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Topics in Business: Company Research: Library databases with company profiles

Finding company profiles in Nexis Uni

Several library databases feature company profiles: statements of basic company information like headquarters locations, names of members of the board of directors (some profiles include short biographies of the board members), summaries of revenues, SWOT analyses, and so forth. These profiles are excellent places to begin your research.

To find company profiles and other information in Nexis Uni:

  • Scroll down the main page until you get to the "Business" image. It's under "Discover topics." Do not use the searchbox near the top; this will take you to news articles, not profiles. Click the Business image.


 

  • On the next page, there are a number of options for searching for information about companies. You want "Company Dossier" on the left, which is Nexis Uni's name for its collection of company profiles. Underneath "Company Dossier," click "Find a Company."
     
  • From here, you can search for company information by the name of the company, by the city in which a company is located, or by web address. You can also limit your search to particular types of companies: private, public, subsidiaries, and so forth. For now, we'll search for a company name: Coca-Cola.


     
  • The next page will give us a range of companies to choose from. We know that the first option (The Coca-Cola Company (KO)) is the one we want because it has a ticker symbol (KO) attached, and because the database lists this company as the parent company (red arrows). If you'd like to see more companies affiliated with Coca-Cola, click "View All" (teal arrow). Click the first option, The Coca-Cola Company, to be taken to the full company profile.


     
  • And here's the company dossier (file) for Coca-Cola. The initial screen shows a snapshot, or very brief summary, of company operations, including a short description of the company, links to lists of subsidiaries (click "View Company Hierarchy"), number of employees, names and contact information for board members and senior executives (click "View Executive Contacts"), and annual revenue (click "View Financial Overview"). More detailed information is available from the menu on the left. You can also create a company report customized for your needs by clicking "Generate Report" on the right and choosing the options you want.

 

Finding company proflles in Business Source Complete

The company profiles in Business Source Complete are for the most part from a business intelligence company called MarketLine. While they aren't as detailed as the company dossiers in Nexis Uni, they're still useful because they include SWOT analyses: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Always remember: strengths and weaknesses are specific to the company being reviewed, while opportunities and threats are about the industry within which the company operates.

To find company profiles in Business Source Complete:

  • DO NOT CLICK "COMPANY INFORMATION" IN THE MENU! This will take you to a company directory with minimal company information. Rather, position your cursor over "More" in the blue menu bar. A popup menu will appear. Choose "Company Profiles."


     
  • Search for a company by name. Business Source Complete can be a little tetchy if you search for a company name by "Alphabetical" and you don't have the precise name of the company. For example, searching for "Home Depot" gets you nothing, but searching for "The Home Depot" will get you the company profile for that company. So choose "Match Any Words" for an expansion of your search (red arrow). Also, note that the industries within which the company operates will be listed on the right (see red rectangle). Coca-Cola is an American company, and the other companies listed are located in other countries, so we can ignore them.


     
  • In some cases, there may be different company listed with similar names. For example, we see in the search results that there are TWO Coca-Cola companies: Coca-Cola Consolidated and The Coca-Cola Company. How do you know which company is which? In such cases, you'll have to read the business description for each (it's in the MarketLine report, linked as a pdf) to know which is which. The business description in the MarketLine report for Coca-Cola Consolidated states that it's the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products in the country. The MarketLine report for The Coca-Cola Company states that it's a giant purveyor of soft drinks. That's the report we want. Click on the MarketLine report link (PDF Complete Report) next to the name of the company you want to research for the desired company profile.


     
  • MarketLine company reports tend to be anywhere from 10 to 75 pages. They can be e-mailed or printed out. Much of the information here can also be found in Nexis Uni; however, the SWOT analyses are unique to MarketLine, making Business Source Complete valuable as a source of company information.
     
  • The country in which a company is based is also part of the initial listing of profiles, above. We're interested in the soda pop giant, Coca-Cola, which we know is based in the United States. So we can ignore the subsidiaries and international partners listed above.