Professional Science Master's Company Research (820:289)

Organization Types

Some search tools work well when looking for information on any type of organization; others work especially well for particular types.  It's good to understand the nature of the organization you are researching, considering issues such as:

-For-profit v. non-profit organizations v. governments v. educational institutions, etc.

-For-profit organizations: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations

-For-profit corporations: parent, subsidiary, division

-For-profit corporations: publicly held, privately held

Things to watch out for:

-Make sure you're researching the company you intend to research - different companies can have very similar names

-Remember the differences between company names v. brand names v. product type (e.g., Anheuser-Busch v. Budweiser v. beer)

-Company status can change over time: name change; purchase by another company; bankruptcy; was public, now private, etc.

Company Research Steps By Kind of Information Sought

Company Research Steps 
This page lists kinds of company information sought - overviews, news, investment analysis, SWOT analysis, and so on  - and examples of where to find such information.

Tools for Finding Company Information

Rod Library BusinessPortal
Right side of screen lists major search tools for finding company, market and industry, and other business function information. The left side of the screen includes links to other guides such as Company Research Steps.

Many of the databases listed on this page also are available under Databases A-Z on the Rod Library home page.

Company Information in News and Science Sources

The databases in this section are listed on the Rod Library home page under Databases A-Z. The first group of databases emphasizes news sources and the second group emphasizes science sources.  Smaller or newer companies may be written about only in state and local news publications.

LexisNexis Academic
Des Moines Register
Newspaper Source
Regional Business News

Biological Abstracts
Google Scholar & Google
ScienceDirect
Web of Science

Government Information Databases

Public and private companies and other organizations file documents with various state and federal government regulatory agencies. Here are a few examples:

Google Patents
-enter company name in Advanced search as "Assignee"
United States Patent and Trademark Office Issued Patents Database
United States Securities & Exchange Commission Company Search
-financial, business description, and other required disclosure documents. The Form 10-K Annual Report is a major filing.

Other Reference Sources

Various online and print company reference sources provide breakdowns of companies by factors such as geographic area and industry. Examples (the first two are on the Databases A-Z List, the third is a print source at Rod Libary):

ReferenceUSA
This database includes financial estimates for very small companies as well as large. The U.S. Businesses, Custom Search can be used to create lists of companies meeting certain criteria, such as companies in a certain industry in a certain state.

LexisNexis Academic
This also includes financial estimates for very small companies as well as large. The Companies/Dossier Create a Company List search form can be used to create lists of companies meeting certain criteria, such as companies in a certain industry in a certain state.

D&B Regional Business Industry. Iowa Metros and Omaha, Nebraska
UNI Reference HF5065.I8 D85


 

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Stan Lyle, Rod Library, September 14, 2012