What is ORGPedia?
As a result of the burgeoning movement to open up access to public data, government agencies are making unprecedented quantities
of information about regulated businesses available online in reusable formats. From data about corporate compliance with
health, environment and safety regulations to data about companies that receive assignments of patents to financial disclosures
from publicly traded companies, the opportunity now exists to “mash up” and visualize disparate data about organizations.
The Numbering Challenge -- Despite the sudden availability of so much data, it is currently impossible to combine this information
and transform it into new knowledge about the social life of organizations because of the disparate and non-transparent numbering
schemes used for tracking organizations. Today there are multiple schemes in place for entity identification, many of them
considered inadequate, some of them proprietary, and none of which “talk” to one another. The complexity of corporate structures
presents unique challenges in designing a universal mapping (e.g. comparing accounting vs. tax structures). As a result, most
systems today serve specific purposes and user communities. The Office of Financial Research has issued an RFC in response
to its own stated desire to: “standardize how parties to financial contracts are identified in the data it collects.” The
Office expressed an explicit “preference to adopt through rulemaking a universal standard for identifying parties to financial
contracts that is established and implemented by private industry and other relevant stakeholders through a consensus process.”
In parallel, the SEC is collaborating in a ISO standard-setting process to develop a legal entity numbering scheme. Currently,
Federal agencies alone are spending at least $52.8 million in taxpayer dollars annually on Dun and Bradstreet, the owner of
the proprietary identifier system used by many government entities.