what’s happening in business and wider society.

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