Skip to main content

GB214 Team Project Library Research Guide

This Bentley Library research guide has been designed to assist you with your Value Creation Team Project.

Start Your Project Here: Key Resources

The first step to beginning the research for the Integration Assignment is to compile background information about the company and product/service.

Listed in the boxes below are the best resources for your first assignment: 

  1. Public Company Filings: 10-K annual report
  2. SWOT reports
  3. Company, Industry & Market Research databases
  4. Company website

1. Public Company: Use the 10-K Report

Public companies are required to file financial information with the SEC. Each year a public company will produce a 10-K annual report.*  This report provides valuable information that goes beyond the balance sheet and income statements. Usually, the entire year is recapped and you will learn about the external and internal forces affecting the company.

Read the 10-K closely, especially these two sections:

  1. Item 1: Business
  2. Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") 

Here are few places to get a company's 10-K:

  1. The "Investor" section of the company's web site
  2. Library database: Mergent Intellect
  3. Library database: Mergent Online (Tip: Select "Government Filings", then search for a company)
  4. EDGAR Company Filings database from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission

*Note: A foreign company (a "foreign private issuer") that trades in the United States files a Form 20-F annual report. A foreign company files a 20-F if 50% or less of its outstanding voting securities are held by U.S. investors; once a company crosses that threshold it must file the same SEC forms as a U.S. company.

2. SWOT Analysis

These library databases contain company SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and reports. SWOT reports are typically available for public companies and may be available for large private companies. If you cannot locate a SWOT report for your company in any of these databases please ask a librarian for assistance.

  • Search Tip: Hover over [Companies] in the navigation bar, then click on SWOT Reports. 
  • Search Tip
    1. On the right side of the screen, click on the [SWOT Analysis] link.
    2. Enter the company name in the search box and click [Browse].
    3. Locate your company in the list and click on on the name of the company.
    4. On the right side of the screen, choose a date and open the report.
  • Search tip
    1. Select the Investext tab
    2. Select COMPANY from the drop-down, enter the company name or ticker symbol, then click [add to criteria].
    3. Select KEYWORD from the drop-down, enter the word SWOT, then click [add to criteria].
    4. In the box that contains your search criteria, click [search]. In most cases, SWOT reports from GlobalData and MarketLine will be retrieved.

3. Company, Industry & Market Research Databases

These databases are the best starting points for company, market and industry research.

  • Search Tip 1: Get a company profile:
    • In the main search box, enter a company name or ticker to retrieve a company profile. The company profile will include information about the NAICS codes for the industry or industries that the company operates within. Use the links on the left side of the screen to also view related content and topics, including investment reports, SWOT reports, company chronologies, rankings, articles about the company/industry, etc.
       
  • Search Tip 2: Identify competitors:
    • Search by NAICS to retrieve a list of companies ranked by revenue. Hover over [Companies] in the navigation bar, then click on [Company Finder]. Set your search parameters using the options on the left side of the screen to generate a list of companies in that industry ranked by revenue.
  • Search tip: Use the search box or browse the list of NAICS codes to retrieve an industry report for the industry your company operates within.
  • Company Profiles Search Tip: Find a MarketLine Company Profile.
    1. On the right side of the screen, click on the [Company Profiles] link.  
    2. Enter the company name in the search box and click [Browse].
    3. Locate your company in the list and click on [MarketLine Report].
       
  • Industry Profiles Search Tip: Find a MarketLine Industry Profile, which will include a Five Forces Analysis.
    • Use the Advanced Search screen to search for [your topic] AND marketline AND "industry profile".
      For examplesoftware AND marketline AND "industry profile"
      ----OR----
    • On the right side of the screen, click on the [Industry Profiles] link. Select the "View By" [All Profiles] tab. In the search box, type the name of the industry (for example, software) and then select radio button [By Title, Subject and Description]. Click on [Browse].

4. Company Website

Most company web sites are structured to provide key pieces of valuable information. Check for:

  1. ABOUT US: Company history; corporation overview, fact sheets; FAQs
  2. MEDIA, PRESS ROOM, or PUBLIC RELATIONS: Current news and press releases can provide the most up-to-date information about what's happening with the company and its products.
  3. INVESTORS: Annual reports, financials, corporate governance information [Note: Financial information will only be available if it is a public company.]
  4. ENVIRONMENT/SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY/COMMUNITY RELATIONS: Some companies will include information about their social responsibility initiatives.
  5. CAREERS: Sometimes this section will contain information about a company's values or mission.
  6. PRODUCTS: Browse the web site to learn more about the company's products.  Check the retail price.  What products or services are they highlighting? What do you notice about how the product or service is presented or promoted?