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The 6 Types of Datasets Critical to Your Due Diligence Investigations

May 07, 2023 (8 min read)
Investigate 6 different kinds of datasets for improved due diligence

If you're a decision-maker in a company, you know how much weight is put on making the right decision for your company. And, with increasing ESG regulation and consumer expectations of ethical practices, it is more important than ever that you take your initial research seriously and explore any possible obstacles to a new partnership. Skipping this step could be an issue of corporate survival. 

A good due diligence process should inform you of any potential risks before you make a major decision, such as whether to move forward with a merger and acquisition (M&A) or hire a c-suite candidate for your company. But if you don’t have access to the right data, in the right context and in the right format, then your due diligence will likely be riddled with blind spots--that could cost you a pretty penny in fines or lost business.

Luckily, Nexis Diligence+™ offers an unmatched wealth of data from thousands of content sources, allowing you to conduct comprehensive checks on people and companies in a single interface. These range from unstructured text-based news and biographical data to more structured company information or public records. Each dataset is enriched with meta data to allow you to find what you need easier and quicker.  

Keep reading to learn about the 6 datasets provided in Nexis Diligence+—and why they matter to the quality and effectiveness of your due diligence research.

News & web media datasets

While you may be used to gathering data from internal sources, external news data can provide good insight into public sentiment or other external factors that can influence your business decisions. Regulators recommend your due diligence process takes adverse news into account as negative news is sometimes as insightful as positive. Nexis Diligence+ gives you access to 50,000+ global print, broadcast, and web news sources, including but not limited to:

  • Newspapers
  • Newswires
  • Press releases
  • Magazines
  • Trade publications
  • Broadcast transcripts

Nexis Diligence+ features the ability to search negative news and glean insight from behind-the-paywall articles or coverage. To uncover and pinpoint negative news on a person or company, you simply type an entity’s name into the Nexis Diligence+ search bar along with a derogatory word like embezzle, fraud, indict, bankrupt, etc. The platform will then search our vast universe of content and reveal any relevant hits. You can also use filters to select how tight you want the association between the entity and the term to be, so you can align search results to your organization’s policy approach to due diligence.

MORE: Why monitoring reputational risk is key to your business success

Company report databases

While news data can tell you about public sentiment or any major events a potential partner may have, their internal company reports can complete a picture of the company and allow you to assess the viability of a partnership.

Pulling in data from 400+ databases and on 280+ million global public and private companies, Nexis Diligence+ captures annual reports, SEC and other filings, bankruptcy reports, M&A transactions, and earnings information. Some of the data providers Nexis Diligence+ relies on include:

  • Best’s Company Reports
  • Bundesanzeiger Verlag
  • Cofisem
  • Creditreform®
  • CreditSafe
  • Dun & Bradstreet®
  • Experian® Information Solutions
  • FBR Asian Company Profiles
  • Gale Group®
  • Global Data Ltd.
  • Handshakes Capital Markets Data
  • Hoover’s, Inc.
  • IHS Shipping Data
  • Infocredit Group Business Information Reports
  • Integra Industry Reports
  • LexisNexis® Corporate Affiliations™
  • London Stock Exchange
  • MERGERSTAT® M&A Database
  • Prospects of Wealth
  • SGA Executive Tracker
  • Taiwan Economic Journal Co.
  • Vickers Securities Report
  • WealthEngine
  • Worldbox AG
  • Worldscope International Company Profiles
  • Zack’s Equity Research

And while other due diligence services or platforms typically only provide limited company profile information—such as corporate hierarchy—we go deeper to reveal parent/subsidiary structures. Additionally, because Nexis Diligence pulls data from multiple sources, you can uncover most if not all available information on a company of any size, even on small private companies in emerging markets. This ensures that you can make the most informed decision possible. 

Biographical sources

The above datasets can give you a good idea of external opinions about a company and an overview of their past business decisions, but you'll need to dig deeper to do a more comprehensive search. Top officers should always be a focus of your research when conducting due diligence because their credibility, experience, and personal history play a major role in the kinds of risk involved in doing business. You also need the ability to properly vet a potential hire before bringing them into the fold.

To help you uncover key facts about individuals, Nexis Diligence pulls content from hundreds of sources such as:

  • Gale Biographies
  • SGA Executive Tracker
  • Professional Contacts
  • The Complete Marquis Who’s Who® Biographies
  • The Official Board Biographies

With data collected from so many biographical sources, you can confidently learn about someone’s personal information (e.g., the time and place of their birth), educational background and career history, participation in civic or philanthropic organizations, and any recognitions and awards they’ve received.

MOREStop the risk: Asking the right questions for complete due diligence

Sanctions, watch lists & politically-exposed persons (PEPs)

The less you know about a company or individual, the more your reputation—and your company’s wallet—are at risk. Failure to properly vet a potential acquisition or business partner can translate into customer churn, government sanctions, and monetary penalties. That’s why Nexis Diligence+ gives you access to domestic and global sanctions, watch lists, and PEPs compiled from multiple authorities spanning 240 countries and territories. Some of the 1,400 lists include:

  • OFAC—Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List; Non-SDN List, including Palestinian Legislative Council; Enhanced Sanctioned Countries List
  • Her Majesty’s Treasury Consolidated List
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission List of Regulatory and Self-Regulatory Authorities
  • Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Consolidated List of Debarred Parties
  • European Union Designated Terrorists Consolidated List
  • FBI—Hijack Suspects List; Most-Wanted List; Most-Wanted Terrorists List; Seeking Information List
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Actions File
  • International Police Most Wanted and Red Alerts
  • Office of Controller of Currency—Unauthorized Banks List
  • State Department Terrorist Exclusion List
  • United Nations Consolidated List
  • S. Bureau of Industry and Security—Denied Persons List; Unverified List; Entity List
  • World Bank Ineligible Firms List

With Nexis Diligence+, you also get access to global PEP lists, which include 1.5+ million profiles on PEPs, as well as profiles on their family members and close associates. These lists will allow you to assess whether your proposed partnership will open you up to unwanted attention, potentially hindering your business success. 

Legal data sources

As a part of LexisNexis, Nexis Diligence+ has access to an unparalleled range of legal data. In addition to the business data and sources mentioned above, these legal datasets can provide crucial insight to guide your future business decisions. 

Legal cases & dockets

Nexis Diligence+ provides legal information on companies and individuals from courts both outside and inside the US. With a quick search, you can retrieve case details—including court decisions and outcomes—from state, federal, and international courts.

Also included in Diligence are cases from the International Court of Justice, which serves as the principal judicial organization of the United Nations. And you can retrieve dockets providing details on pending court cases in the US as well.

Agency decisions

Uncover decisions, opinions, orders, enforcement actions, decrees, judgements, rulings, and more from various government agencies, including:

  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Interior and Commerce
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Federal Aviation Administration Decisions
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Reserve
  • Federal Trade Commission Decisions
  • General Services Administration
  • Health & Human Services
  • Housing & Urban Development
  • International Trade Commission
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Office of Government Ethics
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Securities and Exchange Commission

Additionally, some of the state agencies covered in Nexis Diligence+ include:

  • S Comptroller General
  • State Attorney General Opinions
  • State Tax Agency Decisions
  • State Securities Agency Decisions
  • State Environmental Agency Decisions
  • State Workers’ Compensation Board Decisions
  • State Public Utilities Commission Decisions
  • Decisions from Other Miscellaneous State Administrative Agencies

These sources can keep you up-to-date with the ever changing world of legislation and regulation to make sure you and your partners stay compliant. 

MORE: Global trend to human rights due diligence accelerates as German law comes into force


Nexis Diligence+ provides access to selected online verdict and settlement information for civil cases across the United States, so you can learn about verdict and settlement amounts, expert witnesses, case summaries, and counsel data. 

Law reviews

Better understand facts in dispute and expand your awareness of a company or person’s litigation environment. Nexis Diligence+ gives you access to nearly 1,000 law reviews, bar journals, ABA journals, legal newspapers, legal newsletters, and specialty legal publications.

MORE: Round up of recent major fines for alleged company failures

U.S. Public Sources*

Through SmartLinx™ Comprehensive Reports via Nexis Diligence, you can conduct searches that comb through 82 billion public records from 100,000+ sources. Quickly and easily find names, addresses, phone numbers, and other information that links people, locations, and businesses.

All results are also cross-referenced, so you can identify connections between two people, a person and a company, or two companies. And suspicious connections and activities are flagged for further investigation. Additionally, our sophisticated proprietary technology searches for nicknames, similar sounding last names, and alternate spellings. And proximity searches let you look for locations within a particular radius. Types of public records you can search include but aren’t limited to:

  • Business Associates
  • Person Associates
  • Fictitious Business Names/DBAs
  • Phone Summary
  • Addresses
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgements and Liens
  • Corporate Filings
  • Registered Agents
  • UCC Liens
  • Company ID Numbers (FEINS, chart numbers)
  • Parent Company
  • Executives
  • Industry Classification
  • Experian Business Reports
  • IRS Form 5500
  • Better Business Bureau Membership Status
  • Sales Information
  • Real Property
  • Aircrafts
  • Professional Licenses

In addition to searching billions of public records at one time via SmartLinx Comprehensive Reports, you can also use Nexis Diligence to search public records databases individually. The databases that can be searched individually include information such as:

  • Bankruptcies, judgements, and leans from all 50 U.S. states, D.C., and select U.S. territories
  • Approximately 457 million criminal records and 383 million criminal court records
  • OSHA inspection reports from all 50 U.S. states, D.C., and all U.S. territories
  • Records of corporation and limited partnerships from 49 states and D.C.

*Access to U.S. Public Records content is subject to credentialing.

Access the wealth of content made available in Nexis Diligence+

Good due diligence takes time and effort, something you likely don't have as a business leader. Instead of shirking your due diligence responsibilities, let Nexis Diligence+ do the hard work for you. With the above datasets all in one place, your searching is streamlined as you can rely on one tool. Then, you can use filters, metadata, and other enrichments to home in on the information you need. We'll even provide you with auditable reports to track your findings. 

Request a trial of Nexis Diligence+  today and see how easy due diligence can be.