• What is competitive intelligence and how can it help you?

    Doing research for an assignment can be very challenging, especially when you do not know where to find the information that you need. The same can be said for companies trying to research their market and competition. In the business world, students have access to databases with information that these other companies have gathered during their research. Using these resources can make doing research much easier to find. However, not everyone knows that they have access to websites and databases like these at Villanova.

    On Monday, December 5th, I attended a workshop on competitive intelligence. Competitive intelligence is the process by which a company gathers information on the market and its competitors. It is an extremely important part of the business process that allows for companies to create a proper business plan for the future. The workshop I attended was directed by Linda Hauck, the business librarian, and she gave us information, tips, and examples on how we can use this research on our own. The research done is published publicly on websites such as IBIS World and Statista, which is available to students who can use these websites to do research on projects or homework. We can use the expensive research done by professionals to support claims in projects or papers. Rather then having to either talk to professionals in the industry or comb through a 10-K form for hours, you can simply use one of these websites to find research on a market or specific company.

    Mrs. Hauck also discusses ways the university has aided students’ research. First, the university pays for services that students can use to research companies. These databases can be expensive to buy on your own, but being able to access them via the university can be very beneficial for students. Using these sources is less expensive then doing primary research, something that students can’t really do. I suggest that any student go ask Mrs. Hauck or any librarian how to access these websites. Whether its for business or for any other class, the library offers ways to research that subject which can help with essays and projects. Even though the workshop has passed, I believe more will be held, but also students can drop by the library and ask questions.

    Some examples of databases that you can use are:

    • Morningstar 
    • Mergent online 
    • NetAdvantage
    • Marketline
    • ValueLine
    • D&B Hoover

    These databases are all available online and have massive amounts of financial information about companies and markets. Some of these databases must be payed for, but Villanova gives you access through Falvey library

     Linda Hauck’s library website

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