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The business information services market comprises companies that provide business and professional data and related information services and products to institutions, individuals and other businesses, including aggregators and redistributors. Companies that supply tools to analyze or add value to the information provided, as well as, in some cases, companies that offer transaction capabilities along with information, are also increasingly considered to be a part of this market. A majority customers in this market use the services provided to support mission-critical functions.

Providers in this market may be oriented either horizontally or vertically. Those that are horizontally oriented target such markets as advertising, marketing, business and consumer credit. Vertically integrated information providers target specific industry segments, such as chemicals, construction and commodities trading.

Business information services providers deliver their products in multiple ways, ranging from print and CD-ROM to a wide range of online mechanisms. While print still retains its importance, the market as a whole is moving rapidly toward online, Internet, intranet, VPN, WAP and other electronic forms of data delivery.

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