Finding company or industry information – digging deeper

By Victoria Bird|December 19, 2012|Economics, Financial and Management Studies|0 comments

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How do you go about finding out who runs a business?Or information on a company? Or which firms are major players in an industry? Beyond merely Googling and then searching the webpage of said company, there is a myriad of sources available to you to research company data. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Library Databases

Business Source Premier: this database contains detailed company profiles for the world’s 10,000 largest companies. This includes SWOT analysis, in addition to company history and key employee information. You can also get case studies and industry profiles on this database.


Bankscope: contains detailed financial information for more than 29,000 banks worldwide, including accounts, ratios, ratings, ownership, key employees and news. You can use it to analyse data, compare banks, and download charts and graphs.

Oriana: over 10 million companies across the Asia-Pacific region. It combines data from various sources with software for searching and analysis.

Zephyr: provides data on mergers and acquisitions deals. DataStream also has some basic mergers and acquisition data, but this is not as detailed as Zephyr.

Access these databases from here:

Freely available information:

Yahoo Finance: Good free source of business news and market data, and although this is the UK site, there are other sites for other countries (e.g. Hong Kong). The focus is on current, global information- see the list of exchanges covered, although it is possible to get some historical information on- as in the case of this example chart comparing the DOW with the SSEC over the last 6 months:

Chart forSSE Composite Index (000001.SS)

Companies House: UK business information from the WebCHeck service offers a searchable Company Names and Address Index free of charge which enables you to search for information on over 2.7 million companies. Just Google for access.

Karen Blakeman’s blog: always a good place to find out more about locating business information, and her website contains many useful links.

Other resources:

DataStream: Access to key financial data for both developed and emerging markets; statistics on equities and equity indices, company fundamentals, forecast earnings, bonds, international macro data, interest and exchange rates, commodities and derivatives; a comprehensive time-series of up to 50 years for 175 countries and 60 markets; in total more than 255 mil time series data. N.B. DataStream is only available within the Library, and use is restricted to SOAS staff and students only.

Compustat: this database provides financial and market data covering publicly traded companies. (this database should be operational for staff in January. Contact the IT Helpdesk for more information.)

MacGregor BFA– coming soon to SOAS: South Africa’s leading provider of financial data feeds and analysis tools- research share prices, company profiles, annual reports and financial statements, or create custom feeds to meet your needs. (this database should be operational for staff in January. Contact the IT Helpdesk for more information.)

There are other databases which we do not currently subscribe to- but you may be able to access these from the City Business Library. See below for more advice.


Help text in speech bubble

If you are cannot find the data you require, book an appointment with Vicky Bird, the Financial & Management subject librarian, for advice, as there are lots more places to look- these are just a sample of some of the places to explore.
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