OpenCorporates works to make information about companies and the corporate world more accessible, discoverable, and usable. They aim to create a URL with data for every corporate entity in the world, and provide tools for the analysing of the data. This database essentially allows society as a whole the ability to understand, monitor and regulate the corporate world.
OpenCorporates was launched in December 2010 with the purpose of making information about companies and the corporate world more accessible, discoverable, and usable. This database essentially gives citizens, community groups, journalists, other companies, and society as a whole the ability to understand, monitor and regulate the corporate world. OpenCorporates does this by opening up data and providing tools to analyse it. It is now the largest open database of companies in the world and shares data on corporate entities as open data under the share-alike attribution Open Database Licence, which has grown rapidly from 3 territories and a few million companies, to over 105 jurisdictions and 98 million companies. OpenCorporates also have a carefully selected Advisory Board composed of respected and independent experts in the field of transparency and open data to advise them, and to ensure that they remain true to their core principles.
The ultimate aim is to create a URL with data for every corporate entity in the world. They are also working on gradually importing government data relating to companies and matching this to specific companies. OpenCorporates also shows groups of companies that are legally part of the same conglomerate, which helps provide transparency on networks of corporate subsidiaries and holding companies spread around multiple jurisdictions. One example of this is how an open data analysis showed how Goldman Sachs has 1,475 subsidiaries registered in the U.S. and 739 in the Caymans alone. OpenCorporates allows people to get a hold of the data via their new API service, as well as their highly popular Google Refine reconciliation service, and this allows access to the information as JSON or XML.