Business Dictionary – D

Daily Official List

    The daily record setting out the prices of shares that are traded on a stock exchange.

Dark Net

    A term for online private websites and networks concealed from and inaccessible to unauthorised users in which materials are shared, normally illegally and anonymously.

Dark Store

    A retail store adapted or designed for the main or whole purpose of fulfilling online orders. Customers generally do not visit ‘dark stores’, except where policy/processes allow the collection of pre-ordered goods. The ‘dark store’ feature of retailing began to emerge seriously in the early 2000s, in which an existing retail store or a purpose-built facility – notably in the supermarkets sector – would be adapted/designed chiefly or entirely for distributing orders placed online, i.e., website sales.

    Dark stores typically contain similar warehousing/shelving/aisles arrangements to conventional retail stores, but store staff physically pick the products, rather than customers. Orders are then delivered to customers, or (subject to the policy if the retailer) may be collected. It is easy to foresee a time when generally the product picking and packaging for delivery/collection is automated. The word ‘dark’ in this context alludes to the notion of a store not requiring the bright environment and highly visible presence and that we normally associate with traditional retailing.

    The word also alludes to the fact that much of the activity in dark stores can happen at night. This terminology and retailing strategy reflects a substantial fundamental shift in society, far beyond the logistics of shopping.

    Dark stores signify a dramatic reorganization of the ‘developed world’, by which the nature of consumer and commercial consumption, and the uses of buildings and entire commercial/retail development sites, are becoming very different, with many big implications for societies, infrastructures, and how people live within and relate to them. Incidentally the word fulfillment may instead be spelled fulfilment, although the former is more common.

Data

    1. Information in raw or unorganized form (such as alphabets, numbers, or symbols) that refer to, or represent, conditions, ideas, or objects. Data is limitless and present everywhere in the universe.

    2. Computers: Symbols or signals that are input, stored, and processed by a computer, for output as usable information.

Data Mining

    1. E-Commerce

    Using software to find patterns in online databases the process of using sophisticated software to identify commercially useful statistical patterns or relationships in online databases.

    2. Marketing

    Pulling information from firm’s databases for management decisions the extraction of information from a data warehouse to assist managerial decision making. The information obtained in this way helps organizations gain a better understanding of their customers and can be used to improve customer support and marketing activities.

Data Warehouse

    Information database used for business analysis a collection of subject-orientated data collected over a period of time and stored on a computer to provide information in support of managerial decision making. A data warehouse contains a large volume of information selected from different sources, including operational systems and organizational databases, and brought together in a standard format to facilitate retrieval and analysis. Data mining techniques are used to access the information in a data warehouse.

Daughter Company

    A company that is controlled partly or completely by a holding or parent company.

Deadbeat

    A person or company who tries to avoid paying their debts.

Dear Money

    Also known as Tight Money. When money is difficult to borrow, and if a loan is secured then it would be paid back at a very high rate of interest.

Debenture

    Unsecured certified loan over a long period of time with a fixed rate, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future.

Debriefing

    A meeting or interview in which a person or group of people report about a task or mission just completed or attempted.

Decision-Making Unit

    Group of employees responsible for purchase decisions a group of people within an organization who directly or indirectly influence the purchase of a product or service.

Decertification

    In employment this refers specifically to action taken by workers to disassociate themselves from a trade union which previously represented them. Aside from this the general meaning refers to withdrawal of certification of one sort or another.

Decision Consequence Analysis.

    A process for helping decision makers, usually in the pharmaceutical and petroleum exploration industries, decide where resources such as time, money, etc., should be invested.

Decision Tree

    Chart helping people determine course of action a diagram designed to help decision makers by representing available options and possible outcomes as branches of a tree. Decision trees provide an overview of multiple-stage decision making by showing successive decision points arising from previous choices. Values representing the relative probability of individual outcomes may be assigned to each branch of the tree in order to compare strategies and select the most favorable.

Declared Value

    Figure on customs form the value of goods as entered on a customs declaration.

Deed Of Partnership

    A legal document which sets out how a partnership is to be run, and also the rights of the partners. A Deed Of Partnership is not compulsory but it helps to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future.

Deep Throat

    In business, an anonymous source of top secret information. First used in this sense in the reporting of the US Watergate scandal.

Deep Web

    Also known as the Invisible Web, said to contain about 500 times more information than the generally accessible world-wide web, the Deep Web comprises data held by secure organizations, for example military and government.

De Facto

    - Latin – Existing in reality or fact, with or without legal right.

Default

    Fail to comply with the terms of a contract, especially to fail to pay back a debt.

Defence Document

    A document that a company’s shareholders receive which explains why an offer to buy the company should be rejected.

Delphi Technique

    Forecasting method avoiding group pressure a qualitative forecasting method in which a panel of experts respond individually to a questionnaire or series of questionnaires, before reaching a consensus. The Delphi technique requires individual submission of, and response to, the questionnaire on the topic under investigation, in order to avoid the effect of a dominant personality influencing a group discussion.

    A summary of the written replies is then distributed so that responses can be revised in the light of the views expressed. This cycle is repeated until the coordinator of the group is satisfied that the best possible consensus has been reached. The Delphi technique was developed at the Rand Corporation during the late 1940s and 1950s and owes its name to the Greek oracle at Delphi, which was believed to make predictions about the future.

Demerge

    Separate parts of firm to split up an organization into a number of separate parts.

Demerit Goods

    Products or services such as as alcohol, gambling, drugs, prostitution, etc., which are considered unhealthy or undesirable, and are often subject to extra taxes in order to reduce consumption and potentially to fund remedial actions in response to consumption.

Demurrage

    Payment made to compensate for late shipment compensation paid to a customer when shipment of a good is delayed at a port or by customs.

Depression

    Lowest point in an economic cycle characterized by (1) reduced purchasing power, (2) mass unemployment, (3) excess of supply over demand, (4) falling prices, or prices rising slower than usual, (5) falling wages, or wages rising slower than usual, and (6) general lack of confidence in the future. Also called a slump, a depression causes a drop in all economic activity. Major depressions may continue for several years, such as the Great Depression (1930-40) that had worldwide impact.

Deregulate

    The reduction or removal of government regulations from an industry or business.

Design for Manufacturability

    Designing products for ease of manufacture the process of designing products to optimize the manufacturing process while assuring the product’s highest quality, performance, and reliability for the price.

Design for Supply

    Designing desirable products that keep costs low the process of designing products that will meet customer demand without sacrificing quality or customer service, while minimizing costs throughout the supply chain.

Desk Jockey

    An informal term for someone who spends their working day sitting behind a desk, and who is concerned about administration.

Desktop Publishing

    Producing printed documents, magazines, books, etc., using a small computer and printer.

Developing Country

    Poor nation with little industrial development a country, often a producer of primary goods such as cotton or rubber, that cannot generate investment income to stimulate growth and that possesses a national income that is vulnerable to change in commodity prices..

Digerati

    People who consider themselves to be experts of the Internet and computer industry.

Digital Wallet

    Computer software used to store a persons bank account details, name, address, etc., to enable them to make automatic payments when they are making purchases on the Internet.

Directives

    At an official level, directives are instructions, guidelines or orders issued by a governing or regulatory body. They may amount to law. In a less formal way a directive equates to an instruction issued by an executive or manager or organizational department.

Direct Cost

    Cost relating to production a variable cost directly attributable to production. Items that are classed as direct costs include materials used, labor deployed, and marketing budget. Amounts spent will vary with output.

Direct Overhead

    A portion of the overheads, e.g. lighting, rent, etc., directly associated with the production of goods and services.

Disaggregation

    Breaking up group of allied firms the breaking apart of an alliance of companies to review their strengths and contributions as a basis for rebuilding an effective business web.

Disburse

    To pay out money from a large fund, e.g. a treasury or public fund.

Disclaimer

    Statement denying legal responsibility for something a statement expressing a refusal to accept legal responsibility for something such as the outcome of an event or the validity of a claim.

Disclosure

    Legal obligation to reveal pertinent facts the act of declaring facts that were previously unknown, such as share ownership which might affect business decisions, especially to comply with legal requirements.

Disclosure of Information

    Giving potentially confidential information to outsiders the release of information to a third party or parties which may be considered confidential. The disclosure of information in the public interest may be prohibited, permitted, or required, by legislation in a variety of contexts.

    For example: data protection legislation restricts the disclosure of personal data held by organizations; company law requires the publication of certain financial and company data; and whistleblowing legislation entitles employees to divulge information relating to unethical or illegal conduct in the workplace. Restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements also regulate the information that may be disclosed to third parties.

Discount Window

    In the US, when banks can borrow money from the Federal Reserve at low interest rates.

Discretionary Income

    The amount of income a person is left with after taxes and living essentials, such as food, housing, etc., have been deducted.

Discriminating Duty

    A variable tax levied on goods depending from which country they were imported.

Diseconomies of Scale

    Increased unit cost with increased production a situation in which increased production increases, rather than decreases, unit costs.

Dispatch Note

    Also called Dispatch Advice. A document giving details of goods which have been dispatched or are ready to be dispatched to a customer.

Distrain

    Take control of assets to pay debt to seize assets belonging to a person or organization in order to pay off a debt.

Distress Sale

    Sale of goods cheaply to pay company’s debts a sale of goods at sharply reduced prices in order to settle a company’s debts.

Distributable Profit

    A company’s profits which are available for distribution among shareholders at the end of an accounting period.

Distributer

    An individual or company who buys products, usually from manufacturers, and resells them to retail outlets or direct to customers. A wholesaler.

Docking Station

    A device to which a notebook computer or a laptop can be connected so it can serve as a desktop computer.

Dog

    An informal slang term for an investment which has shown a poor performance. The slang term dog may also refer to other poor-performing elements within a business, for example a product or service within a company range, as in the widely used ‘Boston Matrix’.

Domicilium Citandi et Executandi

    Address for delivering legal documents the address where a summons or other official notice should be served if necessary, which must be supplied by somebody applying for credit or entering into a contract.

Double-Blind

    A method of testing a new product, usually medicine, in which neither the people trying the product nor those administering the treatment know who is testing the real product and who has been given a placebo containing none of the product.

Double-Dip Recession

    A recession during which there is a brief period of economic growth, followed by a slide back into recession.

Double-Dipping

    The practice, usually regarded as unethical, of receiving two incomes or benefits from the same source, for example receiving a pension and consultancy income from the same employer.

Double-Entry Bookkeeping

    An accounting method which results in balanced ledgers, i.e., for every transaction a credit is recorded in one account and a debit is recorded in another.

Downshifting

    Reducing work and income for simpler, better life the concept of giving up all or part of your work commitment and income in exchange for improved quality of life Downshifting is integral to the idea of portfolio working, in which individuals opt out of a formal employee relationship to sell their services at a pace and at a price to suit themselves.

Downsizing

    1. Business

    Expense cuts to make organization more efficient organizational restructuring involving outsourcing activities, replacing permanent staff with contract employees, and reducing the number of levels within the organizational hierarchy, with the intention of making the organization more flexible, efficient, and responsive to its environment.

    2. HR & Personnel

    Reducing number of firm’s employees the reduction of the size of a business, especially by laying staff off. Downsizing may be part of a rationalization process, or corporate restructuring, with the removal of hierarchies or the closure of departments or functions either after a period of unsatisfactory results or as a consequence of strategic review. The terms "upsizing" and "resizing" are applied when an organization increases the number of staff employed.

Downstream

    At later stage at a point later in the production process.

Drawback

    Tax rebate on imports that produce exports a rebate on customs duty for imported goods that are used in producing exports.

Drayage

    The fee charged for, or the process of, transporting goods by lorry or truck.

Drip Advertising

    An advertising campaign in small amounts over a long period of time to ensure that the public is continually aware of a product or service.

Drum-Buffer-Rope

    A method, usually in manufacturing, which ensures an efficient flow of work in a production process by taking into consideration any possible delays or problems which may occur.

Due Diligence

    Investigation of firm before purchase or investment the collection, verification, analysis, and assessment of information about the operations and management of a company undertaken by a potential purchaser or investor. Due diligence aims to confirm that the purchaser or investor has an accurate picture of the target company and to identify risks and benefits associated with the prospective deal.

    Due diligence usually starts after the signing of a letter of intent by both parties and information disclosed during the process is normally protected by the signing of a confidentiality agreement. Due diligence often leads on to negotiations on the detailed terms of the agreement. The process may cover the financial, legal, commercial, technical,cultural, and environmental aspects of the organization’s operations as well as its assets and liabilities, and may be conducted with the assistance of professional advisers.

Dumping

    Selling commodity abroad at greatly reduced price the selling of a commodity on a foreign market at a price below its marginal cost, either to dispose of a temporary surplus or to achieve a monopoly by eliminating competition.

Duopoly

    Two companies, or a situation, in which both companies control a particular industry.

Dystopia

    The opposite of Utopia, a society in which conditions are characterised by human misery, depirvation, squalor, disease, etc. The term is said to have been coined by by John Stuart Mill in 1868 in a UK House of Commons speech criticizing the government’s Irish land policy.