Finding Company and Industry Information

This guide is designed to help you find company and industry information required for your assessment.

When researching a company, it is important to know what type of company it is.

  • Public companies sell stock to shareholders. These are the easiest to research because they are generally required to provide detailed information on a quarterly basis and must also issue annual reports.

  • Subsidiaries of public companies can be difficult to research because the parent company is not required to report on each of them individually.

  • Private companies are privately owned by an individual or a group, and are are not listed on the stock exchange. They are not required to release any information about themselves and are therefore more challenging to research.

  • Non-profit organisations can fall into a number of categories including associations and not-for-profit unlisted public companies.

  • Government bodies including boards, committees and statutory authorities are set up by the government to perform specific functions, e.g. the Board of the Queensland College of Teachers is responsible for overseeing registrations and professional standards for school teachers in Queensland. IBISWorld has company profiles for Australian government bodies.

It is easier to find information about public companies than about private companies. When looking for information about a company, consider both information from the company itself as well as information about the company written by others.

Finding information about a company includes the following steps:

  • Find out if it’s a private or public company so you will know what kind of information you can expect to find and where to look.
  • Look for the company website to find basic information about who they are and what they do. This is one place to look for annual reports with an overview of the year’s activities including and overview of their financial performance.
  • Look at the company’s social media channels to see how they are promoting themselves and how they are interacting with the public.
  • Look for news, articles in trade journals and magazines for information about the company and the industry.
  • Find out about its main competitors to get an idea of the business environment they are all operating in and where your target company sits relative to the others.

CQUniversity Library provides access to a range of databases which contain company profiles and other types of information about markets, industries and companies. These profiles can include market performance and forecasts, industries and company contact details, and detailed SWOT analyses.

An important source of information about a company can be their own website. Many companies provide access to their latest annual report (sometimes previous reports) and financial statements.

Company websites are also a good source for the latest information about a company. You can find Company Profiles, Annual Reports & Financial Statements for information in websites.

News sources provide a wealth of company information about company news and developments such as mergers and acquisitions. These are some of the places you can look:

  • Library databases for newspapers, newswires and other sources
  • Websites dedicated to news
  • The company's social media sites


Library Databases for News Sources :