A Georgia Baptist Institution
Research on businesses and industries can be very easy or very difficult. You may want to research a company before a job interview, as part of a class assignment, or as background for an investment in the stock market. Here, the Livingston Library staff has compiled a list of sources for business information. Please let us know if you find it helpful.
Business information: How to find it, how to use it.
The business library and how to use it.
Understanding the census.
Directory of business information.
Directory of business information resources.
Encyclopedia of business information sources.
The atlas of economic indicators.
Economic indicators handbook.
American business climate & economic profiles.
Facts about the cities
State profiles: The population and economy of each state.
Business statistics of the United States.
Household spending: Who spends how much on what.
Housing statistics of the United States.
Statistical abstract of the United States.
Statistical handbook on consumption and wealth in the United States.
Business: The key concepts.
Dictionary of accounting terms.
Dictionary of business.
Dictionary of business and management.
Dictionary of marketing and advertising.
Dictionary of retailing and merchandising.
Encyclopedia of banking and finance.
International dictionary of management.
The new Palgrave: A dictionary of economics.
The new Palgrave dictionary of money & finance.
African-American business leaders.
Encyclopedia of world biography in Gale Reference Resources
Who's who in America.
Who's who in finance and industry.
The Forbes book of business quotations.
The Ultimate Book of Business Quotations
Verify the company's name before beginning a search. Use a business directory to make sure that you have the complete company name and its correct spelling (make sure, for example, that the company is named "Delta Air Lines" and not "Delta" or "Delta Airlines"). Business directories also provide basic information about a company, such as its name, address, and telephone number. Often, they also include financial and other information. Online directories typically refer one to the company's web site.
American business listings.
Dun's regional business directories: Georgia & Atlanta.
Europages: The European business directory
Georgia business directory.
North American financial institutions directory
Standard & Poor's register of corporations, directors and executives.
ThomasNet (formerly The Thomas Register of American Manufacturers)
Public companies in the U.S. are required by federal law and regulations to publish detailed statistics and information on a periodic basis for the benefit of their stockholders and potential investors. U.S. public companies provide annual and quarterly reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding their finances, senior officers (and their salaries and stock benefits), major business units and products, and subsidiary locations. The EDGAR Database, maintained by the SEC, offers the electronically-filed text versions of many annual reports, 10-Ks, proxies, and other SEC filings.
Hoover's Company Capsules & Profiles* , a database available through Galileo, offers condensed financial information for approximately 15,000 companies. Hoover's Online, an expanded version, contains detailed information on 40,000 firms. Additionally, financial data may be reprinted or reformatted in directories; news reports; journal articles; annual reports; company-published newsletters, magazines, or press releases; company websites; and books about the company or its major officers (you can search for books in the Shorter Library catalog, in netLibrary, or in catalogs at other libraries).
Business Source Complete Company Profiles*
Databases of business-related periodical articles are a particularly rich source of company information. Use the complete business name to search periodical databases.
Use the following sources to find out how your target company's stock is performing.
Many of the same sources of information for public companies can be used to research private companies as well. The sources mentioned under Journal Literature and Company News, above, contain many articles about privately-held companies.
Financial figures given for private companies in journal articles should be carefully examined for discrepancies or misleading information. Annual sales numbers, for example, may be for a recent or not-so-recent year, and you may find several different estimates of that number. Hoover's Online contains essential financial information on more than 12 million small to medium-sized companies, many of them privately held.
Search the Shorter Library catalog, in netLibrary, or in catalogs at other libraries for books on the target company or its officers. Rutgers University maintains an extensive list of information resources on private companies, including state corporation databases and internet directories.
While financial data for a public company may be relatively easy to obtain from SEC reports, the same information may be more difficult to come by when researching a private one. Privately-owned companies are not required to report financial or officer information to the public. For this reason, reports about private companies may not contain the same level of detail or accuracy as SEC-based information. Press releases issued by public companies often contain financial data, but the type of information released by a private company is determined only by the strategy and policy of that company; it may, for example, decide to distribute press releases only to announce a new product or sales promotion, or for public relations purposes.
First, find the correct name and classification codes for your industry. Classification codes are important because many reference books and Web sites arrange their entries by these codes. Some Galileo databases, such as Wilson Business Full Text* and Business Source Complete*, are searchable using classification codes. The two main classification systems in use today are the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code and the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). The NAICS is set to replace the SIC.
Search for the name and SIC code for your industry in OSHA's SIC Database. The Correspondence Tables listed below will let you know the NAICS code equivalent to your SIC code.
NAICS desk reference.
North American industrial classification system.
Standard industrial classification manual.
FIND BACKGROUND AND GENERAL INFORMATION ON YOUR INDUSTRY
Dun & Bradstreet/Gale group industry handbooks.
Construction & agriculture.
Entertainment & hospitality.
Computers & software and broadcasting & telecommunications.
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Insurance and health & medical services.
Encyclopedia of American industries.
Encyclopedia of emerging industries.
Handbook of North American industry.
Service industries USA.
U.S. industry & trade outlook.
WEFA industrial monitor.
FIND ARTICLES AND NEWS REPORTS ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY
Articles can provide in-depth analyses and descriptions of your industry. News reports can keep you abreast of current developments.
See the Journal Literature and Company News sections above.
Business Source Complete (Business Searching Interface)*
Find an industry or trade association that collects and disseminates information about your industry. These associations usually make information about their industries available to the general public.
Encyclopedia of associations.
COMPILE A LIST OF THE LEADING COMPANIES IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Business rankings annual.
Market Share Reporter.
Reuter’s industry overview
COMPARE A COMPANY WITH OTHER COMPANIES (in an industry classification or with industry norms)
Knowing which companies are prominent in an industry, how they stack up against other top companies, and how these companies compete with each other for market share can give you valuable insight into the nature of a given industry.
Almanac of business and industrial financial ratios.
RMA annual statement studies.
Industry and trade associations.
Business statistics of the United States.
By the numbers: Emerging industries.
CRB commodity yearbook.
Industry and trade summaries.
Market share reporter
Statistical abstract of the United States.
U. S. market trends & forecasts.
SPECIAL SOURCES FOR INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES
Dictionary of international trade.
Encyclopedia of the European Union.
Encyclopedia of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
International business information: How to find it, how to use it.
International Organizations: A Dictionary and Directory.
International trade sources: A research guide.
International trade statistics yearbook (United Nations).
International yearbook of industrial statistics.
Kiss, bow, or shake hands: How to do business in sixty countries.
Statistical handbook on poverty in the developing world
Statistical yearbook (United Nations).
HOW TO FIND JOB AND CAREER INFORMATION
The almanac of American employers.
American salaries and wages survey.
Career information center.
Encyclopedia of careers and vocational guidance.
Farr, Michael. America's fastest growing jobs.
Farr, Michael. Best jobs for the 21st century.
Occupational outlook handbook.
Peterson's job opportunities in business.
Plunkett, Jack W., ed. Plunkett's companion to the almanac of American employers: Mid-size firms, 2002-2003.
Professional careers sourcebook.
Hamdeh, H. S. Vault Reports Guide To The Top 50 MBA Employers.
*Part of the Database Offerings in GALILEO, Georgia's Virtual Library.
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