Monday, July 9, 2012

New Database: Business Insights: Essentials

We are fortunate enough to get access to several additional databases through the MBLC & MLS with Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Federal funding. The majority of these come from Gale/Cengage. And these include electronic resources like the useful Academic OneFile. This summer, there are some database changes. One is a switch from a database called Business & Company Resource Center (which is no longer available) to one called Business Insights: Essentials (BIE).

BIE is a brand new database. So much so that one of the few web sheets about the file still says "coming soon!" It is designed to be a multi-purpose database that provides a variety of company- and industry-specific resources. According to the publisher, the file allows users to:

• Easily research companies, industries and business topics in the context of timely news and reports
• Instantly analyze and compare financial and statistical data with interactive charting tools
• Utilize data from Gale staple publications, including International Directory of Company Histories, Market Share Reporter, Business Rankings Annual, Encyclopedia of American Industries and many others
• Access company profiles and industry rankings, as well as brand and product information
• Access SWOT reports, financial analysis tools, business associations, investment reports and market research reports.

Although you can select certain options from the dark gray bar near the top of the landing page, that isn't necessarily the best approach. For example, if you click "Industries" you don't get an industry search page, but rather over 1100 listed industries in an alphabetical list. So, it is easier to either type in a basic search in the opening screen or click the Advanced Search option just beneath the orange search button. A basic search isn't a bad starting point.

Like Ebsco's excellent Business Source Complete, it easy to sort and limit your results (as in the above, too large--over 137,000 results!--search for footwear) using the refining options in the left frame.

The many materials featured in the database include:

• More than 2 million investment research/brokerage reports
• Thousands of detailed financial reports (including fundamentals data and comparison tools)
• More than 2,500 market research reports
• More than 3,900 full-text periodicals
• More than 1,000 SWOT reports (updated quarterly)
• Nearly 25,000 industry reports
• Nearly 11,000 company histories
• Approximately 43,400 Market Share articles
• More than 65,000 articles from Gale’s Business Rankings Annual
• Nearly 2,300 corporate chronologies
• More than 2,000 additional reference articles published by Gale

One of the nifty tools you can access is one that allows you to compare companies or industries. (Click "Comparison Charts" on the right of the dark gray menu bar.) If you are doing company comparisons, the trick may be picking the right parent firm from the suggestions offered. For better results, use the ticker symbol instead of word name in the search box. Here's an example of a comparison between Nike and Skechers. I can change the point of comparison, add or remove companies, change the display option, and print or save in a variety of file formats. (Each dot on the chart is a data point.)

For training videos from the publisher, please see:

So here is another business research tool to explore! We hope you find it useful.

[Find Business Insights: Essentials on our A-Z database list, or in our Subject Database List for Business & Management.]

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