Purpose Proposal Assignment Guide - Company Research

Course Number: BU121

Subject: Business

This guide will help you research a company to support the assessment and recommendations you'll make in your BU121 Purpose Proposal. Along with links to key databases, this guide will include how-to tutorials for key resources.

Company Profiles

Private Companies

Information on private companies is limited. You may find a profile, contact information, senior executives, brief business description, date of incorporation, and sometimes broad annual sales/revenue estimates that are self-reported.

Possible information sources on private companies can include:

Factiva
Nexis Uni
S&P NetAdvantage
Pitch Book
Hoover's Company Records (via ProQuest Entrepreneurship)
Canadian Company Capabilities
  • The company’s website

Public Companies

Information on public companies is considerable and includes everything from company profiles and history, financial statements, recent developments, and much more.

Finding profiles and financials of public companies using the following key databases:

Mergent Online
Provides annual reports and company financials - i.e. income statements, cash flow statements. To run a company search, select the "Company Financials" tab > from the drop-down menu, select "Balance Sheet", "Income Statement", "Retained Earnings", "Cash Flow" or "All Sections" > click "Refresh". Adjust date range if needed. The data can be downloaded into Excel format.
Marketline
Enter company name in search box > select "Companies" from drop-down menu.
Nexis Uni
Enter company name under the "Get Company Info" search then click "Go".
Factiva
Includes financial information such as balance sheets and cash flow. Select "Companies/Markets" > "Company" and enter a company name or symbol. Select "Financial Results" to choose various financial statements for the company in question.
S&P NetAdvantage
Click on the "Companies" tab at the top of the screen and click "Companies" under the Search Profiles subheading.
Thomson One
Contains company and stock financials and analysis. Enter company name or stock ticker symbol in the search box then click the "Go" button.** You must use Internet Explorer for full functionality of the database.
Hoover's Company Records (via ProQuest Entrepreneurship)
Select "Full text from ProQuest Entrepreneurship" and then enter the company name into the search bar, or select "Browse by company". Once the desired company is located, select "Link to full text" to be directed to its Hoover’s company profile page.

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Company SWOT Analysis

Note: The following databases may include SWOT analyses for selected companies; a SWOT analysis may help you assess whether a company is purpose-driven.

Thomson One

Click "Screening & Analysis" tab located at the top of the screen > Click Research > Enter the company name under Search Options > Select a date range (90 days by default) > Under More Options type SWOT beside Title > Click Search. Use Internet Explorer browser only for full functionality.
Marketline
Enter company name > Select "Companies" from drop-down list > Click Search > Click on the company name on the results page > Click on SWOT Analysis under Table of Contents on the right side of the site.
Passport
SWOTs for selected international companies are available in the Global Company Profiles. Click on Companies tab, enter company name, and scroll down the left side of the screen on the Analysis page to find a SWOT analysis.
Nexis Uni
Click the arrow beside "Search By Subject or Content" above the red search box > Select "Company Profiles" under "Companies" > Click Advanced Options > Under Build Your Own Segment Search select COMPANY from the drop-down list > Type the company name in the brackets e.g. COMPANY (Apple) > Click on AND button > Select PUBLICATION from the dropdown list > Enter SWOT in the brackets e.g. PUBLICATION (SWOT) > Click Apply > Click Search.
Business Source Complete
Type company name on the first row > Select Co Company Entity from the drop-down list > Type SWOT Analysis on the second row > Click Search
 

Finding Business Articles

A key part of researching whether a company is purpose-driven can be to look at business articles, which can give you analysis and insight into a company. The following databases allow you to search a number of different online journals and other resources through one search engine. You may find full-text articles, reports, and other resources on your topic.

ProQuest Business
Combined search of ABI/Inform Global, ABI/Inform Trade and Industry, ProQuest Asian Business and Reference, ProQuest Entrepreneurship, and more. These databases contain citations and abstracts for business and management publications, including scholarly, trade, popular, and news titles, many of which are available in full-text or full-image. This resource also incorporates industry, company, and market-focused reports.
Search with keywords related to your research. You may limit your search to full text and filter by subject, geography, date, etc. located on the left side of the search results page. For search tips to use this database platform effectively see ABI Inform LibGuide.
Business Source Complete
Comprehensive database, with citations and full-text content, for leading business journals including scholarly, trade, popular, and news titles. Also includes company profiles, industry reports, market research reports, SWOT analyses, PEST/PESTLE analyses, and other information.
Search with keywords related to your research. On the search results page, click on Subject: Thesaurus Terms on the left side to filter your search by subject. You may also limit your search to full text and filter by geography, date, etc. located on the left side of the search results page.
Scholars Portal Journals
A single-access search gateway to the full text of online journals published by several major academic journal publishers (Wiley InterScience, Springer Verlag, Kluwer, Elsevier Science, American Chemical Society, and the former Academic Press).
Search with keywords related to your research. Click the link to subject terms below an article title to find more articles grouped under a specific subject quickly.
Factiva
A reputable full-text resource with news and business information drawn from worldwide sources, including Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and the KW Record. It also includes many full text articles from magazines and scholarly journals in all subject areas. Consult the Factiva LibGuide for search tips.
Nexis Uni
Provides full-text documents for international news, business, legal research, and key people in the news. Documents include newspapers, news transcripts, magazines, newsletters, company and financial reports, legal documents, medical resources, biographical information, American patents. To browse for articles from a specific publication, news and business topic, industry, or area of law choose "Sources" from the top menu.

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Citing Sources

The resources below will help you create and use citations in your report effectively and correctly.
Citing Sources
The Laurier Library provides guidance on citing in different styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) and by subject including government publications and data and statistics. You may watch a tutorial on how to cite.
Business Citation Guide
Developed by business librarians at Bronfman Business Library at York University, this guide puts together great examples on citing business resources including books, articles, industry reports, company reports, analyst reports from databases.

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