This subject guide to company and industry information provides information on resources available from the Alvin Sherman Library, both in the library and online, related to companies, industries, industry ratios, market share, and other topics. The subject guide covers reference sources, books, periodicals, databases, Web sites, and style guides.
Where do I Start?
Finding information on companies and industries often requires the use of several resources. While some business reference resources may offer a lot of information, chances are you will need to consult several reference books and databases to compile all of the information required for your project. If you feel overwhelmed, break up your project into separate types of information, and focus on one type of information at a time.
If you are researching a specific company, determine whether it is public, private, or international. Public companies are the easiest to research because they are required to file reports with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Privately held companies are not required to file, and as a result are much more challenging to research. International companies can also be difficult to research.
It is often beneficial to begin with a business directory or database (these are listed below in this guide) when researching your company. Pay attention to the ticker symbol for your company (if it is a public one), as well as the four-digit SIC code and/or six-digit NAICS code assigned to your company or industry. SIC codes or NAICS codes will help you compare similar companies in most of the reference books and databases. The Wards Business Directory is an excellent starting point. It has public and private companies. A good directory-type database is Business and Company Resource Center; it has directory-type information as well as rankings and industry overviews.
For researching specific industries, start with the S&P Industry Surveys (available online through NetAdvantage).
The next step is to use the appropriate business databases (listed below). If you are looking for articles in journals, try starting with ABI/Inform, or any of the other databases listed that are recommended for finding articles. For specific topics in regard to your company, try the name of the company, and add other keywords relating to the topic (such as market share, market strategy, competitors, goals, etc.).
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