C.3. Using external party sources for statistics on the international supply of services
10.56. National and international organizations that represent services industries often compile registers of their enterprise members, including name, location and contact information. Such information can serve as a source for updating and maintaining the service providers included in business registers.
10.57. Such organizations may also survey their members for quantitative and/or qualitative information on their operations, including domestic and international sales or market share, and conduct market research to compile estimates or forecasts of sales. Quantitative information from such studies can be used to validate or complement statistical survey results or as a basis for estimates when no other data are available.
10.58. National ministries associated with specific industries are also important sources of data and can range from ministries of tourism and investment promotion to regulatory bodies on insurance, health and education. Such agencies may already be providing to the national statistical office more traditional administrative data based on regulatory requirements. However, those agencies may also conduct special research projects or one-time studies that can supply greater detail or cover a different industry than they routinely cover. Such data can be used to validate or complement other data sources.
10.59. Financial statements, annual reports and profit and loss statements of enterprises can also provide a wealth of information for statistical compilers. Often such reports include information and data on the firm’s international operations, sales and market share by country or region. The level of detail that is reported varies widely, depending on the country and type of enterprise. However, such sources should not be overlooked as a means of identifying enterprises involved in international transactions, updating the business register, validating survey results and filling data gaps.
10.60. Private database companies that maintain databases of financial, statistical and market information on global companies and private consultant groups are also commonly used by statistical institutions, either to complement or substitute for other data sources. Private databases are usually accessible for a fee. Examples include Compustat, Dun and Bradstreet, Amadeus (Bureau van Dijk), Business Monitor International, Deloitte and Insight Research Corporation, among others. Such databases can be good sources for updating and maintaining SBRs, as they typically provide company names, addresses, telephone numbers, names of contact persons, enterprise size by sales value or employee count and other basic characteristics, including industry or market sector, market share or number of establishments. The private sources often conduct market research studies that include analysis of domestic and international sales, market share, actual values of sales and/or estimates or forecasts based on historical trends.
10.61. Finally, Internet searches of individual company names, industry sectors or trade groups are an extremely efficient and cost-effective way of validating information in SBRs and survey results.