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San Diego Mesa College Learning Resource Center San Diego Mesa College Library Research Guides

Business Research   Tags: business, companies, industries  

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Business Research

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Business information can take many forms from print to online, articles, statistics, websites and more. The Mesa College Library provides access to an extensive collection of print and online books and journals not otherwise available on the Web.

This research guide will lead you to print and online sources of information for business research.


NAICS & SIC Industry Codes

Government and business publications use two sets of codes to collect and organize information.  Knowing the codes for your industry or for the industry which your company is a part of will help you to find information about them in library and web resources.

NAICS: The North American Industry Classification System is commonly used by many online sources of business information including the U.S. Census and library databases like EbscoHost and Proquest. Standard NAICS codes are 6 digits.

Find NAICS codes

SIC: The Standard Industrial Classification system is an older system but is still used in many business publications. Most SIC numbers are 4 digits.

Find SIC codes


Tips for Doing Business Research

 Business research

The type and amount of information you will find on a company depends upon several factors.  Before you begin your research, ask yourself these questions:

1.  Are there variations of the company/industry name?  
Different research resources may use alternative terms or abbreviations of a company/industry name. 
Some databases require a ticker symbol to find company information.

2.  Is the company public or private?
It is usually easier to find information on public companies. For tips on finding information on private companies, go to the related tab at the top of this page.

3.  What about the company's "family tree"?
Is it a parent company?  Division of another?  Foreign-owned?  Family-owned?  

4.  Is the company newsworthy?
Companies tend to be in the news when they want the PR, when they are performing extremely well, or when they are having problems.   Even a small private company may be considered newsworthy by local press.

5. What is the source of the information? 

Look critically at the source of the information.  Company web sites and press releases tend to be biased while articles in newspapers or trade journals may be more balanced.

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