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Highlights: Business Information - key web resources


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Selected highlights from the presentation for the workshop "Business information: key web resources", held at TFPL in London on 19th September 2013.

Selected highlights from the presentation for the workshop "Business information: key web resources", held at TFPL in London on 19th September 2013.

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  • 20/09/13
  • 20/09/13
  • 20/09/13
  • 20/09/13
  • Advanced Internet Search Strategies 20 September 2013
  • 20/09/13
  • Transcript

    • 1. Business Information: key web resources Highlights from the full presentation Business Sources TFPL, London, 19th September 2013
    • 2. Why not just “Google”? 1. It personalises your results [Use private browsing options] 2. It automatically looks for variations on your terms and drops terms from your search without telling you [Use intext: or Verbatim] 3. Google does not automatically search everything it has [Use any advanced search command or Verbatim] 4. Google cannot search password protected sites or databases 5. Google changes its search and ranking algorithms about 500 times a year How Google makes improvements to its search algorithm 6. We are all Google’s lab rats “Just Testing: Google Users May See Up To A Dozen Experiments” [Private browsing or Verbatim may rescue you] 20/09/13 2
    • 3. Google Verbatim
    • 4. intext: to force an exact match for one term To force an exact match and inclusion of a term in a search prefix it with ‘intext:’ UK public transport intext:biodiesel statistics “..” around terms does not always work 20/09/13 4
    • 5. How to “un-personalise” your search Chrome - New Incognito window Ctrl+Shift+N FireFox - File, New Private Window Ctrl+Shift+P Internet Explorer – Tools, InPrivate Browsing [location varies depending on which version you have] Ctrl+Shift+P Opera – File, New Private Window Ctrl+Shift+N Safari – click on Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menu bar, select Private Browsing and then click on OK. Will not remove country “personalisation”
    • 6. Assessing quality/relevance Name of organisation/person clearly stated Scope of information Can you easily contact the “owner” Date published or updated Primary or secondary source Repackaged information e.g. Companies House data Coverage (industry, time span, geographical spread) Type of website e.g., Who owns the domain name 20/09/13 6
    • 7. – who owns a domain name 20/09/13 7
    • 8. Free vs. Fee Free Basic company information, contact details, sometimes full accounts, search for companies by name/number one at a time, simple print out Anonymous statistics, total market/industry figures Current news - free text searching, many key industry publications not free, difficult to focus search May be limited in coverage, time span Fee Full company accounts, historical data, search by multiple criteria, analysis and report features Detailed market share by company name, product/brand Indexed content, easier to search for historical information by event type, more flexible search and print options More likely to be comprehensive and have more extensive archives 20/09/13 8
    • 9. Social media and professional networks Where people and organisations share, discuss, comment and ask questions It is where the conversations are happening It is where a lot of marketing takes place Use for research, competitor intelligence, reputation monitoring, how are companies presenting themselves and interacting with customers Google “encouraging” people to sign up for Google+ Many business information resources encourage logins with social media accounts 20/09/13 9
    • 10. General starting points Business Sources on the Net BL - Business Essentials on the Web – “a one-stop shop for website listings for entrepreneurs and SMEs covering.... ‘business planning’, ‘grants and finance’, ‘marketing and PR’ as well as industry specific pages.” British Library Business & IP Centre in London Industry guides Library & Information Service ICAEW SCOTBIS (Scottish Business Information Service) Buslib-L – discussion list for business librarians and researchers – (login required) – FAQs at 20/09/13 10
    • 11. Company information Ownership, structure, accounts, activities, news Availability depends on – type of company • sole trader • partnership • private • limited liability e.g. Ltd, LLP • companies with publicly traded shares e.g. PLC – business size (large, medium, small) – country state or region within the country 20/09/13 11
    • 12. Exemptions For UK small and medium sized enterprises May prepare and file abbreviated accounts Must fulfil at least two of the following conditions to qualify 20/09/13 12 Exemptions not available to public companies, banking, insurance or shipping companies Small Medium Turnover not exceeding £6.5m £25.9m Assets/balance sheet not exceeding £3.26m £12.9m Average number of employees 50 250
    • 13. UK Companies House – – free, subscription, and document pay per view options – documents £1 each 20/09/13 13
    • 14. CRO - Companies Registration Office Ireland 20/09/13 14
    • 15. Company Check UK & Ireland companies and director search Some info free, some free with login, some free with “pro” account, some pay as you go Provides 5 years of figures and graphs for Cash at Bank, Net Worth, Total Current Liabilities and Total Current Assets Download up to 5 yrs of accounts Companies house documents (£2 or 99p depending on subscription) Credit risk, charges, CCJs, Monitor company for financial changes and when new accounts are filed Lists directors of a company - see what other directorships they have 20/09/13 15
    • 16. 20/09/13 16
    • 17. Company Check 20/09/13 17
    • 18. Company Check 20/09/13 18
    • 19. Company Check 20/09/13 19
    • 20. DUEDIL 20/09/13 20
    • 21. DUEDIL 20/09/13 21
    • 22. DUEDIL 20/09/13 22
    • 23. Official company information – other countries Lists of official company registers – Official Company Registers – Company registration around the world – Companies House Links US – listed companies – SEC Edgar IDEA – Interactive Date Electronic Applications Canada - listed companies – SEDAR 20/09/13 23
    • 24. OpenCorporates 20/09/13 24
    • 25. European Business Register Gateway to official company information in 26 European countries – UK distributer is GBRDirect – priced service – 20/09/13 25
    • 26. 7side Priced service UK companies and documents, directors information, insolvency reports Credit reports International registry and documents service – 1 hour registry and documents service – translation service available – have agents "on the ground", can quickly tell you what is available in that country and what may not be available 20/09/13 26
    • 27. Examples of problem areas for the researcher Switzerland – only banks, insurance companies and companies traded on the Swiss stock exchange are required to provide financial statements Cayman Islands – “The Registrar of Companies can only release the name and type of company, its date of registration, the address of the registered office and the company’s status. Disclosing any other information is prohibited unless requested by a law enforcement agency.” British Virgin Islands – “A company is not required to file its register of directors, register of members, register of charges or an annual return with the BVI Registrar of Corporate Affairs.” 20/09/13 27
    • 28. Publicly traded companies – share prices Free – current share prices delayed by 15-30 minutes – real-time prices if you have a share dealing account with a broker e.g. TD Direct Investing ( – only cover companies currently listed on the exchange – some historical data as charts or figures (e.g. Yahoo Finance and Google Finance) – Yahoo and Google cover major stock markets – go direct to the stock exchange web site Priced – for more detailed analysis – full historical data – stocks no longer traded or merged with another company 20/09/13 28
    • 29. Google Finance 20/09/13 29
    • 30. Yahoo Finance 20/09/13 30
    • 31. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Search free news on the web (e.g. using keywords Detailed information on rumours, deals in progress and completed deals usually priced Mergers and Acquisitions – BvD’s Mergers and Acquisitions Portal – – news, features, summaries and basic deal information are free of charge – free reports reviewing recent activity in M&A – free reports discussing industry sectors where there is increased activity – links into the Zephyr database – full reports on deals are priced. 20/09/13 31
    • 32. Databases for information on smaller companies Confirm contact details using telephone directories – BvD Mint Free Directory search – – only basic contact details free of charge, additional information priced Directories such as – Applegate – Europages – solusource – Kompass 20/09/13 32
    • 33. Statistics and industry data Free – government statistics – industry overviews – executive summaries – press releases – trade press - possibly Priced for – industry specific market shares – named companies – brand names – detailed rankings When carrying out research often have to use data from different sources 20/09/13 33
    • 34. Think file format – PDF for research documents, government reports, industry papers – ppt or pptx for presentations, tracking down an expert on a topic – xls or xlsx for spreadsheets containing data Use the advanced search screen or the filetype: command UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:pdf UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:ppt UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:pptx UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:xls UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:xlsx 20/09/13 34
    • 35. Using Google site: site: to search within a site or type of site housing regeneration swansea housing regeneration swansea Also Can exclude sites using -site: housing regeneration swansea organ donation statistics wales -site:au Does NOT search inside databases or protected areas 20/09/13 35
    • 36. Statistics and industry data Google Numeric range search – can be weights, distances, years, prices – use Advanced Search screen – or the search box on the Google home page – search term(s) first value..second value unit of measurement – examples: • beer per capita consumption uk 2008..2012 • TV advertising spend forecasts 2015..2020 Looking for experts on a topic, presentations, general background on a subject, information on an organisation? – advanced search ppt or pdf format – Slideshare – search within Slideshare or use site: search – biofuels uk public transport 2009..2013 20/09/13 36
    • 37. 20/09/13 37
    • 38. Google Reading level Changes the type of material that is returned Nothing to do with publishers’ assigned reading age Run the search and from the menu above the results select Search tools, All results, Reading level 20/09/13 38
    • 39. Starting points for statistics Statistics Sources – Official Statistics on the Web UK National Statistics Publication Hub Office for National Statistics Welsh Government | Statistics Welsh Assembly Government StatsWales 20/09/13 39
    • 40. More open data but..... Raw data – no pretty layouts or visualisations, you have to do that Data may need weeding and cleaning before it is usable May have to do a LOT of work on the data to get anything sensible out of it To see what you could be letting yourself in for look at Tony Hirst’s blog postings on open data at 20/09/13 40
    • 41. 20/09/13 41
    • 42. Office for National Statistics 20/09/13 42
    • 43. Publication Hub ( is an “index” to what is available and links through to other sites when necessary. ONS ( only shows reports since 2008 even if there are earlier editions. Use the Publication Hub ( to search for the report title/series. Once you have found an edition of the title click on “Current and past editions” to see the list of editions available. Then click on the relevant report. 20/09/13 43
    • 44. Eurostat 20/09/13 44
    • 45. European Union - Open Data Portal EU launches public beta of its open data portal – 20/09/13 45
    • 46. Guardian Data Store 20/09/13 46 Data and analysis on topics that are in the news Some data sets created from information obtained via FoI Links to the original datasets are provided
    • 47. Zanran Searches graphs, charts, tables, PDFs, spreadsheets Can limit by location of server, date, and filetype Title in results list is usually the title or caption to the table and not title of the document Hover over the thumbnail to see a preview of the table or page Click on the URL button next to the result to view the original URL of the document – clicking on it may take you to “page not found” 404 Click on the title of the result to see Zanran’s own copy (free registration usually required Useful if document no longer available at it’s original location and can’t be found in any of the web archives 20/09/13 47
    • 48. Zanran Zanran – great for data in tables, charts and graphs 20/09/13 48
    • 49. Google Public Data Explorer One of Google's best kept secrets! 20/09/13 49
    • 50. ReportLinker Searches public and private reports and data Some information displayed free of charge To download or view the public reports there is a charge – £49 for a one day access – £69 for monthly access (recurring charge unless you cancel it) 20/09/13 50
    • 51. Statista “The Statistics Portal for Market Data, Market Research and Market Studies” – 60,000 topics from over 18,000 sources – – some information free, registration (free) required – Chart of the Day 20/09/13 51
    • 52. Datamarket Open portal to datasets worldwide and market research Creates visualisations of the data 20/09/13 52
    • 53. Finding market research - aggregators Pull together reports from many publishers and make them searchable through a single interface Can purchase reports through the one service Aggregators may not be comprehensive – publishers may embargo reports for weeks or months – publishers may withhold some reports from aggregators – check the publisher’s own web site or email them to see if there is additional or more recent research available – may get a better deal by going to the publisher direct – use aggregators as an index to see who is publishing on your topic 20/09/13 53
    • 54. Examples of aggregators Alacrastore – ISI Emerging Markets – – Profound - Market Intelligence – Report Buyer – Research and Markets – 20/09/13 54
    • 55. News Most newspapers and magazines are on the web Free services – may not be complete publication – may not have archives – search facilities may be limited – print stories one by one Many news and trade press titles are free but some are priced Official company press releases Stock exchange listed companies – major news, developments and changes affecting their operations have to be reported to shareholders via the stock exchange announcements for example UK Regulatory News Service – Various sources e.g. FE InvestEgate | Company Announcements 20/09/13 55
    • 56. News For tracking down individual newspapers – – Google News – advanced search options limited and not always reliable – no source list and sources frequently change – key industry publications may not be included and definitely not included if subscription – older and Archive News may be priced Use Google news and web search to identify specialist news portals or aggregators for your subject and monitor those direct 20/09/13 56
    • 57. Google News 20/09/13 57 Can personalise news content when signed in to a Google account. Hidden underneath the cog wheel on the news home page. Change your location (automatically identified by Google), topics covered, sources and frequency of articles from sources.
    • 58. Google News 20/09/13 58 Can limit results to a time period. Time options don’t always work in the ‘Archives’ Older material may be priced Can create email and RSS alerts for a search but unreliable
    • 59. Creating a Google news RSS alert 20/09/13 59 Has Google dumped RSS alerts or not? alerts-or-not/
    • 60. Priced services The Times and Sunday Times – Financial Times (priced for full access) – LexisNexis – – subscription service, prices on application Factiva – – subscription service, prices on application – also a pay as you go option 20/09/13 60
    • 61. Google Video 20/09/13 61 Not the same as Youtube Google Video YouTube
    • 62. ☂ 20/09/13 62
    • 63. Blogs and Twitter Many experts, academics, researchers, industry gurus have active blogs Great way to tap into expert knowledge especially with new and innovative technologies and industries Essential for competitive intelligence and reputation monitoring Twitter up to the minute but skewed view of what is happening Blogs – or use click on More in the menu above your results and then Blogs 20/09/13 63
    • 64. Social media & professional networks 20/09/13 64
    • 65. 20/09/13 65
    • 66. 20 September 2013 Karen Blakeman 66
    • 67. UK Government Web Archive | The National Archives Browse by category or choose your organisation from an A-Z list Choose the date of the archived version of the website you want to view 20/09/13 67
    • 68. UK Government Web Archive | The National Archives 20/09/13 68
    • 69. 20/09/13 69
    • 70. Wayback Machine 20/09/13 70
    • 71. Free alerting services Google email and RSS alerts are broken – do not alert you to everything that is new – alerts sometimes ‘die’ – often bring up old material that you’ve already seen – duplicate information Email alerts becoming a rarity RSS feeds on news sites often all or nothing Need an RSS reader e.g. Netvibes, Feedly, FeedReader – Phil Bradley's weblog: 20 Alternatives to Google Reader – -alternatives-to-google-reader.html 20/09/13 71
    • 72. My own RSS reader – RSSOwl (desktop only) 20/09/13 72
    • 73. - create your own newspaper 20/09/13 73
    • 74. – keyword Biofuels 20/09/13 74
    • 75. 20/09/13 75
    • 76. Keeping up to date Inside Search Official Google Blog SearchReSearch : Search Engine Land Search Engine Watch Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting Karen Blakeman’s Blog Phil Bradley's weblog 20/09/13 76