Business information: key web resources


Presentation Description

Slides that were the starting point for a workshop on business information resources organised by TFPL and held on November 15th, 2012 in London.


Presentation Transcript

Business Information: key web resources:

Business Information: key web resources Business Sources Presentation available at: TFPL, London, 15 th November 2012

Recommended reading:

Recommended reading Business Information Sources: A Beginner's Guide (Paperback) by Christine O'Hare Publisher: Facet Publishing (18 Mar 2007) ISBN-10:1856046036 ISBN-13: 978-1856046039 Much of the content is still relevant 25/11/2012 2

What is business information?:

What is business information? Companies competitors, suppliers, customers, potential partner, potential employer, joint venture, takeover target, investment Industry sectors Markets Legal and regulatory environment News, social media, rumour, gossip Anything that is needed to conduct business 25/11/2012 3

Why not just Google?:

Why not just Google? Content of many business resources not searched by Google, Bing etc. - information held in databases - may be password protected even if free - priced services not accessible to most search engines Best source of information may be way down your results list Google personalises and “tailors” content depending on your location, computer, browser, past searches, your social network.... and anything else it can think of Can be more effective to go direct to relevant starting points and known sites 25/11/2012 4

Use more than Google:

Use more than Google The Disruptive Searcher (Sanity checking Google ) “if I hadn’t searched across more than Google for data on a small, new company that I was asked to research recently, I would have missed out on some very significant information that Google just wasn’t showing me.” Others to consider: Bing ( ), DuckDuckGo ( ), Blekko ( , Million short ( ) 25/11/2012 5

Free vs. Fee:

Free vs. Fee Free Basic company information, contact details, search for companies by name/number one at a time, simple print out Anonymous statistics, total market/industry figures Current news - free text searching, many key industry publications not free, difficult to focus search May be limited in coverage, time span Fee Full company accounts, historical data, search by multiple criteria, analysis and report features Detailed market share by company name, product/brand Indexed content, easier to search for historical information by event type, more flexible search and print options More likely to be comprehensive and have more extensive archives 25/11/2012 6

Social media and professional networks:

Social media and professional networks Where people and organisations share, discuss, comment and ask questions It is where the conversations are happening It is where a lot of marketing takes place Use for research, competitor intelligence, reputation monitoring Google and Bing automatically incorporate social and professional networks, blogs, Twitter etc in results 25/11/2012 7

General starting points:

General starting points Business Sources on the Net BL - Business Essentials on the Web “ a one-stop shop for website listings for entrepreneurs and SMEs, covering topics such as ‘business planning’, ‘grants and finance’, ‘marketing and PR’ as well as industry specific pages.” British Library Business & IP Centre in London Industry guides - SCOTBIS (Scottish Business Information Service) Biznar – federated search Buslib -L – discussion list for business librarians and researchers (login required) FAQs at 25/11/2012 8

Company information :

Company information Ownership, structure, accounts, activities, news Availability depends on type of company sole trader partnership “privately” owned limited liability e.g. Ltd, LLP companies with publicly traded shares e.g. PLC business size (large, medium, small) country state or region within the country 25/11/2012 9

UK Companies Act 2006:

UK Companies Act 2006 Some of the main changes: memorandum of association now only needs to state that the founders of the company wish to form a limited company directors no longer need to apply to withhold their private address, for example if they believe they may be targeted by activists. Can now choose to supply a “service address” requirement to have a company secretary removed UK Companies House details of registration and filing requirements examples of documents search for companies for free, some information free, accounts and other documents priced free Disqualified Directors search 25/11/2012 10


Exemptions For UK small and medium sized enterprises May prepare and file abbreviated accounts Must fulfil at least two of the following conditions to qualify 25/11/2012 11 Exemptions not available to public companies, banking, insurance or shipping companies Small Medium Turnover not exceeding £6.5m £25.9m Assets/balance sheet not exceeding £3.26m £12.9m Average number of employees 50 250

UK filing requirements:

UK filing requirements Small companies Medium companies Large companies Balance sheet Abbreviated balance sheet with notes Full balance sheet Full balance sheet signed by a Director Profit and loss Not required Abbreviated profit and loss account Full profit and loss account Turnover Not required Not required Required Auditor report Special auditor report if required Special auditor report Required and signed by an auditor Director report Not required Required Required and signed by an officer of the company Notes to the accounts Not required Required Required 25/11/2012 12

PowerPoint Presentation:

UK Companies House free, subscription, and document pay per view options documents £1 each 25/11/2012 13

Company documents:

Company documents Companies House charges £1 per document and there can be lots of them, need to decide which ones you really need The list of company documents may be all you need to see 25/11/2012 14

Company Check:

Company Check UK companies Uses Companies House data Provides 6 years of figures and graphs for Cash at Bank, Net Worth, Total Liabilities and Total Current Liabilities free of charge Some info free, some free with login, some pay as you go Monitor company for financial changes and when new accounts are filed – email alerts (free) Lists directors of a company links through to Company Director Check 25/11/2012 15 : 25/11/2012 16 25/11/2012 17


DUEDIL 25/11/2012 18


DUEDIL 25/11/2012 19

Official company information – other countries:

Official company information – other countries Lists of official company registers Official Company Registers Company registration around the world Companies House Links US – listed companies SEC Edgar IDEA – Interactive Date Electronic Applications Canada - listed companies SEDAR 25/11/2012 20

European Business Register:

European Business Register Gateway to official company information in 26 European countries UK distributer is GBRDirect Priced service 25/11/2012 21


7side Priced service UK companies and documents, directors information, insolvency reports Credit reports International registry and documents service 1 hour registry and documents service translation service available have agents "on the ground", can quickly tell you what is available in that country and what may not be available 25/11/2012 22


Skyminder Pulls together company information from a variety of sources from across the world Registration required, free to search but many documents are priced 25/11/2012 23

Company information – selected priced services:

Company information – selected priced services 7 side – Bureau van Dijk ( BvD ) Corpfin Dun and Bradstreet Experian UK Factiva Hoovers ISI Emerging Markets Research, News, M&A, Statistics, Economic Indicators, Islamic Finance LexisNexis Perfect Information - Skyminder - Thomson Reuters - 25/11/2012 24

Other resources:

Other resources InvestEgate comprehensive source of announcements from UK quoted companies, customised email alerts available Wikinvest - Investing Wiki with Research about Companies, Investment Concepts as with all wikis treat with caution but has some good information can be useful for background on industries as well as companies Opencorporates Open database of the corporate world 25/11/2012 25

OpenCorporates :

OpenCorporates 25/11/2012 26

Historical annual reports – SCoRe:

Historical annual reports – SCoRe SCoRe ( S earch Co mpany Re ports) Catalogue of printed company reports, both current and historic, held in UK libraries Libraries that hold copies of the reports are listed together with the earliest and latest years of a collection’s holdings A good place to pick up clues on past corporate relationships 25/11/2012 27

Types of companies & company formations:

Types of companies & company formations - Company Extensions and Security Identifiers Types of business entity – Wikipedia Company Formation Survey Doing Business - Measuring Business Regulations - World Bank Group 25/11/2012 28

Who owns a website?:

Who owns a website? good starting point for identifying who owns a domain name but.... may be hiding behind an agent may be using a service such as Privacy Protect ( ) if in the UK and an individual with a personal page then contact details other than name are not publicly available (Data Protection) Run a Google or Bing search on the ‘registrant’ or agent and see if you can find out anything more about them 25/11/2012 29

Domaintools check on – good news:

Domaintools check on – good news 25/11/2012 30

Domaintools check on - bad news:

Domaintools check on - bad news 25/11/2012 31

PowerPoint Presentation:

25/11/2012 32

PowerPoint Presentation:

25/11/2012 33 25 November 2012 Karen Blakeman 34

Google site: search of LinkedIn:

Google site: search of LinkedIn 25/11/2012 35

More on searching LinkedIn:

More on searching LinkedIn Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting Mary Ellen Bates Ten Top Tips for Searching LinkedIn PDF 25/11/2012 36

Publicly traded companies – share prices:

Publicly traded companies – share prices Free current share prices delayed by 15-30 minutes real-time prices if you have a share dealing account with a broker e.g. TD Direct Investing ( ) only cover companies currently listed on the exchange some historical data as charts or figures (e.g. Yahoo Finance and Google Finance) Yahoo and Google cover major stock markets go direct to the stock exchange web site Priced for more detailed analysis full historical data stocks no longer traded or merged with another company 25/11/2012 37

Share prices:

Share prices Yahoo Finance (major stock markets only) Google finance (US, UK, Canada, some European stock markets, Australia, Hong Kong, China) – Markets, Equities section Go direct to the stock market site RBA Stock Markets and Share Price Information Priced services – Reuters, Thomson Reuters DataStream, Bloomberg 25/11/2012 38

Yahoo Finance:

Yahoo Finance 25/11/2012 39

Google Finance:

Google Finance 25/11/2012 40

Databases for information on smaller companies:

Databases for information on smaller companies Confirm contact details using telephone directories BvD Mint Free Directory search only basic contact details free of charge, additional information priced Directories such as Applegate Europages solusource Kompass see also the list of directories at “Company and Telephone Directories” 25/11/2012 41

Databases for information on smaller companies:

Databases for information on smaller companies FITA and select Really Useful Links from the left hand menu and then Business Directories and Trade Information Import/export directories Sometimes have more information about small companies than official company registers size, number of employees and turnover contact names e.g. marketing director, sales director, export director export markets, sectors/products exported Search using export directory combined with country and/or industry sector e.g. export directory switzerland 25/11/2012 42

Mailing lists:

Mailing lists RBA Direct Marketing wide range of mailing lists free searching of lists can test out a list by selecting first 50, 100 etc. results pay as you go 25/11/2012 43

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A):

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Search free news on the web (e.g. ) using keywords Detailed information on rumours, deals in progress and completed deals usually priced Mergers and Acquisitions BvD’s Mergers and Acquisitions Portal news, features, summaries and basic deal information are free of charge free reports reviewing recent activity in M&A free reports discussing industry sectors where there is increased activity links into the Zephyr database – full reports on deals are priced. 25/11/2012 44

Statistics and industry data:

Statistics and industry data Free government statistics industry overviews executive summaries press releases trade press - possibly Priced for industry specific market shares named companies brand names detailed rankings When carrying out research often have to use data from different sources 25/11/2012 45

Bits and pieces from everywhere?:

Bits and pieces from everywhere? Is there a problem? Not necessarily but must be aware of the context why and how was the original research conducted what sources were used when was the data gathered free resources may take information out of context press releases and news articles focus on single issues background and methodology often missing may be several times removed from original research or data collection Multiple free sources are often used to build a picture of a market piece by piece Not comparing like with like 25/11/2012 46

Statistics and industry data:

Statistics and industry data Use advanced search options to limit your search to file types or format: pdf or doc/ docx for government or industry/market reports xls/ xlsx for data and statistics ppt / pptx or pdf for presentations for example UK CO2 emissions filetype:xls Search in both Google and Bing for a comprehensive search Looking for experts on a topic, presentations, general background on a subject, information on an organisation? advanced search ppt or pdf format Slideshare 25/11/2012 47 25/11/2012 48 Search: biofuels UK public transport

Industry data and market research:

Industry data and market research Google Numeric range search can be weights, distances, years, prices use Advanced Search screen or the search box on the Google home page search term(s) first value..second value unit of measurement Examples: beer per capita consumption uk 2008..2012 TV advertising spend forecasts 2012..2020 25/11/2012 49

Starting points for statistics:

Starting points for statistics Statistics Sources Official Statistics on the Web http://w .nz UK Official Statistics often get better results by running a Google advanced site search Welsh Assembly Government StatsWales Welsh Government | Statistics - SCOTBIS (Scottish Business Information Service) British Library Business & IP Centre 25/11/2012 50 : 25/11/2012 51

UK Official Statistics:

UK Official Statistics 25/11/2012 52 : 25/11/2012 53

Guardian Data Store:

Guardian Data Store 25/11/2012 54 Data and analysis on topics that are in the news Links to the original datasets are provided

Guardian world government data:

Guardian world government data 25/11/2012 55


Zanran Zanran – searches charts, tables, formatted data 25/11/2012 56

Open Data Directory:

Open Data Directory 25/11/2012 57

Google Public Data Explorer:

Google Public Data Explorer One of Google's best kept secrets! 25/11/2012 58

UK Trade & Investment

UK Trade & Investment 25/11/2012 59

Business Essentials on the Web - Industries See also :

Business Essentials on the Web - Industries See also 25/11/2012 60

Finding market research - aggregators:

Finding market research - aggregators Pull together reports from many publishers and make them searchable through a single interface Can purchase reports through the one service Aggregators may not be comprehensive many publishers embargo reports for weeks or months many publishers withhold reports from aggregators check the publisher’s own web site or email them to see if there is additional or more recent research available may get a better deal by going to the publisher direct use aggregators as an index to see who is publishing on your topic 25/11/2012 61

Examples of aggregators:

Examples of aggregators Alacrastore ISI Emerging Markets Mindbranch Report Buyer Research and Markets 25/11/2012 62


News Most newspapers and magazines are on the web Free services may not be complete publication may not have archives search facilities may be limited print stories one by one Many news and trade press titles are free but some are priced Official company press releases ‘Listed’ companies major news, developments and changes affecting their operations have to reported to shareholders via the stock exchange announcements for example UK Regulatory News Service Various sources e.g. FE InvestEgate | Company Announcements 25/11/2012 63


News For tracking down individual newspapers Google News latest free news usually 30 days advanced search options limited and not always reliable no source list and sources frequently change key industry publications may not be included and definitely not included if subscription older and Archive News may be priced Use Google news and web search to identify specialist news portals or aggregators for your subject and monitor those direct 25/11/2012 64

Google News Archive:

Google News Archive 25/11/2012 65

Google can seriously damage your news:

Google can seriously damage your news Experiment by Mary Ellen Bates Is Google really filtering my news? - Librarian of Fortune Google can seriously damage your news Highlights More than a quarter of the stories showed up in only one searcher’s results Almost one in five searchers saw a story that no one else saw Only 12% of searchers saw the same three stories in the same order 25/11/2012 66

Silobreaker :

Silobreaker Covers free resources: news, blogs, video, images Geographical location of stories, people, networks Use as a starting point for in depth research 25/11/2012 67

Priced services:

Priced services The Times and Sunday Times Financial Times (priced for full access) LexisNexis subscription service, prices on application Factiva subscription service, prices on application also a pay as you go option 25/11/2012 68

Google Video:

Google Video 25/11/2012 69 Not the same as Youtube


Video Bing Videos YouTube Blinkx - 25 November 2012 Karen Blakeman 70


Facebook Business and commercial pages now allowed on Facebook Overt promotion and market research Competitive intelligence How are companies using it? "Anti" groups and pages 25/11/2012 71

Blogs and Twitter:

Blogs and Twitter Many experts, academics, researchers, industry gurus have active blogs Great way to tap into expert knowledge especially with new and innovative technologies and industries Essential for competitive intelligence and reputation monitoring But Twitter limited to current data & selected networks Twitter up to the minute but skewed view of what is happening Blogs – or use the Blogs option in the menu on the left hand side of your results page 25/11/2012 72 – web realtime search : – web realtime search 25/11/2012 73 (rather erratic and slow but worth investigating) : (rather erratic and slow but worth investigating) 25/11/2012 74 25/11/2012 75 25/11/2012 76 - create your own newspaper: - create your own newspaper 25/11/2012 77 – keyword – keyword 25/11/2012 78 – company: – company 25/11/2012 79

Keeping up to date:

Keeping up to date BUSLIB-L – business information email discussion list Scottish Business Information Service Twitter alerts @ ScottishBIS Karen Blakeman’s Blog Arthur Weiss Find It Out: Research secrets and more! 25 November 2012 Karen Blakeman 80

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