Understanding a SWOT Analysis
Look for explanations and examples of SWOT Analysis
and on the internet
Tip: Strengths and weaknesses are often internal to your organization, while opportunities and threats generally relate to external factors. For this reason, SWOT is sometimes called Internal-External Analysis and the SWOT Matrix is sometimes called an IE Matrix.
Find a Company Annual Report or 10-k
- Begin with the company's filings which include the 10K, annual report or Manager's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) - usually found on their web site or by doing a Google search of company name and 10K or annual report.
- If you cannot find the company's filings on their website search SEDAR for Canada and EDGAR for the United States.
Find an Industry or Company Report
- Business Source Complete - Select Industry Profile as your publication type and search.
- Mergent Online - Go to the Industry Analysis tab at the top of the page. Select Biotechnology and North America.
Find Government Information
Do a Google search with country, name of the industry and government. For example: gmo Canada government.
Find a Trade Association
Do a Google search name of industry, association, country. For example:
biotechnology association canada
In the U.S.
Find a Biotech Company
- Top 25 Biotech Companies of 2018
- Fortune Magazine 500’s fastest-growing pharma companies
- Top 10 Biotech companies in the country - Forbes Magazine
- Canada - Biotech Companies
Understand Financial Statements
- IBM, Guide to Financial Statements
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Beginner's Guide to Financial Statements
- Merrill Lynch, The Merrill Lynch Guide to Understanding Financial Reports
- 12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements
How is your company doing?
- Go to Factiva, from Companies/Markets select Company and key in your company name.
Scroll down to Key Financials for quick financial info. Detailed results are available on the left.
- Business Source Complete Indexes, business news magazines and scholarly journals.
- Canadian Business & Current Affairs Provides full text to Canadian business journals and magazines.
- Factiva (Globe and Mail, The Economist and the Wall Street Journal live here)
Trade journals are indexed in Business Source Complete.
Look for titles relevant to your industry or to marketing.
The following business news and magazines are available online through the Library catalogue:
- Canadian Business
- The Economist
- Financial Times (London)
- The Globe and Mail
- National Post (includes the Financial Post)
- Wall Street Journal
From the internet
- Bloomberg News - Use the search function to search Biotechnology or a company name.
Look for a Country Report on Business Source Complete
- Select Country Reports from the menu on the right hand margin
- Key in a country name to the search box
- Look for a Country Profile or Country Review and open the most recent year
Look for data and information that will help you examine and analyze one of two variables:
- Technologies USED by the industry you are analyzing e.g. 3D Printing
- Technologies that are essentially substitutes for the products provided by the industry being analysed e.g. online advertising with Google and Facebook displacing print and other traditional forms of advertising
- 10K Reports or Corporate Disclosure documents to find technologies used by companies within your industry.
- Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) section of a company's 10K will identify threats from other industries.
- Research reports from investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, etc.
- Analyst reports from Bloomberg
- Industry trade magazines and trade associations websites
- Google the industry + country + associations to find trade associations
- Search Business Source Complete for articles published in trade magazines
- Search relevant keywords in the search box in Passport for trends and new products
for example, search 3D printing, drones, etc.
- Articles may also be found in Canadian Businss & Current Affairs, Ei Engineering Village, Factiva and Industry Week
- Economist Intelligence Unit - provides disposal income
- Conference Board of Canada e-Library - browse by topic Economic Trends for forecasting at federal, provincial and municipal levels in Canada.
Includes consumer and business confidence reports
Socio-Cultural Environment & Consumers
- globalEdge - provides information on business culture by country
- Hofstede Centre - provides country based cultural analysis, comparisons and scores.
- search by country
From the top tool bar select
Under Country Reports
> select populaton as the category
>select Canada (or another country)
- Explore the report and also click on View Statistics from menu on left.
Use the drop down menu to add more years.
Select Growth Index under Convert Data, to see the growth rate.
- Census of Population
Counts every man, woman and child in Canada and Canadians and their families working abroad for the federal and provincial government. Takes place every 5 years in years ending in 1 and 6 - 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
To compare censuses from 1981 to 2016 use the Canadian Census Analyser
Canada, United States and Global
Look for current research by keyword in the search box:
- Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2018
- Consumer Health in 2018: Market Overview, Trends and What’s New in Passport November 2017
Or search by specific country:
From the tool bar at the top of the page, select:
Next, under Country Report
Scroll through Table of Contents looking for relevant categories such as:
> top five consumer trends
> healthy and ethical living
> consumer segmentation
Data on consumer confidence
Search the following for polls and information on attitudes:
- globalEdge excellent free site from Michigan State University. Look for the U.S. Commercial Service - Country Commercial Guide... see section dealing with Customs, Regulations & Standards. Below the link to the Country Commercial Guide is a link to the World Bank - Doing Business Indicators
Global (includes Canadian data)
- Business Source Complete Look for a Company Profile or SWOT anaylsis: search for your company name. Scroll down and limit by Company Report or SWOT Analysis.
- Mergent Online Financial data for U.S. and selected global companies.
- Factiva - Mouse over Companies/Markets from menu bar at top of page. Scroll down to find business and geographic segments. Explore the table on contents on the left hand side.
No SWOT for your company - try a competitor. External factors will affect all companies in an industry.
- JUST Capital - provides information and rankings on how large corporations perform on issues that matter most to the public.
- Forbes - The Companies With The Best CSR Reputations In The World
- Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index
- On the advanced search in OMNI select Subject from the drop down menu under Any Field and search for:
- Business report writing
- Report writing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Use the excellent resource OWL - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.
- Expand Subject-Specific Writing to explore:
- HATS - a design procedure for routing business documents
- Research and Citation
- Using Research
- Writing with Statistics
- Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing
- Using Research
- Writing Tutorial Service (WTS)
Citing your sources
It is essential to understand how and when to use citations in your essays and projects to ensure the Academic Integrity of your work. Good help is available! Use the style the professor says to use - it may be different for different classes.
- Research and Citation - Guides to citation styles from OWL.
- Citing Your Sources - Carleton's general guide to resources on all the main styles including video links.
- Citation Guide - prepared by the Harvard Business School
- Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
- The Chicago Manual of Style Online
- Citing Data & Statistics
- Citing Data (Queens's University)
- Library - Research Help Desk - in person or online chat