What are Collections?

Collections is an enterprise work management tool that teams use to stay focused on the strategies, opportunities, markets, and projects that will grow their business. You can use it to collaborate across your organization so you always know where your initiatives stand.

You can think of Collections as a souped up spreadsheet powered by CBI data that you can customize as you need.

Getting Started

To open the Collections feature, open up the navigation tool in the top left, and click Collections.

You’ll see two tabs: Your Collections and Expert Collections.

Expert Collections are existing Collections that have been curated by our Intelligence Unit, and cover a wide variety of topics including artificial intelligence, digital health, fintech, and more.

Your Collections are your own Collections which you can edit, as well as any Collections that a colleague has shared with you. More info on sharing a Collection here.

There are two ways to create your own Collection:

  1. You can clone an Expert Collection to make it your own to edit. To do this, simply click on any of the Expert Collections. Once you’re inside the Collection, click the Clone button in the top right.

  1. You can also build a Collection from scratch. Learn more on how to do that here.

Core Features

To understand Collections, it’s important to identify the main components:


The template determines the layout of the Collection. We have different templates for different use cases. Selecting a “Build, Buy, Partner” template will generate a different sheet layout with different columns compared to a “Competitive Intelligence” template.

Below are definitions of the different templates to choose from:

Build, Buy, Partner: This template is used to track startups and capture company information & workflow while seamlessly managing the potential build, buy, or partner relationships in one place.

Deal Flow Tracking: This template is used to monitor and track updates to relevant companies in your deal flow, while managing relationships with previous, current, or potential investment or acquisition opportunities.

Partnership Pipeline: This template is used to monitor and track updates to relevant companies in your deal flow, while managing relationships with previous, current, or potential business partnerships.

Portfolio Management: Monitor and track updates to companies in your portfolio.

Market Mapping: Track startups and capture company information and workflow to quickly understand who the key players are within a new market.

Relationship Management: Track startups and capture valuable information about your team’s relationship with clients.

Strategy Management: Track data on your team's initiatives.

Competitive Intelligence: Track and capture competitors and their associated data.

If you want to gain more of an understanding of which teams would use which template, click here.


The sheet is where you can track companies, leave tags, and create workflows all customized to your individual organization. Each sheet uses a table structure to organize data — if you’re browsing an Expert Collection, you won’t be able to edit the sheets. If you’re browsing a cloned Collection, or a Collection you’ve started building, you can edit or create sheets.

When creating your own sheet for your Collection, you’ll need to select a template. The template will customize your sheet based on your selection. So if you’re interested in tracking startups, choose the startups template.

Once you make your selection, the sheet will populate relevant columns to make your project planning more efficient.


Each sheet uses a table structure to organize data — once cloned, you can add column types based on what you’d like your sheet to represent. For example, if I want to have a sheet with a list of companies I'm interested in investing in, I'd create a sheet and then add a company column to it. All columns can be filtered & sorted.

Below are definitions for each column type:

Company: Company or investor name. You can also add companies that are not in the CB Insights platform.

Text: Simple text formatting to leave notes, URLs, or any additional information.

Funnel: Label companies based on various stages of research, interest, etc. Colors and labels are fully customizable.

Tag: Create your own tagging system within your collection. For example, you can tag by person, priority, subject, or industry to filter your work.

Priority: Label companies by priority, giving you the ability to sort. Similar to funnel, this column is customizable.

Lookup: Search in other sheets within the collection.

Number: Create a column in number format with customizable currency, decimal, and percentage options.

Team member: Assign a row to a team member with access to CB Insights or a guest teammate.

Expert tag: Tags of industries and sub-industries assigned to companies by CB Insights analysts that will automatically appear if elected. These tags are universal and stay with the company throughout the platform.

CB Insights Data: Fields that will automatically populate based on data on the platform. The data would include: 

  • Basic info: General description about the company and the company website URL.
  • Financials: You can add Market Cap data if the company is public.
  • Mosaic: View company Mosaic score, this will allow you to filter by Mosaic score as well.
  • Network: View competitors as identified by CB Insights analysts.
  • Taxonomy & Geography: Add columns for Industry, sub-industry, and sector as identified by CB Insights analysts. Additionally, you can add location as continent, country, state, city, street, or zip code.
  • Funding History: Add funding information for each company including the latest funding, total funding, round investors, etc.

Note that any of these field titles can be renamed and customized once added to the sheet.


Tags are a way for you to identify and categorize companies within a Collection.

In our Expert Collections, Expert Tags represent how our team of analysts has categorized the companies or investors within that Collection. You can essentially steal the work our team has done and look at emerging technology startups through their lens. 

When viewing the list of Expert Collections, You'll be able to view a list of the top 10 Expert tags. 

Expert Tags will also follow a company throughout Collections. So if Lyft exists in multiple Collections and is tagged as #ridesharing, the tag will appear in all of the Collections Lyft is a part of.

When you create your own Collections, or clone an existing one, you can add an Expert Tag column and the tags will auto populate as long as our analysts have created an Expert Tag for that company. 

Create your own Tags

While our Expert Tags cover a wide range of categories and sub-categories, you might want to label data and companies within your Collection through your own lens. To make creating your own taxonomy as simple as possible, we’ve given you the ability to add your own tag column. Simply click the Add Column button and select #Tag. 

Now you can add your own categorization to better organize your work. 

Market Map

The Market Maps are a great way to instantly and easily visualize industry landscapes that look just like the ones put together by our intelligence analysts. Our Market Maps break down different industries and are segmented by area of focus. 

You can view Market Maps in many of our Expert Collections to see what our intelligence team has already curated. The segments of each map are based on the Expert Tags within each Collection. 

Click here to learn how to create your own Market Map.

Industry Dossier

Industry Dossier will look and feel similar to Profile Dossiers. You’ll have the ability to instantly build out a slide report which captures the core metrics of the industry landscape in that Collection. The report will be filled with graphs, charts and other visuals you can use for your own presentations. Like Profile Dossiers, the Industry Dossier will be a type of Story, which you can clone and edit yourself.

Click here for more info on Industry Dossiers.

Now that you know what a Collection is, click here to learn how to build your own!

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