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Online Resources for Business Research (August 2016): Multi-content/Multi-subject Database

Celia Ross

Multi-content/Multi-subject Databases

Some business databases have a little bit of everything in them, from company and industry profiles to financial information, trade and news articles, directory-screening capabilities, allowing one to filter and make side-by-side comparisons on particular characteristics of companies or industries.  The following subscription-based resources can be good starting points for anyone undertaking business research.

Business Insights: Global, formerly Business and Company Resource Center (CH, Feb’01, 38-3091), from Gale Cengage Learning provides online, searchable access to a number of traditional print titles such as Business Rankings Annual (CH, Mar’08, 45-3544), Market Share Reporter (CH, Mar’08, 45-3562), International Directory of Company Histories (CH, May’89, 26-4849), or Notable Corporate Chronologies (CH, Jul’95, 32-5997).  It is also a good resource for both public and private company information with content from Ward’s Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies (CH, Feb’92, 29-3084) and other sources, including full-text articles from industry and trade journals as well as financial data and company screening tools for country and industry comparison.

Euromonitor: Passport, formerly Global Market Information Database (CH, Sep’12, 50-0054) or GMID (CH, Aug’04, 41Sup-0400), covers more than two hundred countries and provides historical and forecast market data for consumer products as well as demographic, economic, and marketing statistics for each country.  Some subscriptions also include overviews of major world cities.  Market share data for numerous products are included, and users can pull quick top-level economic data to compare trends over time and across countries.  The real wealth of information comes from its consumer-product data sets, where one can find out how much people spent on pet food or diapers (and which brands) in France, for instance, as compared to the world.

MarketLine Advantage (hereafter, simply MarketLine), from Progressive Digital Media, provides a wide range of company and industry profiles covering many individual countries as well as regional and global reports.  Most company profiles include SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses, while many of the industry reports include a Porter’s five forces analysis (buyer and supplier bargaining power, threats of new entrants and substitutes, and degree of industry rivalry); these will be familiar to some as Datamonitor reports (a previous moniker).  MarketLine subscriptions may also include several additional databases (Country Statistics, Financial Deals, etc.) and various company and investment-screening tools.

For publicly traded company profiles and financials, Mergent Online is an excellent resource.  Mergent, originally Moody’s, has been collecting data and rating publicly traded companies since 1900.  Mergent Online covers US and international companies and includes country economic reports.  Company profiles feature history, historical financials, and management profiles, and come with a number of exportable report-building and screening options.  There is an archive of defunct, merged, or bankrupt companies, executive biographies, corporate calendars, and a stand-alone database containing PDF versions of historical Moody’s/Mergent manuals.  Some subscriptions also provide access to the Mergent Horizon database covering supply-chain information (owned by FactSet Research Systems), and Mergent BondViewer, which contains current and historical ratings on corporate and municipal bonds.  Subscribers can also add private company data through the D&B Private Company Database add-on (a version of the Dun & Bradstreet Million Dollar Database, covered below).

OneSource Global Business Browser is an all-in-one product that works as a public- and private-company directory that also contains analyst reports, market and industry overviews, and more.  It recently received a facelift and was known for most of 2015 as Avention before returning to the original OneSource product name in early 2016.  OneSource aggregates data from a number of different sources, including reports from the Freedonia Group and Euromonitor as well as MarketLineOneSource also contains the publication RMA Annual Statement Studies, a useful tool for comparing companies within the same industry.  OneSource is especially strong in offering public and private company information, executive profiles, financial data, and industry intelligence, and provides powerful screening capabilities.  It is particularly useful when one is trying to determine a company’s ownership structure, such as parent company and subsidiaries and other corporate-family relationships.  Subscription packages are offered covering different regions of the world.

For industry profiles and company profiles and market analysis, NetAdvantage, from S&P Global Market Intelligence, is hard to beat.  Pulled together in one online resource are a number of S&P reference publications, including Stock Reports, Corporation Records, Register of Public Companies, and Register of Private CompaniesNetAdvantage is a great source for public company financial and market information, private company directory data, and mutual fund comparisons.  Since late 2015, NetAdvantage has been rolling out a new, more powerful interface that allows screening for specified features and comparative charting.  The new version includes historical stock-price data on both active and inactive stocks.

Statista covers a wide variety of companies, industries, and consumer demographics, aggregating data from a number of free and fee-based sources into one intuitive interface.  Country coverage focuses on Europe and other developed countries, although data related to emerging countries can be found too.  Data sources are thoroughly cited, so users can follow up on leads to related results or additional data.  Some data on larger companies and defined industries are compiled into a Dossiers section.  Some free data are available through Statista, but a subscription is required for full content and downloading capabilities.