Offering business information users strategies for identifying and evaluating no-cost online information sources, this guide emphasizes techniques for recognizing biased and untrustworthy web sites. Information users are directed to the most useful and targeted sources of company histories and overviews. These include corporate sales and earnings data, SEC filings and stockholder reports, public records, market research studies, competitive intelligence, industry analyses, staff directories, executive biographies, statistics, survey/poll results, conference proceedings, press releases, news stories, and hard-to-find information about small businesses and niche markets. Demonstrated are concepts such as precision searching, which enables business searchers to quickly find the specific information they need. Also discussed are critical-thinking skills and the art of asking the right question. A 10-point checklist that allows users to systematically evaluate web site reliability is included.
This manual examines 900 nonpublic US enterprises, including large industrial and service corporations like Milliken & Company and PricewaterhouseCoopers; hospitals and health-care organizations such as Blue Cross; charitable and membership organizations, including the Ford Foundation; mutual and co-operative organizations such as IGA; joint ventures such as Motiva; government-owned corporations such as the United States Postal Service; and major university systems, including The University of Texas System.
General suggestions for finding company information in the wild
Company websites often have a wealth of information (including annual reports, which are extremely useful), although they may not always share some of the financial material and related data that you want -- use library databases like Nexis Uni to check and flesh out what companies share on their official sites.
Follow both the companies that interest you and a variety of business news sources on social media (esp. Twitter). Let hashtags and trends help you find out what you want to know! Don't be afraid to get creative and to read widely!
Regional business associations or Chambers of Commerce often maintain local directories of member businesses, as well as some local resources and links to connect you to other regional company or industry associations (see, for example, the Southwest Indiana Chamber).
Some useful sites for financials, patents, specialized terminology, etc.
An investment advice site; while the bulk of their more robust research content is behind a Premium paywall, the site does have stock tickers, basic analysis, news items, blog discussions, and other resources available for users without a subscription.