Information about the company's history, mission and vision statements, culture and values can often be found on the company's website. Financials (if a publicly traded company) can be found in the SEC disclosure documents or 10K. Mergent Online, S & P Net Advantage (Capital IQ) and Factiva will have financials for publicly traded companies. Look for news releases, business trade and news publications in Business Source Premier, ABI Inform and Factiva. ABI Inform and Business Source Premier often have market research reports and SWOT analysis of companies and industries.
Information about industries, business lines, etc. can be found by exploring the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes business assign themselves. Data about these industries/codes is collected by the government and aggregated on the United States Census NAICS website. Mergent Online, S & P Net Advantage (Capital IQ) and Factiva will have information about individual publicly traded companies and comparisons within their peer group. IBIS World provides information about industries and trends by NAICS. S&P Net Advantage will have industry surveys and information about representative companies in that space, although they do not categorize by NAICS. Associations and organizations, which collect data and educate their members about trends, etc., are very good places to locate information about a particular category or segment.
Market size, segments, channels, customer information sources and trends may be found in market research databases like: Mintel, Frost & Sullivan (student access), and Simmons Insight. ABI Inform and Business Source Premier often have market research reports and SWOT analysis of companies and industries. Articles about trends, channels and market share may be found in: Business Source Premier and Factiva. Industry trade publications and blogs offer another source of market and trend information.
Information about competitors, their products, market share, strengths and weaknesses can be found in company/industry databases such as: Business Source Premier, Mergent Online, S & P Net Advantage (Capital IQ) IBIS World; business trade and news publications like Factiva; and market research databases like Frost & Sullivan (student access), eMarketer and Mintel. Competitive positioning might be revealed through advertising campaigns shared in advertising databases like Adforum, Ad Age Datacenter , Communication and Mass Media Complete and Redbooks.com .
Wrap up with hypotheses, which is the logical outcome of your situation analysis.