For a company founded 179 years ago, you'd think this would have happened more than once.

Dun & Bradstreet ($PRIVATE:DNB), the data and analytics company from New Jersey, filed for a $1 billion IPO this week. D&B used to be public, then went private, but are now ready to hit the markets again.

We'll take this opportunity to snapshot D&B as a privately held company, right before it goes to the New York Stock Exchange. Did any of its alternative data give a hint that this would be happening? If you believe that shedding 12% of your staff over the last two years is an indication, then yes, you might have been able to see this coming.

When D&B went private back in 2018, they almost had 5,500 employees. But to this day, there's been nothing but declines in headcount, so if you were able to predict the private/public flipflop, congrats on being clairvoyant. This drop in employee count predates the Coronavirus pandemic, so clearly D&B has been trying to slim down its staff for a while now. A slimmer company could translate into a more appetizing offering for investors. 

Thankfully, social media has only been doing the opposite: growing. Over the last five years, Twitter followers more than doubled, and Facebook Likes went up by 429%. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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