WikiRate is an open, collaborative tool for asking and answering questions about corporate impacts.
A world where companies can and do respond to social and environmental challenges.
Theory of Change
Companies have a vital role to play in responding to the world’s most pressing issues, and we as a society can shape that role. As stakeholders – consumers, employees, investors, students, neighbors, advocates, and voters – we can guide companies to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns. But we are missing some key tools. Information about corporate performance is simply not available in a form we can act upon. The feedback loop between companies and us, their stakeholders, is broken.
WikiRate.org was developed to help fix this feedback loop by organizing open data about companies’ performance. By making sustainability data more usable, we make more meaningful engagement possible. WikiRate will empower stakeholders to hold companies accountable and help them provide ever better responses to the world’s problems.
People and Organizations
WikiRate.org is developed, hosted, supported, and promoted by the WikiRate Project eV., a German nonprofit association whose initial funding came from two three-year grants from the European Commission. Content on WikiRate is researched, reviewed, and organized by a diverse international community of individual and organizational contributors. All data submissions and changes on WikiRate.org are visibly credited in revision histories to those who made them.
Data Problems and Solutions
WikiRate.org is solving the data problems that prevent meaningful stakeholder engagement.
|Without WikiRate||With WikiRate|
Closed / Expensive
ESG data are often proprietary and prohibitively costly and thus only only useful to the privileged few
Free and Open
Companies produce abundant reports in PDFs, which can’t be queried or easily interpreted by machines, making it difficult to compare one company with another
WikiRate contributors are structuring data into standardized Metrics via scraping, API, and crowd research.
Data silos, high-level ratings without sources, and low-level data without analysis combine to make ESG data almost impossible to navigate.
WikiRate brings together metrics from many different researchers and makes answers easy to navigate, interpret, improve and re-combine.
Often, reports are produced for a narrow audience of experts and are inscrutable to those unfamiliar with jargon.
WikiRate will make data more digestible so that more people can engage and demand better metrics, better data, and better companies.
Phase I. Research Tool
Currently, WikiRate.org is used by universities and NGOs as a collaborative research tool. By organizing Projects, they engage thousands of students and volunteers each year in researching answers to metric questions about corporate performance. In this way, contributors have generated 561629 answers from predominantly unstructured and semi-structured data sources. In parallel, we are actively partnering with the University of Cambridge, CERTH, and OpenCorporates to import hundreds of thousands of additional metric answers from more structured sources. Today, WikiRate is already engaging many contributors directly with ESG data and making unprecedented amounts of open ESG data available on the web and via API.
Phase II. Analysis Hub
WikiRate is preparing to enter its second phase, in which we move beyond structuring and aggregating data into interpreting and improving them. Contributors will be able to critique metrics in support of bringing the best designed, best researched, and most material metrics to the fore. Calculated metrics, which allow users to re-interpret and contextualize answers via dynamic calculations, will feature more strongly. Users will generate share their analyses using creative data visualizations. With better metrics available, researchers and visitors will increasingly be able to compare apples to apples.
Phase III. Engagement Platform
Today companies are WikiRate’s subject matter; in the future, they will also be key participants. By improving data quality and availability in the first two phases, WikiRate contributors lay the groundwork for a third phase in which WikiRate supports direct engagement between companies and their stakeholders. Prominently displayed responsiveness scores will incentivize companies to provide answers to questions of interest to the WikiRate community. Increased responsiveness will mean more data and more data visualizations, which in turn will support media campaigns that drive awareness of and reaction to corporate impacts.
WikiRate is collaborating with leading academics and nonprofits to advance research projects in the following program areas: