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Business Information; key resources and search strategies [Edited]


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Edited highlights from Business Information - jky resources and search strategies. Held in London, 8th March 2016

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Business Information; key resources and search strategies [Edited]

  1. 1. Business Information: key web resources and search strategies TFPL, London, 8th March 2016 – EDITED VERSION Facilitator: Karen Blakeman RBA Information Services
  2. 2. Key issues in business information and search EU “right to be forgotten” More government information and documents supposedly being moved to - increasing amount of information going missing More official data being made available as open data including Companies House - possible quality and accessibility issues More free become subscription or PAYG, services acquired by other companies or closing Google knows best! - major changes to how it analyses and runs your search - rewriting your search is standard - results increasingly device dependent 09/03/2016
  3. 3. Information is NOT removed from the web, only the link to information in the search results Not automatic – subject has to apply to have links that point to specific information about themselves removed from the results Request is assessed to see if the information is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” Applies to all search engines, not just Google Initially only searches conducted in the EU + Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein but other countries/regions (Japan, Canada, Russia) introducing legislation 09/03/2016 3 “Right to be forgotten”
  4. 4. “Right to be forgotten” Google Agrees To Complicated Worldwide "Right To Be Forgotten" Censorship Plan 243938 Example: someone in Germany has a link to information about them removed from search results. For those searching for that person: – Listing censored for those in Germany, using ANY version of Google – Listing censored for those in the EU, using a European version of Google – Listing NOT censored for those outside Germany but within the EU, using non-European versions of Google – Listing NOT censored for those outside the EU, using ANY version of Google 09/03/2016 4
  5. 5. “Right to be forgotten” - implications for the searcher Use proxy servers, VPNs or search tools such as Startpage to mask your geographical location – but won’t work if/when links are removed globally Remember, the information on the person is still on the web but links to it may not appear in your search results Need to be aware of sources that could contain the information – Newspapers – Company directories/registers for directorship information – Insolvency databases – People databases/networks – for example LinkedIn, Researchgate – Social media – Twitter, Google+, Facebook 09/03/2016 5
  6. 6. 09/03/2016 6
  7. 7. UK Parliament 09/03/2016 7
  8. 8. Monitoring progress of legislation 09/03/2016 8
  9. 9. Welsh Government 09/03/2016 9
  10. 10. 09/03/2016 10
  11. 11. The Scottish Government 09/03/2016 11
  12. 12. The Northern Ireland Assembly 09/03/2016 12
  13. 13. 09/03/2016 13
  14. 14. Launched in 2010 Not all legislation has been updated Pending updates are flagged 09/03/2016 14
  15. 15. Wayback Machine 09/03/2016 15
  16. 16. They work for you 09/03/2016 16
  17. 17. WhatDoTheyKnow - Freedom of Information (FOI) requests 09/03/2016 17
  18. 18. Business information - general starting points Business Sources (RBA Information Services) Business Advice | Business Resources British Library Business & IP Centre in London Industry guides guides/industry.html BL - Business Essentials on the Web Library & Information Service ICAEW (some information restricted to members) SCOTBIS (Scottish Business Information Service) Buslib-L – discussion list for business librarians and researchers – (login required) – FAQs at 09/03/2016 18
  19. 19. Company Information 09/03/2016 19
  20. 20. Legal Forms & Company Extensions A Guide to Legal Forms for Social Enterprise -1400-guide-legal-forms-for-social-enterprise.pdf [Some details out of date] A Guide to Legal Forms for Business -1399-guide-legal-forms-for-business.pdf [some details out of date] - Company Extensions and Security Identifiers [does not appear to be updated] Types of business entity Company Formation Survey Doing Business - Measuring Business Regulations - World Bank Group 09/03/2016 20
  21. 21. UK Companies House – - free documents – Database still at - documents £1 each 09/03/2016 21
  22. 22. UK Companies House Service offering all data free of charge at 09/03/2016 22
  23. 23. 09/03/2016 23 Companies House History
  24. 24. Companies House daily bulk data files Bulk data – all or nothing Large daily files available as zipped files No support provided – you’re on your own! 09/03/2016 24
  25. 25. Companies House free bulk data 09/03/2016 25 Each file within the zipped file is a separate document. Note the uninformative file names!
  26. 26. Company Check – Hotel Chocolat 09/03/2016 26
  27. 27. Company Check – Hotel Chocolat 09/03/2016 27
  28. 28. Company Check – Hotel Chocolat 09/03/2016 28
  29. 29. Company Check - directors 09/03/2016 29
  30. 30. Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies regulator-of-community-interest-companies 09/03/2016 30
  31. 31. Mutual societies - Financial Conduct Authority 09/03/2016 31
  32. 32. UK Companies Beneficial Ownership Register 09/03/2016 32 Public register of UK companies' beneficial owners due to begin in June 2016 companies-beneficial-owners-due-to-begin-in-june-2016/
  33. 33. Charity Commission – does not include Scotland 09/03/2016 33 erhomepage.aspx
  34. 34. The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland 09/03/2016 34
  35. 35. OSCR Scottish Charity Regulator 09/03/2016 35 Scotland's charity regulator (OSCR) plans to publish charity accounts plans-publish-charity-accounts/
  36. 36. VAT number validation and EU VAT rates 09/03/2016 36 VAT number validation VIES EU VAT rates - essential if a seller is subject to the new VAT MOSS rules at/how_vat_works/rates/vat_rates_en.pdf
  37. 37. The Gazette | Official Public Record 09/03/2016 37
  38. 38. OpenCorporates 09/03/2016 38
  39. 39. OpenCorporates 09/03/2016 39
  40. 40. European Business Register Gateway to official company information in 27 European countries (24 online) Different suppliers depending on country UK supplier is Kompany 09/03/2016 40
  41. 41. kompany Covers Europe, US, Canada, Russia, Australia Official registry information plus credit reports 09/03/2016 41
  42. 42. Legalinx 7side Priced service UK companies and documents, directors information, insolvency reports Credit reports International registry and documents service – 1 hour registry and documents service company-information – translation service available – have agents "on the ground", can quickly tell you what is available in that country and what may not be available 09/03/2016 42
  43. 43. PrivCo Private Company Financial Intelligence Subscription service, also single report purchase ($199) 09/03/2016 43
  44. 44. Company information – some additional priced services Bureau van Dijk (BvD) CRO Info - Dun and Bradstreet Experian UK Factiva LexisNexis Perfect Information - Thomson Reuters - 09/03/2016 44
  45. 45. 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.” 09/03/2016 45
  46. 46. Google street view Can be useful for assessing location of a business, but remember images may be out of date, no indication of day of the week, time of day 09/03/2016 46
  47. 47. 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 09/03/2016 47
  48. 48. Share prices Yahoo Finance (major stock markets only) – Google finance (US, UK, Canada, some European stock markets, Australia, Hong Kong, China) – – – Markets, Equities section Priced services – Reuters, Thomson Reuters DataStream, Bloomberg 09/03/2016 48
  49. 49. Yahoo Finance 09/03/2016 49
  50. 50. Google Finance 09/03/2016 50
  51. 51. What you need to know about Google 09/03/2016 51
  52. 52. Google now using artificial intelligence as part of search - RankBrain Tries to make “sense” of your search and put it into context, natural language queries, uses what others have searched and clicked Constantly changing – all bets are off when it comes to predicting what your results will look like How you ask your question is taken into account, device you are using is taken into account Personalises results Providing Quick Answers and “facts”, extracts from websites giving you the “answer” 5217/03/2015
  53. 53. Google now tells you which terms it has ignored (some of the time) “..” around terms, phrases, names, titles of documents does not always work To force an exact match and inclusion of a term in a search prefix it with ‘intext:’ intext:agricultural occupational asthma Use Verbatim for an exact match search 09/03/2016 Google rewrites your search
  54. 54. Google – missing terms 09/03/2016 54
  55. 55. Google – using intext: 09/03/2016 55
  56. 56. Google Verbatim 09/03/2016
  57. 57. 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 regulations filetype:pdf UK waste vegetable oil energy generation regulations filetype:ppt UK waste vegetable oil energy generation regulations filetype:pptx UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:xls UK waste vegetable oil energy generation filetype:xlsx 09/03/2016 57
  58. 58. Google site: site: to search within a site or type of site waste vegetable oil energy generation waste vegetable oil energy generation waste vegetable oil energy generation waste vegetable oil energy generation Can exclude sites using -site: agricultural occupational asthma UK – Does NOT search inside databases or protected areas Can combine with filetype: waste vegetable oil energy generation site:wales filetype:pdf 09/03/2016 58
  59. 59. Date Restrict your results to information that has been published within the last hour, day, week, month, year or your own date range Search tools, Any time and select an option 09/03/2016 59
  60. 60. More Google commands Numeric range search Anything to do with numbers and quantities: years, temperatures, weights, distances, prices etc Type in your two numbers separated by two full stops as part of your search. Can include a unit of measurement. top 50..100 petroleum companies market capitalisation UK alzheimer’s forecast 2020..2030 toblerone 1..5 kg 09/03/2016 60
  61. 61. Statistics, Industry and Market Data 09/03/2016 61
  62. 62. British Library Business & IP Centre in London Industry guides 09/03/2016 62 PDFs Number of sectors covered Resources include publications and databases at the BL but also freely accessible websites
  63. 63. 09/03/2016 63
  64. 64. Google Public Data Explorer One of Google's best kept secrets! Public data sets made available by Eurostat, World Bank, IMF, CSO Ireland, OECD, ITU, some national statistics offices (but not ONS), and many more. Source and date updated given. Charts and charting options can highlight oddities and missing data Look at the charts to see if there is a sudden change in the trends. 09/03/2016 64
  65. 65. 09/03/2016 65 UK National Statistics
  66. 66. 09/03/2016 66 Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  67. 67. StatsWales 09/03/2016 67
  68. 68. 09/03/2016 68
  69. 69. European Union - Open Data Portal http://open- 09/03/2016 69
  70. 70. 09/03/2016 70 Quandl Financial and Economic Data
  71. 71. Zanran Zanran – great for data in tables, charts and graphs tables-charts-and-graphs/ 09/03/2016 71
  72. 72. 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 09/03/2016 72
  73. 73. ReportLinker Searches free and priced 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) 09/03/2016 73
  74. 74. 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 09/03/2016 74
  75. 75. Examples of market research aggregators Alacrastore – – Report Buyer – Research and Markets – Profound - Market Intelligence – 09/03/2016 75
  76. 76. News, Social Media, Professional Networks 09/03/2016 76
  77. 77. Free news For tracking down individual newspapers – – World Newspaper Directory 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 Use Google news and web search to identify specialist news portals or aggregators for your subject and monitor those direct 09/03/2016 77
  78. 78. Search National UK Newspapers 09/03/2016 78
  79. 79. Examples of priced services The Times £12 for 12 weeks then £6/week. 3 month minimum term FT - Limited number of free articles/month. Subscription starts at £5.35/month The Telegraph Limited number of free articles/month. Subscription starts at £10/month (£100 annually) Factiva Factiva - Dow Jones Nexis | LexisNexis Business Insight Solutions Research - Articles - HighBeam Research $299.95 a year or $29.95 a month 09/03/2016 79
  80. 80. Video – Google video vs YouTube 09/03/2016 80 Google video not the same as Youtube Google Video YouTube
  81. 81. Bing video 09/03/2016 81
  82. 82. Social and professional networks 09/03/2016 82
  83. 83. 09/03/2016 83
  84. 84. 09/03/2016 84
  85. 85. 09/03/2016 85
  86. 86. 09/03/2016 86
  87. 87. Facebook - Search is Back! 09/03/2016 87
  88. 88. Social Searcher 09/03/2016 88
  89. 89. Social Searcher - analytics 09/03/2016 89
  90. 90. 09/03/2016 90 Meltwater Icerocket blogs trend tool
  91. 91. Boardreader - Forum Search Engine 09/03/2016 91
  92. 92. Twitter Search Advanced Twitter search - 09/03/2016 92
  93. 93. Use advanced Twitter search commands 09/03/2016 93 See also the free guide on Searching Twitter at earch.shtml
  94. 94. Evaluating the information you find – CRAAP test content/uploads/2015/10/evaluating_info_new1_20-1-16.pdf Currency - When was it published, updated? Is up to date information important? Relevance - Does it fit in with the needs of your project Authority - Who has published the information – individual/organisation? Do you trust them? What else have they written? Further information about them? Who is behind the website? Accuracy - Is the information correct? Check with an independent source (may notbe easy or even possible) Purpose - Why does the page/site exist? Activist site? Selling a product/service? Revenue from advertising? 09/03/2016 94
  95. 95. Domain names Type of web site for example: –,, .gov, .edu Domain name, who owns it, type of organisation Blogs not always identifiable by URL e.g., Domain names cheap and easy to apply to a blog Do some research on “experts” to see what else they have written and where., LinkedIn, Slideshare 09/03/2016 95
  96. 96. Domaintools check on 09/03/2016 96
  97. 97. Fake pages/sites, hoaxes, scams 09/03/2016 97 Latest Email and Social Media Hoaxes - Current Internet Scams - Hoax-Slayer The Museum of Hoaxes Snopes - Rumour has it Snopes Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors Phil Bradley's weblog: Fake Facebook page - amazing example -facebook-page-amazing-example.html
  98. 98. Snake oil, retracted, how to create a hoax Identify hoaxes via debunking sites or include fake, hoax or scam in your search strategy Retraction Watch - Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific An example of a “demonstration” hoax: I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How. weight-1707251800 09/03/2016 98
  99. 99. And finally..... Per capita consumption of cheese (US) correlates with Number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets 9917/03/2015