University of Wisconsin–Madison

Competitive Intelligence

One of the best guides on Competitive Intelligence has been updated.  Competitive Intelligence - A Selective Resource Guide - Updated and Revised  October 2009 by Sabrina I. Pacifici on The resources featured in this guide are useful whether you seek background information on a company, business executive, individual or industry.  The guide provides resources from both fee-based and free sources. 

Attorneys who practice in employment law, business law or intellectual property law use competitive intelligence research for background information for a client, new product, or industry, but litigators also find competitive intelligence useful for gathering information on a company or individual they will face at trial.

Most competitive intelligence databases are fee-based but many of the subscription-based resources mentioned in this guide are available through the UW Madison Libraries to students, faulty and staff.

These resources include:  

News and Articles:

Business Source Premier -A full-text database of more than 900 business journals plus an indexing and abstracting database of approximately 1600 journals. Both scholarly and popular business magazines are included. The database covers many areas of business including management, economics, finance, banking and accounting. Searches may be limited to retrieve only scholarly journals. Dates vary but many of the full text titles go back to 1990. A business directory is also included.

Factiva -  A major online source for business and financial news. It provides access to almost 9000 business, trade, and general publications, including same day, full text access to the Wall Street Journal, Barron's, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.

People Searching:

Marquis Who's Who on the Web - A collection of over 1.3 million biographies that have appeared in 21 print titles since 1985, including, among others, "Who's Who in America", "Who's Who in the World", "Who's Who of American Women", etc. The biographies contain birth and death data, educational achievements, and personal and profession histories for individuals from many fields, including government, business, entertainment, science, sports and more.

Company Databases, Annual Reports & EDGAR Filings:

D&B Million Dollar Database - Provides directory information on public and private businesses in U.S. with $3 million+ in sales or 45+ total employees, as well as branches with 500+ employees. It is searchable by company name, industry code, size, type of ownership, principal executives and geographic area. The database is updated every six weeks. There are no archives of outdated information.

Hoovers - Provides comprehensive information on over 18.5 million public and private companies worldwide. Records include company history, executives, financial information, products and operations. The library subscription does not include access to the Family Tree section.

Mergent Online - Mergent Online provides fully searchable database of over 10,000 U.S. public companies, over 18,000 international companies, and over 8,000 "dead stocks." Worldwide industry reports, company tear sheets, custom reports and screening capabilities are also available.

OneSource Global Business Browser  - The OneSource Global Business Browser provides robust intelligence on over 16 million U.S. and Canadian firms as well as the top 100,000 international companies and 50,000 subsidiaries and branches of multinational companies located in developing countries. The database also includes over 18 million executive decision makers, company and industry analysts’ reports and hundreds of industries.

Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on November 9, 2009

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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