Here's how we ranked the most powerful companies in America
We then used four main measures of a company's size and influence:
- Revenue: Looking at fiscal year 2014 financial reports, we gathered info on each company's top line.
- Number of employees: The total number of people employed by the companies also came from their 2014 annual reports.
- Google News mentions: On September 2, we measured the number of times companies were mentioned on Google News for the year between September 1, 2014, and September 1, 2015.
- Klout score: For most of the companies, we received their rankings from Klout, which measures the social-media influence of individuals and brands across all platforms.
To make each of our four measures comparable to each other, we then took normalized z-scores for each of the values. This puts each of the four measures onto a common scale with an average value of 0 and a "standard deviation" - or measure of how spread out the data are - of 1. This common scale allows us to more easily compare and combine measures.
To get our final composite power ranking score, we then simply added up the z-scores for each company, giving full weight to revenue, employees, and news mentions, and half weight to Klout score.