skip to content

Quick Guide to Business Databases

What do you need? Company Profile

Financial Data

Investment Analysis

History

Journal Articles

Market Reports / Industry information

Market Share

SWOT analysis

Company Resources on the Internet

Annual Reports

Company Research  - Tutorials

These tutorials may lead you to databases and other resources not available from the TWU Libraries.

Company Research

Corporate Governance

Directories

Financial Data

Library Databases For Financial Data

Mergers and Acquisitions

News sources and journal articles

Library Databases for News and Journal Articles

Non-Profits

Library Resources
  • Foundation Directory - MAIN REFERENCE AS 911 .A2 F65

Print and Other Library Sources

  • Berkman, Robert I. The skeptical business searcher : the information advisor’s guide to evaluating Web data, sites, and sources. MAIN: HF54.56 .B4685 2004
  • Farr, Rick C. Business research: an informal guide Menlo Park, Calif. : Crisp Publications, 1994 (e-book)
    Foundation Directory
    MAIN REFERENCE AS 911 .A2 F65
  • Modern methods for business Mahwah, N.J. : Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998. (e-book)
  • Shelly, Susan.  Search smart and get ahead: find all the information you need. New York : Learning Express, 2000. (e-book)
  • Standard and Poor's Industry Surveys
    MAIN REFERENCE HC 106.6 .S74
  • Super Searchers Do Business: the Online Secrets of Top Business Researchers
    MAIN: HD 30.4 .B377 1999
  • The Value line investment survey.
    MAIN RESERVE  HG4501.V26

Finding Information on Companies

Tracking down information on businesses can be a tedious and time-consuming process. The TWU Libraries have many resources to aid you in your search. The vast amount of information on the Internet has made this task easier, but information from the web requires more evaluation than library resources. With so many resources at your disposal, it is important that you keep accurate records of which items you have used during your search.

Basic information about a business is helpful in determining what information you will find and which resources to use. The most important two pieces of information about a company that have a direct impact on the availability of information about it are:

  • Is the company publicly or privately owned?
  • Is the company a subsidiary of a larger corporation?
  • Many resources only provide information about publicly-owned companies: those companies listed on one of the major stock exchanges. Public companies are required to submit reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports often are used as the basis for company descriptions in business reference sources. The full SEC reports themselves are available separately.

Privately-owned companies are not required to submit reports to the SEC and information about their financial and operational conditions is often difficult to find. Few business reference sources provide company profiles of privately-owned businesses beyond basic information. Information often must be pieced together from various news sources.  Information from the Internet, used with careful evaluation, is often the best source for information about privately-owned companies.

Subsidiaries pose additional problems. It may be necessary to search for information on the larger corporation to find information about the subsidiary.

Financial information about the subsidiary many not be separated from its parent company.

There are many types of information available about companies including:

  • Directories which provide basic contact information [addresses, telephone numbers, lists of executives] about companies. Some directories may add a little information about the nature of the business, the number of employees, subsidiaries, and net worth. Databases like Business Source Complete (Enhanced Search Interface), LexisNexis Academic - Company Profiles and Mergent Online provide this information. Much of this information is also available on the Internet.

Company Profiles provide summary information about the financial and corporate health of companies. These often include information about a company's historical development, its subsidiaries, its branch corporate offices, its stock performance [for publicly-held corporations], its corporate structure, and its finances.  LexisNexis Academic - Company Profiles and Mergent Online provide company profiles that include current financial information.  Business Source Complete (Enhanced Search Interface) provides company profiles also.

Corporate Annual Reports are important sources of information about companies. Many company web sites provide their annual report. Look for investor information. Databases like LexisNexis Academic - Company Profiles and Mergent Online provide access to the SEC Edgar Database that includes SEC filings. These are companies that are required to file and most are US public companies. This is the authoritative source for these documents.

Databases for Company Information 

  • Business Source Complete  and  Business Source Complete (Enhanced Search Interface)
    Use the Enhanced Search Interface to retrieve Company Profiles, Industry Profiles and Market Research Reports.
    Plus – Best source for full text articles; SWOT analysis. 
    Minus – Financial information limited  
  • LexisNexis Academic - Company Profiles
    Plus – Wide coverage, especially International and news sources
    Minus – Too much data and too many sources, although the Company Dossier via Business Search helps    
  • Newspaper sources
    Regional Business News

    Print and Other Library Sources

  • Berkman, Robert I. The skeptical business searcher : the information advisor’s guide to evaluating Web data, sites, and sources. MAIN: HF54.56 .B4685 2004
  • Farr, Rick C. Business research: an informal guide Menlo Park, Calif. : Crisp Publications, 1994 (e-book)
    Foundation Directory
    MAIN REFERENCE AS 911 .A2 F65
  • Modern methods for business Mahwah, N.J. : Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998. (e-book)
  • Shelly, Susan.  Search smart and get ahead: find all the information you need. New York : Learning Express, 2000. (e-book)
  • Standard and Poor's Industry Surveys
    MAIN REFERENCE HC 106.6 .S74
  • Super Searchers Do Business: the Online Secrets of Top Business Researchers
    MAIN: HD 30.4 .B377 1999
  • The Value line investment survey.
    MAIN RESERVE  HG4501.V26

page last updated 4/16/2014 3:09 PM