Skip to main content

Live Case Study Assignment

Course Number: BU111

Subject: Business

This guide will walk you through the various steps and resources needed to successfully research and complete your Live Case Study Assignment. As part of this assignment, you will need to find research to help you analyze the case and make strong insights into the issues surrounding the case. Also, using strong researched sources can contribute to making credible recommendations to your client.  The following sections will cover various types of research you will want to consider as you begin working on your case study assignment. 

You will find that out of all the possible resources, academic journal articles, trade/industry articles, and popular press articles will be some of your most valuable. 

Getting Started - Researching a Case Study


Successfully researching a case study hinges on understanding the factors of the case and the business environment. Remember that nothing undermines your credibility more than making sweeping assumptions or leaving out key information about the client or context. ​

If the case study involves a real company, then information from company websites, financial documents, and a broader web search can be used in order to shed more light on the company’s past and present situation, the industry in which the company is operating, the company’s main competitors, and other relevant information.​

Information from academic journals and books can help you better understand and analyze the problem and develop sound recommendations. Research takes time, but solid references will boost your credibility.

Your Sources

You will want to explore a variety of sources when writing your case study report and making recommendations. Some key resources can include: 

  • Company website​
  • Company financial documents​
  • Course textbooks​
  • Academic journals and books​
  • Broader business research (e.g., industry, competitors)​

Two Common Pitfalls

There are two common pitfalls that often happen when writing a case study report:​

  1. Pitfall: Making assumptions or generalizing based on the industry or type of organization. Stick to the facts of the case, rather than giving your own opinion or commentary.​
  2. Pitfall: Including irrelevant information. Remember, your job is to help identify strengths and address weaknesses and give recommendations. Avoid going on tangents about the company’s history or other details unless they directly relate to the problem at hand.​

Using reliable resources that are directly tied to either the case itself or the situation can help you avoid falling into these problem areas. 

Article Research - Finding the most reliable support 

Article Research 

Are an important tool in researching your case study analysis. Business articles can help you better understand and analyze the issues and situation so you can develop strong recommendations. A complete list of article databases can be found below. 

  • External pressures happening in your market/industry​
  • Major innovations or trends in your industry​
  • Information about your company you might not find elsewhere (especially if it is private!) ​
  • Examples from other companies that relate to your problem​
  • Analysis of business issues/cases/problems 
  • An excellent source of consumer information ​

Three Types of Articles

Popular Publications

Examples include: The Globe & Mail, New York Times, The Economist  
  • Excellent resource to see the public reaction to circumstances that may involve your situation
  • In thinking about the financial literacy of specific groups of people, popular articles can help you develop a strong understanding of this. Perhaps you are looking for consumer or marketing surveys around this topic. 

Trade Publications

Examples include Forbes, Harvard Business Review
  • Commonly written by members working within a given industry and can provide excellent insight into similar circumstances surrounding your situation. 

Academic Publications

Examples include: Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Economic Education, Journal of Marketing Management
  • Your best bet as a resource for this assignment. Especially in analyzing your case. 
  • Written by academics and researchers that explore situations similar to issues present in your case. This can include impact, ramifications on a variety of industries, individuals, and bodies, research around marketing, research on consumers and their financial literacy and so on.

Search Tactics to Improve Results 

To find useful articles for your case study analysis, try some of the search tactics below.

What is the tactic? What does the tactic do? Examples

Phrase searching

Use quotation marks to find more than one term in a row.

"financial literacy"


Use an asterisk* at the end of a term to include multiple endings.


financial, finances

Boolean AND Use AND to ensure that all terms appear in every search result. "financial literacy" AND "Generation Z"
Boolean OR Use OR to ensure that at least one term appears in every search result.

marking OR advertising

Key Article Databases

These are your best bet for finding business-related articles. You can always start here: Omni Advanced Search (this is the general library search, but will not be limited to business articles. 

Using Other Business Databases for Case Research 

Business Case Research - Industry & Company 

You might find value in using standard business resources to find evidence or support in analyzing your care study. For example, maybe you want to better understand your industry/market – what kind of analysis or research would you want to conduct? ​

  • A Five Forces​
  • A PEST ​
  • A SWOT for your company? Or a similar company? 

You might want to tap into demographic information for a specific population or location, in which case. you'll need to find: 

  • Consumer demographics
  • Consumer attitudes (with respect to financial literacy?) 
  • Consumer surveys

Key Databases


  • Contains: Consumer finance information, including statistical analysis of industries; Examination of current markets and how it relates to specific industries; Tons of Consumer Demographic Information​
  • Really strong in helping to analyze both industry and consumer information as it relates to your case 


  • They should have a report on personal finance and will help you understand the state of the market.​
  • Contains: Competitive Landscape; Market Share Concentration; Benchmarks; Barriers to Entry; List of markets & products; Provides an outlook of the industry; Major & minor companies within an industry; Provides a SWOT for your industry ​


  • Lots of industry, company, and demographic information that can help you in recommendations and analysis. 
  • Contains: Breakdowns of major companies in an industry; Market Share; Five Forces; Financial information for industries; a PEST analysis for most countries ​
  • MarketLine also has a lot of case studies, demographic reports  and other useful reports/articles that can help provide contextual information and evidentiary support for your recommendations ​


  • A useful resource when researching private companies
  • Contains: Company and business descriptions; competitor lists, articles detailing company information
  • Select "company information" under "Guided Search" > Enter a company name


  • This resource is a private equity and venture capital database covering a wide range of firms as well as startups. Search thousands of private equity and venture capital deals by hundreds of criteria. Users need to create a personal user account on Pitchbook with their Laurier email address following instructions under Access Requirement. These accounts are deleted every year on June 30th and need to be recreated. Within Pitchbook, "Help Center" at the top right corner provides tutorials on how to run basic and advanced searches.

S&P NetAdvantage 

  • Includes Industry Surveys. Click on the "Markets" tab at the top of the screen and select your industry under the Industries subheading or click on "Industry Surveys" under the Market Research subheading.

Mergent Online 

  • Coverage includes company filings for over 10,000 publicly-traded companies worldwide. Enter the company name or ticker symbol in the search box > click ‘Go’ > once on the company profile page, select the ‘Reports’ tab.

  • Contains Investext Analyst repoorts: A full-text database of investment research reports. It contains detailed data and analysis on publicly traded companies in a wide variety of industries. The information is contained in reports generated by analysts at research organizations worldwide. Information provided may include trends, sales and earnings forecasts, market share projections, and research and development expenditures. On Mergent click Investext tab, select criteria and click ">> submit" button to execute search.

Further Business Databases can be found on the Business Subject guide - focus on the Company Research and Industry Research sections. 


Your instructor has provided lab manuals on "How to Cite Your Sources" and "General Guidelines for Formatting References."

In addition to the resources from your instructor, you can see the Laurier Library's guide on Common Citation Styles. York University Libraries also has a very thorough guide specifically for business citations.

Don't forget, you are welcome to reach out to your business librarian at any time to get additional help. Email for help, or book an appointment with Matt.  

Page Owner: Matt Rohweder

Page Feedback

Last Updated: September 18, 2023 4:41pm