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Business Web Research Basics Resource Guide: Research Scenarios

Research Scenarios

 

If you need a Basic Company Profile, TRY. . . .

Business Source Complete (After entering the database, look for the "More" link in the top blue border. Click this, then select "Company Profiles" and either browse or search for your company.  You can also do a simple company name search on the opening screen and explore the Source Types to the left.  Company reports may include additional publications like "SWOT Analyses.")
LexisNexis Academic (Click the "Companies" blue tab to the left, Click "Company Profiles"--there are many source options you can select.  Another approach is to click "Company Dossier" and search for a name or ticker.  A "Snapshot" will be the first retrieved item and each snapshot will link to additional materials.)
Mergent Intellect (Although this database is supposed to provide "Hoover's content, the more descriptive information is often not there. Search for company and select their Headquarters record. Key Info will display first.  Look for additional information like "Company Description" and "Company History" linked to left frame.)
Business Insights: Essentials (Avoid the "Company Finder" in the top frame unless you are building a list of several companies.  Instead, search the simple name of the company in the search box and then look for source types like Company Profiles, Company Histories and SWOT Reports in the limiting options in the left frame of your results.)
And for Public Companies, take a look at search for your company in MergentOnline.  The initial "Company Details" report starts with a synopsis, but additional information is available in the grey links and through the blue tabs.  And also check out the "Stock Reports" in Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
. . . .Also consult our Company Information Resource Guide for lots of useful database and general web leads.


If you need Company Financials (Balance Sheets, Income Data, 10-K Reports), TRY. . . .

Mergent Online (Start with the "Company Financials" tab, but almost every section of Mergent will have valuable financial data)
LexisNexis Academic (Click "Companies" on the blue tabs in the left frame.  "SEC Filings" is an option.  Another is to search the company through Company Dossier.  On the landing page look for the "Financials" section in left frame.)
Business Insights: Essentials (After displaying a Company Profile, you will see that the tan "Related Content" box to the right includes "Financials.")
....You might want to take a look at the many useful database and web suggestions found in our Finance Resource Guide.


If you need Stock Evaluation, TRY. . . .
S & P NetAdvantage (Especially "Stock Reports.")
Value Line Research Center
Mergent Online (Search Company, Click Reports (Blue Tab), then Equity Reports, and then click the PDF for the company.  Major competitor reports will also be available.)
Business Insights: Essentials (Search for company, open the appropriate Company Profile, then look for the "Investment Reports" option in the tan "Related Content" box to the right.)
. . . .Our Company Information Resource Guide might also be worth exploring.


If you want Company History, TRY. . . .

Mergent Online (Search for your company, then look for the "History" tab in the dark green border--this will give you bare-bones corporate changes)
Business Source Complete, ABI/Inform Complete or General BusinessFile ASAP (InfoTrac) (Do a simple search combining the word "history" with the name of the company--e.g., hewlett-packard and history--although results will not be precise. In BSC, also look at the "Source Types" and take a look at the Company Profiles.)
Mergent Intellect (Search for company and select their record. Then look for "Company History" in the blue left-hand frame.)
Business Insights: Essentials (After searching a Company, you will see "Company Histories" in the left frame of the results list, or "Company History" may be a link under the name of the company in the results.  If you are in a Company Profile, "Company History" is an option in the tan box to the right of the profile.)
Through the Gale Virtual Reference Library we also have the latest volumes of The International Directory of Company Histories available online.
And don't forget to look at the corporate website of your company!
. . . .Also consider the Company Profile sources listed above, as well as our Company Information Resource Guide.


If you want an Industry Overview, TRY. . . .

S & P NetAdvantage (Look at both the detailed "Industry Surveys" and the much briefer "SubIndustry Review." Also, for international industries, click on "Industries" in the top blue border and look mid-screen for Global Industry Surveys.)
First Research (This database is nothing but Industry Profiles, but is oriented towards small business. Search by SIC/NAICS or keyword, or look for the link to Browse Industry Profiles.  There is also a display on the right of profiles most recently updated.)
Business Source Complete (Do a simple search for the industry--e.g., telecommunications industry--then look at the "Source Types" listed to the left of the results. There should be a link specifically to "Industry Profiles.")
Business Insights: Essentials (For best results, put the appropriate 6 digit NAICS code in the search box. Otherwise, search for a keyword name of the industry, and look for the category "Industry Profiles" in the Results list and click on the best option.
. . . .Also explore the many web and database suggestions in our Industry Information Resource Guide.


If you need to Find Industry Ratios, TRY. . . .

Dun & Bradstreet Key Business Ratios
. . . .Also take a look at. . . .
S & P NetAdvantage (At the end of the "Industry Surveys" there is "Company Comparative Analysis" which does not give an "industry average" but does provide real ratios--profit, balance sheet and equity--for your company's real-life major competitors. And the "Stock Report" now provide a quick table of "Peer-Group" comparison that can also be worth consulting.)
MergentOnline (Within the "Portraits" look for the link on the bottom of the page for "Industry Comparison." Again, this is not a ratio set, but does--in graph form--compare your company's financial measures to peer group and industry.)


If you need to find Market Share Information, TRY. . . .

TableBase (in RDS Business Suite) (Search industry category or company name with the term market share--e.g., staples and market share, or office supplies and market share--or look for multiple companies mentioned in same record--e.g., nike and reebok and saucony.)
Market Share Reporter (Gale Virtual Reference) (Click on the link in the yellow box to enter. The default search is the latest edition. But CONTROL-Click multiple years to search several of these annuals at once. Then search as above.) Another Gale Reference eBook, Business Rankings Annual, might also be worth consulting.  It works the same way as the Market Share Reporter.  Content for both of the above-mentioned annuals is also included in the Gale database, Business Insights: Essentials.  Just search company or industry and look for "Market Share Reports" and "Rankings" in the left frame of the results page.
Global Market Information Database (GMID) (Through various industry and company searches, you can find your "Company Factfile." Once found, look for the "Market Share" link in the left frame.)
. . . .Also, for articles, try Business Source Complete, ABI/Inform Complete and LexisNexis Academic (For article databases, use exactly the same search strategy as for TableBase above.)
. . . .It might also be productive to browse through some of the many web and database suggestions in our Marketing and Advertising Resource Guide.


If you need to Find Out Who Acquired/Sold Out to Whom, TRY. . . .

LexisNexis Academic (Click Companies in left frame, then Company Dossier.  Search for your company and look for "Mergers & Acquisitions" in the left frame.  You can also do a News/Business & Industry search from the left frame of the opening screen and look for your company and the word merger in the Headline & Lead of articles.)
Wall Street Journal (Do a simple search combining an industry or company name with the word "mergers"--e.g., oracle and mergers--or do a subject heading search: SUB(Acquisitions & mergers) and combine that with other terms.) Similar techniques will also work in Business Source Complete.


If you need to Find Information on a Private Company or Subsidiary, TRY. . . .

MergentOnline (Make sure that the box below the search area is checked to "Include private companies.")
Mergent Intellect (Search by simple company name. Leave off any name extensions like "inc." or "corp." Very limited info, at this point.)
Business & Company Resource Center (Do a default "Company Search." Basic profiles are available for many private companies. Then explore tabs on top, or article links in left frame for more information.)
LexisNexis Academic (Search the default "Company Dossier" after clicking Business in the top tan frame.)
And don't forget to search for relevant articles in:
Wall Street Journal, Business Source Complete and the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal if it's a local company.
....And if your "company"--e.g., Harvard Pilgrim--is organized as a not-for-profit, you might want to check for them at the websites listed in our Nonprofit and Philanthropic Organization Resource Guide.

BUT be advised: Private companies and subsidiaries are not required to file detailed financial documents with the SEC, and therefore the amount of information available on them is VERY limited. If you are picking a company to do a report on you are strongly urged to pick a Public Company on a Major Exchange!


If you need to Find Information on an International Firm, TRY. . . .

MergentOnline (This database includes "International Company Data" and often covers foreign parents--especially if their stock is sold in the US.)
S & P NetAdvantage (Look for the "Industries" tab in the upper border area on the opening screen and then for the Global Industry Reports option in the middle of the following page.)
Mergent Intellect (Search by simple company name on the opening screen. This database, still developing, likely won't provide much info.)
LexisNexis Academic (Click Companies in left frame, then Company Dossier.  Search for your company--since the default search is in "All Countries," the database will pull up what it finds.)
Global Market Information Database (GMID) Put your company name into the "Search Companies" box in the left gray frame.
And don't forget to search for relevant articles in:
Wall Street Journal
Business Source Complete
and Business Insights: Essentials.
....Although not specific to actual corporations, you might want to take a look at the many useful database and web suggestions found in our International Trade and Business Resource Guide.

AND be advised: International firms who do not trade their stock on major U.S. exchanges are not required to file detailed financial documents with the SEC, and therefore the amount of information available on them is VERY limited. If you are picking a company to do a report on you are strongly urged to pick a Public Company on a Major U.S. Exchange!


If you want to find information on the Business Climate of a particular Country, TRY. . . .

Country Commerce (Economist Intelligence Unit) This database specifically addresses licensing and trading conditions in other countries, although not all countries are profiled.
Business Source Complete (One approach is to simply search for the name of the country on the opening screen. At the top of the next search results screen, you will see icons that allow you to sort results into groupings. One of these should be "Country Reports." For another approach, click on the "Publications" button in the green border. Type in the name of the country in the "Browse for" box and and submit search. A list of country reports available from companies like Global Insight and Economist Intelligence Unit will display. Click on individual title links to browse in available reports.)
ABI/Inform Complete also has lots of article and reports.  Limiting is a challenge! (But country name and additional keyword concepts in the search box and consider checking the limit box for "Reports" below.)
SourceOECD (Start with "Country Reports and Tables" from the top "Go To" Search box.)
Global Market Information Database (GMID) Pick "Countries" in the top green border, or pick the "Search Countries" option in the left gray frame and select the sub-category (like Economic Indicators) that suits your needs. Or simply search your country name in the upper right search box and see a variety of data options.
Europa World (In this general country information resource, take a look at the "Country Statistics" and "Country Profiles" section on your country. And if you want to locate specific "Business and Commerce" organizations--like the country's stock exchange or central bank, look in the "Directory" section, as well.)
IMF Statistical Databases (Country data related to finances, direction of trade, balance of payments and government can be found here.)
MergentOnline (To the right of the opening search screen, look for the "Country Profile" section and select your country from the list in opening box. However, be warned, except for stock exchange information near the end, this is a woefully general report.)
Less useful, but possibly worth checking is Lexis-Nexis Academic Click on "Business" section near top, then "Country Profiles" in the left frame. Information from about a dozen resources can be found here. Open up the "Sources" box to explore your options.)
....Web resources can help. Check out the many useful suggestions found in our Country Information Resource Guide as well as our International Trade and Business Resource Guide.


You need to look up some Definitions and Descriptions of Basic Business Concepts, TRY. . . .

Gale Virtual Reference Library Although you can click specifically on "Business" in subject links below the search box, you are better off simply searching for the word concept you are interested in. (GVRL includes the Encyclopedia of American Industries, Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, Worldmark Encyclopedia of National Economies, Encyclopedia of Small Business, and most volumes of the Business Plans Handbook in e-book form.)
Business Insights: Essentials offers a simple, straight-forward glossary of business-related terms.
Sage eReference Better know for coverage of the social sciences, Sage has actually published a good assortment of reference works related to business. These include Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology,Encyclopedia of Leadership and 21st Century Management: A Reference Handbook.
S & P NetAdvantage Glossary (A good basic dictionary of investment and business terminology)
....Other databases also have glossaries and explanations of terms, but these are often tucked away in Help Screens.



 

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