CSRHub Dashboard

By Bahar Gidwani

part 2 of a 3-part series

 

In our last post, we described some of the new website and data features we are offering CSRHub’s subscribers for the more than 10,000 companies we track.  However, we also added a new tool to our repertoire—CSRHub Dashboard.  This tool allows our subscribers to download our ratings and data into an Excel spreadsheet template.

 

To make CSRHub Dashboard possible, we expanded our RESTful application program interface (API) to our database by adding hundreds of new “calls.”  We then added a suite of functions into Excel (via a macro add in) that would allow our subscribers to use our interface to request the data they need.

 

Here are some examples of how our new Dashboard works:

 

  • Competitive benchmarking.  It is easy to pull in data on any number of companies (we’ve tested up to 10,000 names).  Then, look at each company’s strengths and weaknesses at a top level or in detail.CSRHub Dashboard Competitor Benchmark

 

    Then, to understand “best practices,” you can drill down and see what systems companies use to report their performance or compare what each company reported for specific data elements from selected data sources.

 

CSRHub Dashboard other rating data

 

  • Company reporting.  Want to know what others are saying about a particular company?  You can quickly see how a company has been rated by any of our 365 sources.CSRHub Dashboard One Company Report

 

You can also look at how a company’s perceived performance has changed over time.

CSRHub Dashboard charts

 

  • Supply chain management.  Load in the names of a company’s suppliers.  Ask for the data you want to see.  Press calculate and you should see ratings on most of the major suppliers.  (CSRHub rates both public and private companies and is also rating an increasingly wide array of not for profit and government organizations.)

 

  • Do it yourself.  With more than 90 different functions available, our subscribers can build their own models and track and understand all types of sustainability ratings and metrics.

 

In keeping with our support for the broadest possible number of subscribers, we expect to soon introduce a Google Sheets version of the Dashboard.  And, we plan to keep adding more functions (feel free to suggest them!).  All of the new functions we added for our Dashboard users were also put into our RESTful API.  This has made it easier for a wide range of developers to use our data in their applications and tools.

 

We found that supporting massive extractions of data was beginning to tax our infrastructure.  So, we began migrating our web site from Drupal to RubyOnRails and we introduced a new MongoDB database to speed up access to our data.  We still use Amazon servers—but added more “instances” to our system.  Our average time to deliver a web page has decreased and we seem able to support many Dashboard users at any one time.  We expect to keep moving forward on these technical fronts, as our member base continues to grow.

 

You’ve now heard “what” new features we’ve added to CSRHub.  In the third post we’ll talk about “why” we are doing these things and where we are heading over the next year or so.

 


 

Bahar GidwaniBahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

 
CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information, covering on 10,000 companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 365 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

 

CSRHub is a B Corporation, an Organizational Stakeholder (OS) with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a silver partner with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and an Advisory Council Member of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

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What’s New at CSRHub? A lot!

By Bahar Gidwani

 

Last week, we upgraded the CSRHub web site with many new benefits and features our members have been requesting.  We also officially launched our new CSRHub Dashboard, an Excel-based tool that allows our subscribers to bring millions of data points from our system into our custom templates and into their own internal systems.

 

CSRHub Dashboard

segment of the CSRHub Dashboard template

 

This is the fifth major update we’ve made to our site since we first went live in late 2010.  We also update our data monthly.  Our data extends back to December of 2008, so we will soon have seven full years of monthly data available to subscribers.

 

Curious what we added to the site?  Request a Demo to see what we are offering at our Full Access subscriber level. We will continue to give free basic ratings on more than 10,000 companies and organizations.  We also show non-subscribers some of our sources and some data history.

 

You can see a sample of what subscribers see on this page.  The new features include:

 

  • Subscribers can see ratings and rankings.  Over the past three years, many of our users have said that in addition to knowing a company’s absolute sustainability performance (rating), they want to see how a company compares to its peers (rankings).  Now, our subscribers can see these two different ways of comparing company sustainability performance on the same page.
  • Drill down to see what sources contribute to each rating element.  Our users have also been asking us to tell them which elements from each of our 365 sources have something to say about each aspect of the 10,000 companies we track.  Our new company page gives this information.  (Our subscribers can drill down even further by using our CSRHub Dashboard.)
  • Better graphs.  Most people find it easier to understand data when it is presented graphically.  Our new graph allows our subscribers to compare one company’s ratings with those of another company or with the average for an industry or country.  Users can pull category or subcategory ratings into the graph and change the timescale to cover any date range from 2008 to the present.CSRHub interactive graph
  • More clarity about which sources are active.  Until now we’ve shown all of the sources that report on each company we cover.  However, it was hard for our users to figure out if the data from older sources still contributed to our ratings.  We now divide each company’s sources into those that are active (still contribute to ratings) and those that are inactive (not contributing).CSRHub data sources impacting a rating

There are two other important changes in this release.  One is tools-related—we introduced a new Excel template we call CSRHub Dashboard.  The other is technical—major changes in the back end of our site.  We’ll describe the rest of these changes in our next post.

 


 

Bahar GidwaniBahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. Bahar is a member of the SASB Advisory Board.  He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

 

 

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information, covering on 10,000 companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 365 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

 

CSRHub is a B Corporation, an Organizational Stakeholder (OS) with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a silver partner with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and an Advisory Council Member of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

 

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CSRHub Announces Dashboard Launch for Benchmarking

Sustainability Ratings

 

CSRHub is pleased to announce it has launched CSRHub Dashboard, an Excel-based tool that allows our subscribers to easily bring millions of data points from our system into our custom templates and into their own internal systems. Fill in company names, a date and we take care of the rest.

 

We also made the fifth major update to our site since we first went live in late 2010.  Our data extends back to December of 2008, so with our monthly updates we will soon have seven full years of monthly data available to subscribers. The new features include:

 

  • Subscribers can see ratings and percentile rankings for each of 12 subscategory levels.
  • Drill down to see what sources contribute to each rating element.
  • Interactive graphs allow benchmarking on the fly. Now, compare one company’s ratings with those of another company or with the average for an industry or country.

 

As recently announced in GreenBiz, our new Excel-based template, CSRHub Dashboard, allows our subscribers to do competitive benchmarking across 10,000 companies in 135 industries in 104 countries. The Dashboard enables ratings and rankings comparisons, and drill down to compare what each company reported for specific data elements from our 365 data sources. And CSRHub Dashboard enables easy assessment of supply chain management.

 

With more than 90 different functions available, our subscribers can build their own models and track and understand all types of sustainability ratings and metrics.

 

In keeping with our support for the broadest possible number of subscribers, we expect to soon introduce a Google Sheets version of the Dashboard.  And, we plan to keep adding more functions (feel free to suggest them!).  All of the new functions we added for our Dashboard users were also put into our RESTful API.  This has made it easier for a wide range of developers to use our data in their applications and tools.

 

We look forward to your feedback.

 

About CSRHub 

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information, covering on 10,000 companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 365 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

 

CSRHub is a B Corporation, an Organizational Stakeholder (OS) with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a silver partner with CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and an Advisory Council Member of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

 

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Giving People Time to Give Thanks

By Carol Pierson Holding
 

Amidst the national stories about the recent take-over of the U.S. Senate by RepublicansThanksgiving and their ardent intentions to eviscerate both the environment (see Big Oil’s Wish List) and human rights (as in reproductive rights, minimum wage and so on), a bit of sunshine peaked out of my Seattle Times: two of our top chain retailers, Costco and Nordstrom, are opting to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Why? To respond to the public backlash, of course, but also to ensure their employees spend Thanksgiving the way it’s supposed to be spent, with family and friends.

 

Closing on Thanksgiving isn’t the only way these companies are good to their employees. They lead Forbes 2014 Best Retail Companies to Work for Right Now list, with Costco at #1 and Nordstrom Rack at #2. Both companies not only have family-friendly policies, they pay their employees better.

 

In 2011, Nordstrom paid 60% more in hourly wages than the industry average. A typical Costco worker earned $45,000 in 2011 according to a survey by Glassdoor, compared to Sam’s Club workers’ average annual salary of $17,486.

 

Certainly, there is a strong economic argument to be made for treating employees better. Frederick F. Reichheld’s 2001 study The Loyalty Effect proved that customers are loyal not so much to a store as to its employees. Reichheld maintained that a five percent increase in the employee retention rate can increase a customer’s lifetime value by as much as 75%, in part because of the high cost of bringing in new customers. It seems to be working: as reported in Huffington Post last year, Costco’s profits soared 19 percent even as the retailer paid substantially higher wages. Nordstrom Rack’s sales increased 10.2%.
 
It’s clear that employees and economics benefit from Costco and Nordstrom’s decent treatment of employees. But closing on Thanksgiving could actively hurt consumerism, possibly over the long-term: once stores close down for one day, aren’t these retailers in danger of teaching their customers how not to shop, especially in their stores?

 

I was struck once again at the differences between the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the country. Certainly, chains headquartered in other places are also closed on Thanksgiving. Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Joanne Fabric, Pier 1, Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Top 10 retailers Burlington (projected to be #6 in profits for 2014) and Dillards (#2) are joining in.
 
But you have to wonder why any retailer would want to take an action to stem consumerism, their very life-blood, and why two of the chains closing for Thanksgiving would be headquartered in the Seattle area?

 

One clue is its politics. Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee is best known as the “greenest governor.” But he is also a crusader for worker’s rights. He calls it “protecting our most vulnerable, and protecting our environment” and champions raising the State’s minimum wage even higher than it already is, which at $9.32 is the highest state-wide minimum wage in the country. Seattle’s city council voted this June to gradually raise its hourly minimum to $15.

 

This might seem counterintuitive. The party line, especially in red states, is that environmental protection and jobs are in a heated battle for resources. Yet the Pacific Northwest is growing economically even while it fights against fossil fuel consumption, closing coal plants, denying coal port permits, increasing investment in renewables and reducing energy use.

 

And the dogma that lifting wages will bankrupt businesses? Nordstrom’s and Costco wouldn’t agree.

 

Have a lovely shopping-free Thanksgiving!

 

 

Photo courtesy of ilovebutter via Flickr cc.

 


 

Carol Pierson HoldingCarol Pierson Holding writes on environmental issues and social responsibility for policy and news publications, including the Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovations, Harvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, India Time, The Huffington Post and many other web sites. Her articles on corporate social responsibility can be found on CSRHub.com, a website that provides sustainability ratings data on 9,300+ companies worldwide. Carol holds degrees from Smith College and Harvard University.

 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 9,300+ companies from 135 industries in 106 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 343 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.
 

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