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Finding Company Information: 1. Introduction

Online guidance on selecting and using company information sources

 
 
 
This page provides a brief introduction to company information and the types of information sources that you can access via Exeter's digital library resources.

 

When looking for company information it is important to identify what type of information you need.

Generally the information available falls into three categories:

Information and documents produced by companies themselves. These could include, annual reports, trading statements, press releases, reports, AGM presentations etc. These documents can often be found on a company's corporate website.

 

Key financial figures and statistics relating to the business. A number of resources can provide this information in various levels of depth. For the most detailed breakdown of company finances, try searching the FAME (UK) and Orbis (global) databases.

 

Independent analysis of a company's performance can be valuable for research. While you may find internal analysis on corporate websites, there are a number of databases which specialise in independent analysis; e.g. GlobalData Explorer.

Types of company information

 

Exeter's digital resources provide access to three main types of company information: company documents, data and analysis

Sources of company documents will usually provide access to key information generated or filed by the company themselves. Examples could include annual reports, press releases, interim results, transaction announcements and SEC filings. 

Resources that offer access to company data will often focus on providing detailed financial figures and statistics. Information may also include ratios, stock price data and shareholder information.

As well as company documents and data, a number of resources also provide external analysis of companies; examining their performance, strategy and competitive positioning. 

Key points when searching

 

Be sure to consult multiple sources. If one database does not include documents, or a profile on your company, try another resource. Alternatively, if you find the comprehensive external analysis that you were looking for, search for the views and analysis of additional researchers. While resources will usually specialise in either documents, data or analysis, there is often overlap between them. 

Check when the information you find was published. Some resources will update their data on a weekly or monthly basis, while other company profiles that you find may be several years old. 

Each database is different and it may take time before you are confident using them all. Try to give yourself plenty of time to make the most of the resources. 

If you are struggling to find the information you need; don't worry! The 'Getting help' section highlights how you can contact the library and get the support that you need.

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