Business Information: key web resources


Presentation Description

Edited version of the slides prepared for the business information workshop organised by TFPL and held in London on 19th April 2013.


Presentation Transcript

Business Information: key web resources:

Business Information: key web resources [email protected] Business Sources Presentation available at: TFPL, London, 19 th April 2013

Fact sheets:

Fact sheets Fact sheets and articles on search strategies are available at Fact sheets are free of charge Search Strategies - Top Search Tips Search Strategies - Selected Google Commands Search Strategies - Google Search Tips Search Strategies - Search Tools Summary and Comparison 20/04/2013 2

What is business information?:

What is business information? Companies competitors, suppliers, customers, potential partners, potential employer, joint venture, takeover target, investment Industry sectors, markets Statistics Legal and regulatory environment News, social media, rumour, gossip Anything that is needed to conduct business 20/04/2013 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 many news services going behind a pay wall Best source of information may be way down your results list Google personalises content depending on your location, computer, browser, past searches, your social network.... and anything else it can think of We are all Google’s lab rats Google automatically looks for variations on your terms and drops terms from your search 20/04/2013 4

Google Verbatim :

Google Verbatim Forces Google to run your search exactly as you have typed it in Run your search On the results page select Search tools, All results, Verbatim 20/04/2013 5

intext: to force an exact match for one term:

intext: to force an exact match for one term To force an exact match and inclusion of a term in a search prefix it with ‘intext:’ UK public transport intext:biodiesel statistics “..” around terms does not always work 20/04/2013 6

Assessing quality/relevance:

Assessing quality/relevance Name of organisation/person clearly stated Scope of information Can you easily contact the “owner” Date published or updated Primary or secondary source Repackaged information e.g. Companies House data Coverage (industry, time span, geographical spread) Type of website e.g., Who owns the domain name 20/04/2013 7

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 20/04/2013 8

Free vs. Fee:

Free vs. Fee Free Basic company information, contact details, sometimes full accounts, 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 20/04/2013 9

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, how are companies presenting themselves and interacting with customers Google and Bing automatically incorporate information from some social and professional networks Many business information resources encourage logins with social media accounts 20/04/2013 10

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.... ‘business planning’, ‘grants and finance’, ‘marketing and PR’ as well as industry specific pages.” British Library Business & IP Centre in London Industry guides Library & Information Service ICAEW SCOTBIS (Scottish Business Information Service) Biznar – federated search Buslib-L – discussion list for business librarians and researchers (login required) FAQs at 20/04/2013 11

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 20/04/2013 12

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 20/04/2013 13

Businesses to be cut free from company red tape - Press releases - Inside Government - GOV.UK :

Businesses to be cut free from company red tape - Press releases - Inside Government - GOV.UK 20/04/2013 14


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 20/04/2013 15 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 20/04/2013 16

PowerPoint Presentation:

UK Companies House free, subscription, and document pay per view options documents £1 each 20/04/2013 17

Company Check:

Company Check UK companies Uses Companies House data Provides 5 years of figures and graphs for Cash at Bank, Net Worth, Total Current Liabilities and Total Current Assets free of charge Download accounts 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 20/04/2013 18 : 20/04/2013 19 20/04/2013 20


DUEDIL 20/04/2013 21


DUEDIL 20/04/2013 22


DUEDIL 20/04/2013 23


DUEDIL 20/04/2013 24

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 20/04/2013 25

OpenCorporates :

OpenCorporates 20/04/2013 26

Corporate Sprawl Sketch Trawls Using OpenCorporates | OUseful.Info, the blog... :

Corporate Sprawl Sketch Trawls Using OpenCorporates | OUseful.Info, the blog... 20/04/2013 27

More open data but.....:

More open data but..... Raw data – no pretty visualisations, you have to do that! Data may need weeding and cleaning before it is usable May have to do a LOT of work on the data to get anything sensible out of it To see what you could be letting yourself in for look at Tony Hirst’s blog postings on open data at 20/04/2013 28

European Business Register:

European Business Register Gateway to official company information in 26 European countries UK distributer is GBRDirect – priced service 20/04/2013 29


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 20/04/2013 30

Company information priced services:

Company information priced services 7 side – Bureau van Dijk (BvD) Corpfin Dun and Bradstreet Experian UK Factiva ISI Emerging Markets Research, News, M&A, Statistics, Economic Indicators, Islamic Finance LexisNexis Perfect Information - Thomson Reuters - 20/04/2013 31

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 20/04/2013 32

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 20/04/2013 33

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 Priced services – Reuters, Thomson Reuters DataStream, Bloomberg 20/04/2013 34

Yahoo Finance:

Yahoo Finance 20/04/2013 35

Google Finance:

Google Finance 20/04/2013 36

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 20/04/2013 37

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 20/04/2013 38

Mailing lists:

Mailing lists RBA Direct Marketing free searching of lists can test out a list by selecting first 50, 100 etc. pay as you go 20/04/2013 39

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 20/04/2013 40

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 20/04/2013 41

Think file format:

Think file format PDF for research documents, government reports, industry papers ppt or pptx for presentations, tracking down an expert on a topic xls or xlsx for spreadsheets containing data Use the advanced search screen or the filetype : command UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:pdf UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:ppt UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:pptx UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:xls UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:xlsx 20/04/2013 42

Site search:

Site search For searching single large sites, or groups of sites by type for example academic, government Use advanced search screen or site: command car ownership UK car ownership UK car ownership UK car ownership UK car ownership UK Combine commands car ownership UK filetype:pptx Search in both Google and Bing for a comprehensive search 20/04/2013 43

Statistics and industry data:

Statistics and industry data 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 Looking for experts on a topic, presentations, general background on a subject, information on an organisation? advanced search ppt or pdf format Slideshare search within Slideshare or use site: search biofuels uk public transport 2009..2013 20/04/2013 44

Google Reading level:

Google Reading level Changes the type of material that is returned Nothing to do with publishers’ assigned reading age Run the search and from the menu above the results select Search tools , All results , Reading level 20/04/2013 45

Google Reading level:

Google Reading level 20/04/2013 46 Basic Advanced

Translated foreign pages:

Translated foreign pages For information on an industry, government policies, business practices in other countries For a different perspective on a topic 20/04/2013 47

Translated foreign pages:

Translated foreign pages 20/04/2013 48 If your preferred language is not in the list click on ‘Add language’ and select from the list. Then click on the number of results to the right the language you want to use. Google translates your search into the selected language, runs the search and translates the results into your own language. Warning: machine translation!

Starting points for statistics:

Starting points for statistics Statistics Sources Official Statistics on the Web http://w .nz UK National Statistics Publication Hub Office for National Statistics Welsh Government | Statistics Welsh Assembly Government StatsWales 20/04/2013 49 : 20/04/2013 50

Office for National Statistics:

Office for National Statistics 20/04/2013 51 : 20/04/2013 52 : 20/04/2013 53 : Not all of the data on this site is open data – may be restrictions on use Download links sometimes take you to the wrong dataset Download links sometimes completely broken It’s all or nothing! Have to filter the datasets for the information you want and produce your own graphs and charts Variety of formats 20/04/2013 54

European Union - Open Data Portal :

European Union - Open Data Portal EU launches public beta of its open data portal 20/04/2013 55

Guardian Data Store :

Guardian Data Store 20/04/2013 56 Data and analysis on topics that are in the news Some datasets created from information obtained via FoI Links to the original datasets are provided

Dog bites data: how likely are you to get bitten? :

Dog bites data: how likely are you to get bitten? 20/04/2013 57


Zanran Zanran – great for data in tables, charts and graphs 20/04/2013 58

Google Public Data Explorer:

Google Public Data Explorer One of Google's best kept secrets! 20/04/2013 59

Statista :

Statista “The Statistics Portal for Market Data, Market Research and Market Studies” 60,000 topics from over 18,000 sources some information free, registration (free) required Chart of the Day 20/04/2013 60

Datamarket :

Datamarket Open portal to datasets worldwide and market research Creates visualisations of the data 20/04/2013 61

Business Essentials on the Web - Industries See also :

Business Essentials on the Web - Industries See also 20/04/2013 62

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 publishers may embargo reports for weeks or months publishers may withhold some 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 20/04/2013 63

Examples of aggregators:

Examples of aggregators Alacrastore ISI Emerging Markets Profound - Market Intelligence Report Buyer Research and Markets 20/04/2013 64

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. 20/04/2013 65


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 Stock exchange 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 20/04/2013 66


News For tracking down individual newspapers Google News latest free news 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 20/04/2013 67


Date Restrict your results to information that has been published within the last hour, day, week, month, year or your own date range Search tools , Any time and select an option 20/04/2013 68


daterange: Date restriction does not work with any of the ‘All results’ options such as Verbatim or Translated Foreign Pages Use daterange: command instead Uses Julian date format (fractions omitted) Julian Date Converter Syntax for example pages mentioning Cameron and housing benefits between June 20 th and June 26 th 2012 daterange:2456098-2456104 housing benefits Cameron 20/04/2013 69

daterange: the easy way:

daterange: the easy way Third party tools for the daterange : search, for example then apply “Search tools” option to results 20/04/2013 70

Google News :

Google News 20/04/2013 71 Can personalise news content when signed in to a Google account. Hidden underneath the cog wheel on the news home page. Change your location (automatically identified by Google), topics covered, sources and frequency of articles from sources.

Google News – advanced search:

Google News – advanced search 20/04/2013 72 Hidden under the arrow in the search box

Google News:

Google News 20/04/2013 73 Can limit results to a time period. Time options don’t always work in the ‘Archives’ Older material may be priced Can create email and RSS alerts for a search but unreliable

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 20/04/2013 74

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 20/04/2013 75

Google Video:

Google Video 20/04/2013 76 Not the same as Youtube Google Video YouTube


Video Bing Videos Blinkx - 20 April 2013 Karen Blakeman 77

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 Twitter up to the minute but skewed view of what is happening Blogs – or use click on More in the menu above your results and then Blogs 20/04/2013 78

Social media & professional networks:

Social media & professional networks 20/04/2013 79

PowerPoint Presentation:

20/04/2013 80


Facebook Business and commercial pages on Facebook Overt promotion and market research Competitive intelligence How are companies using it? "Anti" groups and pages 20/04/2013 81 20 April 2013 Karen Blakeman 82

More on searching LinkedIn:

More on searching LinkedIn Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting Mary Ellen Bates Ten Top Tips for Searching LinkedIn PDF 20/04/2013 83 20/04/2013 84 20/04/2013 85 20/04/2013 86

UK Government Web Archive | The National Archives :

UK Government Web Archive | The National Archives Browse by category or choose your organisation from an A-Z list Choose the date of the archived version of the website you want to view 20/04/2013 87

UK Government Web Archive | The National Archives :

UK Government Web Archive | The National Archives 20/04/2013 88 : 20/04/2013 89

Wayback Machine :

Wayback Machine 20/04/2013 90

Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA) :

Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA) 20/04/2013 91

Free alerting services:

Free alerting services Google email and RSS alerts are seriously broken do not alert you to everything that is new alerts sometimes ‘die’ often bring up old material that you’ve already seen duplicate information Email alerts becoming a rarity some web sites and blogs offer email subscription to new content – often use RSS to email conversion tools such as Feedburner (how long will that be around?) RSS feeds on news sites often all or nothing Need an RSS reader e.g. Netvibes, Feedly, FeedReader Phil Bradley's weblog: 20 Alternatives to Google Reader 20/04/2013 92

My own RSS reader – RSSOwl (desktop only):

My own RSS reader – RSSOwl (desktop only) 20/04/2013 93

Talkwalker :

Talkwalker 20/04/2013 94 - create your own newspaper: - create your own newspaper 20/04/2013 95 – keyword – keyword 20/04/2013 96 – company: – company 20/04/2013 97

Keeping up to date:

Keeping up to date Inside Search Official Google Blog SearchReSearch : Search Engine Land Search Engine Watch Lady in the Library Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting Karen Blakeman’s Blog Phil Bradley's weblog 20/04/2013 98