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Researching Companies: Home

A quick guide to introduce you to researching companies and organisations you may like to work for.

Introduction

Whether you need company information for your academic assignment, or are looking to research potential employers, this guide aims to help you find the data, documents or analysis that you need.

Where to start

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.Passport and Marketline.

Online tutorial: Finding Company Information

Want to learn more? Click to try our online tutorial on Finding Company Information.

Further help

For guidance on using our range of company information databases, take a look at our new collection of database support videos.

 

The University's Digital Career Zone can suggest ideas about future employment and provide practical support in applying for a job. They also have a collection of Industry Reports.

Resources: Company data

FAME UK has information about more than 3.8 million companies in the UK and Ireland, with detailed information for many of them. Full reports are available for each company and you can search for financial details, stock prices, ownership, etc. In some cases, you can also see contact details for particular members of staff within the organisation. It also has historical information about 4 million inactive companies.

Orbis is an extensive database that provides in-depth financial data on international companies. All data in Orbis can be exported to Excel and you can use the tools within the database to create graphs from any data point. 

This financial and capital markets database provides access to over 14 million global company filings:

Documents available include annual reports, bond prospectuses and news. It also covers M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) and IPO (Initial Public Offerings).

Access to global statistics, data, graphs and infographics. Statista provides detailed information on over 100 industries and 120 countries, as well as global companies and market trends. All data is available to download and Statista allows you to edit how your data is presented.

All companies registered in the UK are required to register and deposit their accounts with Companies House. The basic information is free (address, directors, dates when accounts were filed, etc.), and their new Beta service allows you to see copies of many of the actual documents and accounts filed.

Annual reports can often be found on company websites or other services but they are also available free on Key Note and PI Navigator (Perfect Information). Both of these subscription databases are on the Electronic Library.

Resources: Company analysis

Use the 'Companies' feature to access profiles on a range of global companies. Passport's company profiles contain both data and analysis from their in-house analysts. Profiles may be global (e.g. 'Starbucks Corp in Consumer Foodservice (World)'). or local, focusing on a company's presence in a particular country.

Most profiles are updates annually and can be downloaded as PDFs. 

Marketline has extensive global coverage of industries with 4000 industry profiles and 30,000+ companies within 215 countries. It is a good way to find out which companies are operating in a particular field and country and provides detailed company profiles. It also features company news and market and industry profiles.

Access to over 2,500 full-text business case studies, covering a broad range of topics and industries, as well as leading global brands and companies. Subjects include marketing, operations management, corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship, human resource management, and more.

BSC is a general business database with the full text of over 3,000 journals + reports, books, and other information.It also includes information from trade papers, news sources and academic articles.

If you are looking for details of any company worldwide use the Company Information tab at the top of the screen. This will provide basic financial information about companies worldwide, together with the names of executives, addresses, etc. It also shows you the structures which link groups of companies, subsidiaries and branches in different countries.

ProQuest, like Business Source Complete, brings together a wide range of sources, including academic journals, trade papers, newspapers and reports on all aspects of business.

If you need help searching the database see the help guides.

Non-commercial organisations

If you are looking for a job in a non-commercial organisation like a government department, international organisation or a charity you may find it harder to get the same sort of information, although the news sources and general databases like Business Source Complete and ProQuest Business will still be good places to start.

Charities, non-governmental organisations and non-profit organisations make up what is often referred to as the fourth sector, an increasingly important part of the economy.

Charities in the UK are subject to the rules of the Charity Commission. All organisations are required to register and to submit annual reports. Financial and other information is available from the website.

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