Frequently Asked Questions

Collaborative Business Credit Reports

EqualMetrics is a business credit community. Our members are business owners, company executives, and credit professionals who provide important intelligence about companies they do business with. The information is made available as a free business credit report, or Profile Analysis Report™.

Our free credit tools track unique, hard-to-find business information about a company, such as:

  • Aliases, trade names and brand names used by a company
  • Related and loosely affiliated parties
  • Important company locations and their functions
  • Categorized links to online media - news, legal documents, etc.
  • How a company interacts with and pays its vendors and suppliers

In addition, all companies have five blog categories, organized by topic, where members provide additional info about a company.

Below are answers to many Frequently Asked Questions about EqualMetrics.


Metrics and the Profile Analysis Report™


MetricPoints™ and My Reports


Membership


Business Credit Surveys


Company Blogs


Enhanced Profiles


Metrics and the Profile Analysis Report™

What are Metrics?
We define a Metric as the value of an informational piece of data about a company or organization. For example - a toll free phone number; the number of company locations; or a related party to a company.

What is a Profile Analysis Report or PAR?
It's the EqualMetrics equivalent to a traditional business credit report. The top section of the report tells you which company's report you're viewing. It's the company's identification - name and address. Below this is a business information summary compiled from many of the submitted Metrics.

The Metrics submitted by members are listed in a grid. If you double-click on a highlighted row, the panel below the Metrics will change to the Submit and Vote view. This panel is where Metrics can be submitted to appear on the PAR.

The default view is the Business Credit Survey Responses panel, a unique and proprietary color-coded summary of the answers to the eight credit reference questions as submitted by the company's vendors and suppliers.

The button toolbar above this panel provides access to the Credit Survey, Info Links, Names, Locations, Related Parties, Personnel and Financials views. By clicking these buttons, the panel will change to reveal info submitted by members for each of these categories. Also, these panels provide the instructions for submitting new Metrics.

View a sample Profile Analysis Report in a new window.

Who can submit and vote on company Metrics?
Registered members can submit Metrics for any company. Members also vote on Metrics submitted by other members. All levels of membership can submit and vote on Metrics, but only Vendor and Company level members can submit a Business Credit Survey for their customers.

How do I submit or vote on a Metric?
When you view a Profile Analysis Report for a company, the main Metrics are displayed in a grid pattern. Double-clicking a Metric opens the Submit and Vote panel below. This is where you type a new value or click a Vote button for an existing Metric.

Some Metrics can be typed in text boxes, while other Metrics are predefined and are selected from drop-down menus. When submitting a new Metric you're simultaneously casting your vote for it. This is denoted by the You Voted button next to the new Metric.

To vote on an existing Metric, just click on the Vote button next to the Metric. The button will change to the You Voted button.

Why is there a voting process?
The top voted Metric will "roll-up" to the main report (the Profile Analysis Report or PAR), but a user can always "drill down" on the Metric to see what others have supplied in the past. This old data can be useful also, so it's maintained. The voting process is necessary to automatically filter out any bad data that's submitted.

Why vote on a Metric submitted by another member?
The voting process confirms the accuracy of data. If you have knowledge of a company that's listed on EqualMetrics, we encourage you to vote on the Metric. For your effort, you'll receive additional MetricPoints, which are a measure of your reputation in the community. Accumulated MetricPoints can be redeemed for premium services.

Can I vote for a Metric more than once?
No, if there are multiple competing Metrics you can vote for any of them, but only one. If you vote for the same Metric more than once, nothing will happen. If you vote for another Metric or submit a new Metric, your vote will change.

Can I change a Metric that I submit?
Absolutely, we encourage you to edit your Metrics if information or circumstances change. All data that you supply can be deleted by you if no other member has voted on its validity yet. That way, if you enter something in error, you won't be penalized by a MetricPoints deduction if you correct the data right away. If an administrator has to change false or incorrect data, your MetricPoints balance will be deducted. Depending on whether the data was considered abusive, you could be banned from the community. We take data integrity very seriously - members rely on the accuracy and timeliness of this data.

Can I delete a Metric submitted by another member?
No, but you can request a deletion by submitting a quick form to the administrators. Usually, a deletion request should only be requested if the data is abusive. Another scenario is where the data was valid at one point and has many votes, but has now been verified to be changed permanently. The newly submitted Metric will not have enough votes to "roll-up" to the Profile Analysis Report. Administrator intervention through a deletion request would be appropriate here.


MetricPoints™ and My Reports

What are MetricPoints?
MetricPoints are points that members earn for submitting Metrics, voting on Metrics, and submitting Business Credit Surveys for their business customers. They're an automatic mechanism developed to encourage participation in building the quality of data in the EqualMetrics community. Members are ranked by their participation and the quality of data that they provide using MetricPoints. It's essentially a quantifiable measure of your reputation within the community.

How do MetricPoints work?
Submitting a Metric - If you submit a Metric, like a company's website address, your MetricPoints balance is automatically increased by 4 points. If you then delete the data, your MetricPoints balance is reduced by the 4 points. If you submit bad data, don't delete it and another member or admin requests a deletion of the data, your MetricPoints balance will be reduced by 4 points plus a penalty amount of up to 50 points. If it is just a minor error, like spelling, etc. the penalty will be small or non-existent. However, please double-check the spelling and validity of the data to ensure its quality.

Voting for a Metric - If you vote for a Metric, your balance is increased by 1 point. If you change an existing vote, it's neutral to your points balance. Take pride in your votes. With data democracy there's some civic duty involved - help others who may help you someday.

Submitting a Business Credit Survey - If you submit a survey for a customer, you'll earn 20 MetricPoints for your contribution. The survey provides answers to the eight most critical payment questions you'll want to know before entering into a business relationship. The answers to these questions can't be obtained from traditional business credit reports - that's what makes this business credit community so unique and so valuable to your business.

Where can I get my MetricPoints balance?
After logging in you will see your total MetricPoints balance in blue text on the Search page and on every Profile Analysis Report that you view. Click on this text to see a detailed balance report. The report shows you a breakdown of the total for each activity that earns or deducts MetricPoints.

What is My Reports?
If you're interested in ongoing monitoring of companies that you do business with, then My Reports will help you. My Reports allows you to save Profile Analysis Reports in a central place for quick access. Within My Reports, you can sort your list of saved reports by name, city or state. Double-click on the row to open the report in a new browser window.

How can I use MetricPoints?
You can attach a specific company's Profile Analysis Report (PAR) to your My Reports listing. Each saved PAR to My Reports "costs" 20 MetricPoints. There are additional premium services being developed that members will be able to access using MetricPoints. At this time, the MetricPoints are used for both building a reputation and for linking to companies that you want to monitor.

Can I purchase additional MetricPoints?
Not at this time. However, you're given 100 MetricPoints for joining, enough to attach five PARs to your My Reports without making any contributions of Metrics or votes.

What is the quickest way to build MetricPoints balances?
If you're a Vendor or Company level member (all memberships are free) you can submit Business Credit Surveys for your business customers. Filling out a Business Credit Survey is quick, easy, and anonymous. Each survey earns you 20 MetricPoints - enough points to save the company to your My Reports for ongoing monitoring.

Submitting accurate Business Credit Surveys is the fastest and easiest way to a large MetricPoints balance and corresponding great reputation in the community. In addition, you'll be contributing to a valuable business information resource that can give your company a heads-up on payment delays and collection hassles.


Membership

Is membership free?
Yes, there are three levels of membership and all are free. Your reason for using EqualMetrics will determine which type of membership is appropriate.

Select your membership type and join here.

Which membership is right for me?
Basic Membership is usually the starting point for most members. All that's required for registration is your name and email address. Basic Membership will allow you to submit and vote on Metrics and leave comments on Company Blogs.

Vendor Membership might be right for you if you're a finance or credit professional. If your company is engaged in business-to-business (B2B) commerce and you have access to your customer's payment info - this would be the appropriate membership level for you. Having a Vendor Membership allows you to submit Business Credit Surveys for your B2B customers. Because of this, registration requires a little more info to ensure you're who you say you are. However, privacy is ensured as your info is not shared with others and your submissions of Metrics and Business Credit Surveys are anonymous. Your MetricPoints detail (your reputation) and username (if you submit a blog comment) are the only identifiers that other members can view.

Company Membership is appropriate if you're a business owner or responsible agent/executive for a company. Company Membership allows you to "claim" responsibility for your company's Profile Analysis Report. You can also submit Business Credit Survey's for your B2B customers, just like you can as a Vendor Member. Because of this, registration requires a little more info to ensure you're who you say you are. On your "claimed" Profile Analysis Report your actual name and title will be displayed below the info that you provide on your own report. Other users can then be assured that you're truly the most appropriate responsible party for the information.

When providing Metrics for other companies or submitting Business Credit Reports, privacy is ensured as your info is not shared and your submissions are anonymous. Again, your MetricPoints detail (your reputation) and username (if you submit a blog comment) are the only identifiers that other members can view.

Which type of membership do I need to submit Business Credit Surveys?
You have to be a Vendor Member or Company Member.

Can I start out with a Basic Membership and upgrade later?
Yes, you can upgrade from a Basic Membership to either a Vendor or Company Membership at any time. You can also move from a Vendor to a Company Membership at any time.

How do I upgrade my membership?
First, log in by clicking Log in on the main navigation bar on the top of any page. Once logged in, you will be on the default View tab. Click the Edit tab. This loads your membership registration info. At the top of the page, your Type of membership is listed.

Upgrading from Basic Membership - Click the Upgrade Membership button to enable the radio buttons for the different types of membership. Select the appropriate membership level and fill out the additional information that is requested. Click the Save button at the bottom of the form. Your membership is now upgraded!

Upgrading from Vendor to Company Membership - Select the checkbox for Company Membership. Fill out the additional information that is requested. Click the Save button at the bottom of the form. You are now a Company Member!

I want to "claim" my company's profile, how do I do this?
First, register as a Company Member. Then, log in by clicking Log in on the main navigation bar on the top of any page. Once logged in, you will be on the default View tab. Under the heading "My Company" click on the link to Update and Edit Your Company's Profile. The My Company Interface is loaded. Here you will see a search form to find your company. Follow the instructions to search for your company. If a Profile Analysis Report (PAR) is not already in the database you are given the option to create and link to it. After this step your Company Membership is now linked to your company's PAR.


Business Credit Surveys

What is a Business Credit Survey?
These surveys are submitted by Vendor and Company Members who fill them out for their B2B customers. Each survey has eight credit reference questions that give a summary of the payment experience between the companies. The results are compiled and color-coded to give a quick snapshot of a company's payment track record.

Members are encouraged to fill out and submit the Business Credit Surveys for their 10 best and 10 worst paying business customers. This is a good cross section of data that is valuable to other members who want to monitor existing customers or research new customers.

Members also ask their vendors and suppliers to join EqualMetrics and fill out Business Credit Surveys for them, building up their credit track record and creating an online credit reference for their business.

How easy is it to take the survey?
It's very quick and easy. Most business owners or credit professionals will know the answers without needing to look them up. You just click on the answer to each of the eight questions and it lights up with an appropriate color to indicate your answer. When reviewing a good paying customer it can take only seconds to complete the survey.

Can I submit more than one survey for a company?
No, you can only have one customer-vendor relationship with another company, so only one survey can be filled out and submitted.

Can I update a survey that I previously submitted?
Yes, you should update the surveys if information or circumstances change. Time period responses will "age" automatically, so administration is kept at a minimum. The system is designed to be "fill out and forget". For example, if you report that an amount was sent out to a collection agency in the current time period, it will be automatically moved through the recent, past and historical windows over time. You can always visit the customer's Profile Analysis Report, click on the Take The Survey button and the survey you filled out will be opened for you to make changes.

How can I interpret the results of the survey?
The survey totals for a company are compiled and presented on the Profile Analysis Report. The results are color-coded so a quick view of the report can help you summarize the answers. If a report is covered in green answers, then the company has been reported to have a good payment track record with the vendors that have completed the survey. If there are red and orange answers to questions then you may want to ask some further questions of the company. This could indicate a problem with making payments in a timely fashion or some other problem they are having with a vendor or supplier.


Company Blogs

What are the Company Blogs?
Each company in the EqualMetrics database has five separate blogs where members can leave comments about the company or organization. The topics are - Company History, Legal Events, Officers and Employees, Products and Services, and Miscellaneous Company Information.

How do I leave a comment on a blog topic?
Once you open a company's Profile Analysis Report, choose the appropriate category for your comment and click on the link under the "Blog Topics For This Company" heading. If you have not logged in yet, you can log in from this screen. Type your comment, then preview and save it.


Enhanced Profiles

What is an Enhanced Profile?
Upgrading to an Enhanced Profile gives your company's Profile Analysis Report a boost. It becomes a marketing tool for your business. You can upload your company's logo to brand your profile. Include detailed descriptions of your business, products and services with backlinks to your website. There are several customizable sections where you can list business hours, provide promotional messages and link to other online media about your business. In addition, the Enhanced Profile is submitted to the major search engines to help give a boost to your company's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

Learn more about Enhanced Profiles and view a sample.

What benefit does an Enhanced Profile provide?
The Enhanced Profile can maximize your company's web presence with its many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features. For example, you can create multiple descriptive backlinks to your website's products and services. Descriptive backlinks are one method SEO experts agree can lift your search engine rankings. We also let you modify your report's web page title, meta description and meta keywords - another nice SEO benefit that you can't usually get from a third party website.

How do I create and update my Enhanced Profile?
Log in by clicking Log in on the main navigation bar on the top of any page. Once logged in, you will be on the default View tab. Under the heading "My Company" click on the link to Update and Edit Your Company's Profile. The My Company Interface is loaded. Click on Enhanced Profile to load the Information Control Panel. The default tab is Help and guides you through setting up each section of the Enhanced Profile. Be sure to save the data on each tab before moving to the next section. We've designed the interface to be easy to use, if you can use a word processor, you can create a great looking Enhanced Profile.

How do I upload my company logo?
You can brand your Enhanced Profile by uploading a logo or picture. The image is automatically resized to 200 pixels by 200 pixels. The same width-to-height aspect ratio is maintained. Therefore, if you upload an image that is 400 pixels wide by 100 pixels tall, the new image will be displayed as 200 pixels wide by 50 pixels tall. If you want your logo to fill up the entire space, please use an image that is as close to a square as possible. Ideally, for the best quality reproduction of your logo, upload an original file that is already 200x200 pixels.

The major image file types are accepted, .png, .gif, and .jpg. Your original file should be less than 3 Megabytes in size.

From the My Company Interface, click Enhanced Profile. Next, select the Logo tab. Click the Upload Logo button and a dialog box from your local computer will open. Browse to the folder on your hard drive where the image is located and double-click on it or highlight it and click the Open button. Please wait while the logo is uploaded. It will be displayed once it is uploaded.