Tag Archives: Business Information

EBRD 2009 Directory of Business Information Sources

11th Edition – New for 2009

January discounts available

Title: EBRD Directory of Business Information Sources on central and eastern Europe and the CIS
Editor: Liz Coles
ISBN: 1874128 31 6
Price: £25.00 January Discount – Pay Only £150.00, EUR 170, $US235 (+ delivery)

Economic, business and political policies adopted in the countries of central and eastern Europe and the CIS following the global economic storm will play a crucial role in European economic recovery.  In the course of its work, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development identifies and evaluates a large volume of business information relevant to the region to monitor the potential and the risks associated with the transition economies of Europe. The EBRD Directory provides access to this wealth of business intelligence both in printed form and on the Internet via a searchable database.

Key Features

  • Gain immediate Internet access to the location of over 3,000 key sources of business information gathered from the world’s leading publishers, banks, commercial and investment agencies.
  • Identify the information sources used daily by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Business Information Centre.
  • Descriptive summaries, comprehensive indexing and Internet search options aid the selection of sources, with active links to email and web addresses.

Visit www.dataresources.co.uk for full details, sample pages and secure online ordering.

SCoRe: national UK catalogue of printed company reports

SCoRe (Search Company Reports) is a catalogue of printed company reports, both current and historic,  held in UK libraries. The catalogue does not provide links to digitised documents but it is a very quick and easy way of  identifying libraries that hold hard copy reports.  The participating libraries include London Business School, the British Library, Manchester Business School, City Business Library, Guildhall Library, Strathclyde University and the University of Warwick. A full list is available at http://www.score.ac.uk/collections.asp .

Searching is straightforward: simply type in the company name and select a collection, or leave it as the default ‘All’. Non UK companies are also covered and you can restrict your search to a specific country by using the Advanced Search. The results give you name of the company and any variations, for example searching on Cadbury will find results on Cadbury Schweppes, Fry Cadbury, Cadbury Brothers etc. The libraries that hold copies of the reports are listed together with the earliest and latest years of a collection’s holdings.

An added bonus of this service is that it suggests you look at related companies. For example, clicking on Cadbury Brothers Ltd in my results lists came up with British Cocoa and Chocolate Co Ltd, of which Cadbury Brothers was a subsidiary, and Cadbury Schweppes. Cadbury Brothers, it tells me,  later to become Cadbury Group merged with  Schweppes to form Cadbury Schweppes in 1969).  In addition to locating historical annual reports, this service is a good place to pick up clues on past corporate relationships.

British Services UK

Owned and operated by Infoactive Media Ltd, British Services UK lists major governing bodies, government departments, associations and resources of over 100 industries in the UK along with non-profit organisations, charities, groups, clubs and businesses. My particular interest in this site was the list of trade associations and regulatory bodies at  http://www.britishservices.co.uk/associations.htm. Trade associations are often an excellent starting point for general information and key resources on industry sectors.

You can browse by service type, for example Trade Associations or Chambers of Commerce,  and narrow down your results by location.  There is no option to browse by industry sector and the absence of a proper site search engine makes it even more difficult to find information. Overall, the coverage of trade associations and regulatory bodies is good but not as comprehensive as the Trade Association Forum.

The search box at the top of the screen fails to pick up any results from the listings and at best only displays advertisements.  You could, of course, use Google Advanced Search to carry out a site search, but this was when I began to suspect the quality of some of the data. A search on my own professional body CILIP, which is also a registered charity, did indeed find the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals but it is listed under Bloomsbury Newspapers along with Benjamin Dent & Co, Northcliffe Newspapers, The Friend Publications and The Spectator.

This site has potential, but the navigation needs to be improved and a working search engine ought to be added. Some of the services are incorrectly listed and there are more comprehensive listings elsewhere. British Services UK has an advantage in that everything is in one place, but use with caution.

Top Business Research Tips (2)

Yes, it’s another Business Information workshop Top Tips. This one was a rerun of the UKeiG event held on 2nd April, 2008. The participant mix was half private, half public sector. At the end of the day they were asked to come with a list of top sites and search tips. Between them, those attending the workshop spent half the day trying out hundreds of web sites – some of them not even mentioned by me. This is their collective list of sites that they felt were worth considering as key resources. In some cases I have also included the comments from the people nominating the site. It is interesting that there are only two sources that appear in both lists, and one of them does not really count: it was my own site, from which some of the course notes were derived so you might consider the delegates to have been brainwashed!

1. Silobreaker.com http://www.silobreaker.com/. One of the two sites that appears in both the April 2nd and this list. A relatively new service pulling together information from newspapers, journals, blogs, video and audio. In addition It offers geographical hotspots, trends and a network visualisation tool that was singled out by several workshop participants as being particularly useful.

2. OFFSTATS http://www.offstats.auckland.ac.nz/ The new set of web pages for the University of Auckland Library providing information on Official Statistics on the Web and at a new address. An excellent starting point for official statistics by country and subject/industry. As well as the makeover, there have been many additions to the collection of resources.

3. Research Wikis http://www.researchwikis.com/. This is a wiki covering market and industry data that is in the public domain; several workshop delegates commented that it looks promising. The content is variable in quality. Some reports are highly structured and detailed while others are just a “stub”, many are US biased, and the sources of the data are not always cited. Nevertheless, the reports do give you an idea of the issues affecting the sector and the terminology that is used. One of the University based delegates thought that the site’s recommended structure and headings for a report would be useful to students who are new to carrying out industry and market research.

4. Bureau van Dijk’s (BvD) “A Taste of Mint” http://mintportal.bvdep.com/ A free directory from BvD giving basic information on companies world-wide. Comment from one experienced researcher: “It found the company I have been looking for when every other directory has failed!”

5. Google Finance http://www.google.co.uk/finance/, http://www.google.com/finance/ [This was not covered in the 2nd April workshop. Until now, it has been so awful and unreliable hat I have ignored it]. This is a possible competitor to Yahoo Finance. It has been steadily improving over the last 18 months since its initial launch but still does not quite have the authoritative “feel” of Yahoo Finance. Also it does not appear to have the individual stock exchange coverage of Yahoo. It does, though, beat Yahoo when it comes to the share price graph and historical downloads options. The share price graphs are ‘annotated’ with labels at the appropriate time on the graph and these link to news articles that are listed to the right of the graph. Yahoo Finance’s downloadable historical share price data in figures goes back 5 years: Google’s goes back to 1996.

6. Google News. For the UK go to http://news.google.co.uk/ but there are a plethora of country versions. Good coverage of the last 30 days of free world-wide, national, local and industry news resources. One workshop participant said that Google News found a breaking story that the industry press and her subscription services had not yet picked up.

7. The Wayback Machine – The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/. The Wayback Machine takes periodic snapshots of the Internet. Ideal for seeing how a company portrayed itself on the Internet in the past and for tracking down sites, pages or documents that have disappeared.

8. Chipwrapper http://www.chipwrapper.co.uk/ a Custom Google Search Engine that searches across the UK’s major national newspapers: The Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sun, The People, News of the World, The Scotsman, Daily Star, The Telegraph and The Times. It also searches the BBC News web site, ITN and Sky. There is a review of Chipwrapper on my blog at http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2007/12/29/chipwrapper-search-uk-newspapers/

9. UK National Statistics http://www.statistics.gov.uk/ We will not go into the confusion users suffered when UK government official statistics web sites were re-organised on 1st April 2008 [No, it was not an April Fool’s]. Work your way through the new menus and you will eventually end up on the on the old statistics.gov.uk pages. Even without the frequent design changes, the site can be difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, there is an incredible amount of good quality data here. For the web based ‘stuff’ and formatted documents (PDF. DOC, XLS, PPT) it is often easier to go to the Google Advanced Search page, type in your terms in the search box at the top of the page and in the ‘Search within a site or domain’ box type in statistics.gov.uk . If you want to look for specific file formats, select the file extension from the drop down menu under ‘File type’. The ‘Time Series’ data have to be search from within the statistics.gov.uk site itself.

10. Companies House http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/. The UK official companies registry. This is the closest you can get to the original company documents that a registered company has to file. Some information is provided free of charge (Use the Webcheck service). Documents are charged for on a pay as you go basis.

11. RBA Sources of Business Information http://www.rba.co.uk/sources/. Selected sources of business information organised by type e.g. statistics, share prices, company registers.