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Understanding World-Class Organizations
► For more detail and additional data sources visit the general business research guide.

Social Sciences Librarian

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David Boudinot
University of Victoria Libraries
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Victoria BC V8W 3H5

Subjects: Gender Studies

Strategies & sources for business analysis assignment

Tips for report sections:


  • Use industry reports to benchmark how your chosen company is doing against the broader industry
  • Consult industry association members lists, company directories, or competition section of company profiles


  • Search news for interviews, reporting, or opinion pieces on leaders
  • Search company websites, company created documents, and social media for statements made by leaders
  • Search the web for interviews on blogs, or via video and podcast


  • Look at company websites, company created documents, investor pages, and press releases to see what actions they have taken

Customer and market focus:

  • Look at marketing on website and social media
  • Search for articles
  • Use industry reports to learn about the target market/customers

Employee engagement:

  • Look at company websites, company created documents, social media and press releases
  • Search for news and articles

Company websites

Start with the website of the company you are researching. A public company listed on the stock exchange will have a lot of investor information including:

  • financials & filings -- especially the company's annual report

  • board & executives

  • strategy & reporting presentations

  • news/press releases + social media/blogs

  • stock information

  • analyst coverage

  • initiatives such as sustainability, EDI, employee engagement etc.

See Shopify's Investors page for sample

It can be much harder to find information about a smaller, private, or international company.

News & articles

News is sometimes our only source of external information about a small or private company. News or interviews with CEOs can provide really current and up to date information about a company’s performance, products, problems, actions, and strategy.

Search with the company name, leaders' names, and specific keywords (leadership, strategy, diversity, inclusion, etc.) Try searching in:

Useful for all sections of your report, but particularly leadership section.

Company profiles

Several library databases provides access to company profiles.

Industry reports

Looking at relevant industry reports will help you identify competition and how your company is performing in the industry compared to others, it will also help you with some aspects of the 5 forces analysis (suppliers, possible new entrants etc.)

Useful for competitiveness section of your report.

Evaluating sources

With any resource, be sure to approach it with a critical eye and consider its authority, purpose, content, and currency.


  • Who is the author? Are they qualified to write on this topic? Do they have valid credentials?
  • Are the affiliated with an institution? Does it display any bias?
  • Who is the publisher? Does it display any bias?
  • What types of resources do they typically publish?


  • What is the purpose of this information? To inform, teach, sell, entertain, persuade?
  • Do the authors make their intentions or biases clear?
  • Does the purpose suit your research?


  • How well does the resource relate to your topic?
  • Is it at an appropriate level?
  • Is it supported by evidence?
  • Does it have footnotes or references?
  • Has the information been reviewed by other experts (peer-review?)


  • When was the work published?
  • Has it been revised or updated?
  • Is currency necessary for your research?

Citation help

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