Top Four Global Business Intelligence Companies

Datamyne, Import Genius, PIERS, and Panjiva

Global business intelligence company's container cargo ships for importing and exporting goods
Thatree Thitivongvaroon / Getty Images

Business intelligence—also known as competitive intelligence—uses technology to conduct an analysis of business information. By researching historical and current business operations, business intelligence analysis can help a company overcome competition and gain market share. Conducting global market research, tracking your competitors worldwide, acquiring new sales leads, and evaluating opportunities—including finding new sources of supply on a brand new product idea—are all essential to good business practice.


Through official filings with customs authorities and trade ministries, Datamyne currently tracks the trade flow of some 50 countries across five continents, including key markets in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the European Union, as well as U.S. maritime commerce. You can access this global trade data to improve the import-export performance of your business. Zepol, which was a strong competitor in the global business intelligence space, was acquired by Datamyne in 2015.

The industries Datamyne serves are global in general, chemical, energy, and health and nutrition. Datamyne’s frequently asked questions cover everything from the source of its U.S. trade data and statistics to how to determine the country of origin and how often data is updated.

With Datamyne, you can find sales leads (download lists of U.S. importers and exporters by geographic region, shipment volume, and carrier), local suppliers (see what your competitors are importing from and exporting to), and monitor competitors (locate and qualify suppliers overseas that manufacture the products you sell or market). Like the other three global business intelligence companies in this list, Datamyne allows you to get in front of market shifts and trends in the global marketplace.

Fees for Datamyne—including archived Zepol reports—vary, so be sure to inquire. These reports provide detailed data on international trade volumes, with Datamyne’s solutions focused on U.S. import and export trades using the bill of lading data from U.S. Customs information. 

Import Genius

One would think that with a name like Import Genius (IG) you would only be able to track imports. Not according to the site, which says the company can provide “shipping histories for the world’s importers and exporters.”

With Import Genius you can evaluate suppliers, find sales prospects, monitor competitors, and research markets—all with the intent to grow your import-export business.

The Import Genius website states:

Our data contains [the] import information from the bill of lading for shipments entering or leaving 12 countries, including the United States, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and India. For the U.S., we get this shipping manifest data for shipments entering the country by ocean directly from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

One feature that seemed particularly interesting is IG’s email alerts that notify you about shipments relevant to your business. For example, let’s say you are importing brooms from Argentina and see that one of your competitors is, too. Gotcha. You can either do nothing or go directly to your supplier to rework your contract (perhaps negotiate exclusivity) or start looking for new suppliers elsewhere now that you know your existing suppliers serve your competitors, too. What matters is using the information you access to your competitive advantage.


This company is worth mentioning again. PIERS tracks all waterborne import and export activities through bill of ladings electronically filed documents and direct feeds from carriers. You can access and analyze this data in a way that becomes a competitive weapon for your business.

For example, do you know where your competitors import from or where they export to and why? Once you master the movements, you can determine which markets are growing or which ones are untapped and craft your own strategy that strengthens your position in the world marketplace. Fees range, so be sure to check the website for the most updated pricing.


At Panjiva you can find and evaluate legitimate businesses fast. You can search for importers and exporters and easily find companies that source or manufacture commodities worldwide (e.g., 10 million companies and over 600 million shipment records). You can spot trends across the globe and create a shortlist of new opportunities with importers and exporters.

No matter which company you work with, it’s about using the tools to improve your imports and exports and grow in the international marketplace. Fees range, so be sure to check the website for the most updated pricing.