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ESG Starter Packs: A Guide to Getting Started with Controversies Data

Controversies are a common filter for ESG data investments and a good place to start with external data investments. 

What is Controversies Data? 

In a recent blog, we shared how to get started with planning for ESG investments as a beginner. One of the key pieces of advice offered was to ensure you fully understand provider ratings, including what data they report, how it’s certified, where it comes from, and how often it’s updated. 

Perusing controversies data is a great next step after ratings. Controversies data refers to information on industries and issues that are often considered non-starters for investors and consumers alike. Controversies data tracks information on things like child labor, weapons production, country location, and human rights issues. 


How is it Used for Investing Decisions? 

Quickly eliminating investment opportunities based on a company or single person’s preferences is a good way to narrow down the infinite possibilities for investing. It’s also important to decide if you want to use controversies data for a positive or negative screen. In layman’s terms–do you want to filter investment opportunities out or in? 

This Wall Street Journal article is a great resource for familiarizing yourself with positive or negative controversy screening before diving in. Negative screens tend to exclude any company in a particular industry. In contrast, positive screens can create a space in investments for organizations that stack up well against their peers, regardless of their industry. Knowing what type of screening you’ll do before accessing data is critical to prevent any unconscious bias or choice–and that goes for knowing all of your company’s boundaries and guidelines for ESG data usage overall, not just for controversies data, which is a subset of ESG data. 


Controversies Data Starter Pack

The bad news is that there is an infinite amount of data sources out there on the market. The good news? We’ve curated a list of great datasets to get you started with controversies data screening–in hours and days, not weeks and months–as you integrate ESG data into your analytical infrastructure. Note that these datasets come from a variety of external data suppliers. While we recommend integrating datasets from several sources as a best practice, we can also provide you with starter pack recommendations for individual suppliers. Check those out for MSCI, Sustainalytics, ISS, and FactSet. The table below highlights each dataset and supplier, as well as a brief description of what you can expect in each dataset. 

Controversies Starter Pack

If you’re ready to get started with ESG for external data integration into your organization, controversies data is a great place to start. It covers environmental, social, and governance factors and is an easy way to familiarize yourself with a variety of data suppliers, which is a good best practice for data integration in general. 

With Crux, all datasets named in this starter pack are readily available within our platform and can be accessed within hours once you’re onboarded. And this is just the beginning–we have 50,000+ data products available, including more ESG starter packs and a huge variety of data vendors, specialized products, and more.

If you’re interested in learning more about our other ESG data offerings or getting access to this starter pack, reach out to start the conversation today. 


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