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Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials

Job-hunting? Company information search tips

Target Corporation SWOT Analysis

Target Corp. SWOT Analysis

As the temperatures warm up and we move through spring, our thoughts turn fondly to – well, for many students, you’re thinking about job-hunting. You’re thinking about potential employers, maybe you have some interviews lined up. You want to know more about a company as a potential employer, and you want to go beyond what you find on the company’s website and some quick web searching. If you’re a business student, you’ve probably done a good deal of company research for class projects. But if you haven’t done it recently, or aren’t a business student, here are some tips and suggestions.

  • Get a good overview. Business Insights: Essentials and Business Source Premier are great places to check for a basic overview of a public company (one that sells stock or other registered securities to the public.) This can include a description of the company, financial information, and news stories. BSP, BIE, and OneSource Global Business Browser include SWOT reports, which summarize Strengths and Weaknesses of a business, and the Opportunities and Threats it faces in the business environment.
  • Focus your search. BSP and ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry each have a way to search for items about a company that’s more precise than keyword searching. This helps a lot with companies like Target or even Google, whose names are part of daily life. (The word “target,” for example, can refer to target markets, target dates, target-based pay, and of course target practice.) In BSP, you can use the pull-down menu to search for Target as a “company entity,” to get articles specifically about Target the company. And in ABI, you can search for Target as a “company/organization.”
  • Find those private companies, too. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, PrivCo is our newest business resource, covering privately-held companies that average around $50,000,000.00 in annual revenue. For smaller companies, ReferenceUSA is a “business phone book” covering 24 million U.S. businesses. In the Custom Search, you can look for companies by name, business type, business size, location, and more.
  • Don’t forget the news. Yeah, you can find news on the web, but some precision searching can help here as well. ProQuest Newsstand, like ABI, lets you search for articles on a “company/organization.” That helps focus your search in local news sources, like the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press, as well as major papers from other cities (the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, just to drop a few names.) And my good friend BizLink has full-text coverage of 40 regional business journals, including the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and business journals from Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, Portland, and Silicon Valley. It’s a great place to search for information on local or regional companies, and you get that local perspective that you don’t find in national sources.
  • Be sure to check our career and employment resources guide as part of your job search. And good luck!

    Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials

    Happy Valentine’s with Euromonitor Passport!

    Welcome to Spring Semester, business researchers!

    We’re less than one week away from Valentine’s Day, and I thought it was a good time to share some interesting Valentine’s-themed nuggets of note our vendor has shared with us that will (hopefully) help you to fall in love with one of our favorite market research databases: Euromonitor Passport GMID!

    First, the Dashboards in Euromonitor Passport GMID reveal that the US is the largest market in the world for chocolate confectionery.  Good news for chocolate lovers, but growth in this market has declined since 2009.


    Secondly, Mars is the dominant player in the confectionery market after overtaking The Hershey Company in 2008 (I’m excited to see Lindt and Ferrero on this list, personally).

    And finally, if jewelry is more your style this Valentine’s Day, new data available for Passport Industrial reveals that Tiffany’s is the largest producer of jewelry in the US.

    Continue Reading

    Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials

    New Mergent Interface

    If you’re accessing Mergent Online on July 6th or later, you’re in for a surprise.  The UST Libraries’ best tool for getting public company financials, SEC documents, and more has changed its look.

    company lookup

    You’ll find a better company lookup tool and more options for finding company information more quickly.  Getting ratio reports and historical pricing for the company is easier, too.

    Click here quick tips for using the new Mergent Online.  All of the old features of Mergent Online are still available.  Getting to them has been made easier.

    quick tip sheet

    Business & Economics, Charles J. Keffer Library, Database Highlights & Trials

    SWOT Analyses in Library Databases

    Business students often ask how to find SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses of companies.  Until now, our only source for ready-made SWOT analyses was Datamonitor company reports, available via Business Source Premier.

    Now we have another source: OneSource Global Business Browser.  And the SWOTs here are more detailed and analytical than those from Datamonitor.

    To access the OneSource Int’l SWOTs, follow these steps.

    • From the main UST Libraries page click on the Databases A – Z link.
    • On the OneSource Global Business Browser landing page search for your company
      under the “Companies” search box.
    • Search for your company within the “Companies” box.  Remember, most companies in OneSource are large publicly traded corporations.
    • Once you’ve identified your company among the search results (yours will usually be the one headquartered in the US, with a US stock listing), click on the Strengths/Weaknesses link among the list of links on the right hand side of the page.

    refusa intl SWOT itself

    Can’t find a SWOT?  Don’t panic.

    Remember that the SWOT analysis is not difficult to make.   First grab a SWOT from Reference USA International, using the process outlined above, to use as a template.  Use Proquest Newsstand Complete, Factiva, and Business Source Premier to retrieve press releases and media articles on company and its executives for the past twelve months.  (Focus on CEO, Chairman, and CFO interviews, new product releases, earnings releases, and stock analyst opinions on the industry or company.)    Within Business Source Premier, also look for a Datamonitor company profile.  If the company is public, go to their website–usually the “investors” or “company information” sections–to find the company’s SEC 10-K, 10-Q, and 14-A filings.

    Still unconvinced?  (Still reading?)  Here’s a brief explanation of how valuable a SWOT can be, from The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management:

    An acronym of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, SWOT analysis provides a simple but powerful tool for evaluating the strategic position of the firm. It is especially useful for senior executives undertaking a fundamental reappraisal of a business, in that it permits a free thinking environment, unencumbered by the constraints often imposed by a finance driven budgetary planning system.