Whether you’re a high-ranking CEO, an analyst, or any role in between, you need to keep track of certain companies. All you need is a consistent source of news and information on these companies that’s updated throughout the year. Sounds simple enough, right?
Unfortunately, tracking companies and conducting market research is more complicated than it should be. Receiving important company news and events while filtering out the noise is difficult to do, and finding an accurate source of company information is more painstaking still.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Following a few simple tips can save you time and help you discover high-value information.
Here are a few (free!) tools and tips for productive company research:
Avoid the Noise: Don’t Go It Alone
Our first piece of advice: manually tracking companies is a time-intensive and unsustainable way to conduct market research. While you’ll likely be able to find the information you need, you’ll just have repeat the process every time you do research.
Plenty of free tools exist on the web to aid your search.
- One well-known tool is Google Alerts:
- Google Alerts will email you whenever your chosen keyword – in this case, a company or CEO’s name – shows up in the news.
- Pros: Easy to set up, low-maintenance
- Cons: You’ll often receive noisy results. “Noisy” mean that you’re receiving unrelated information, or “noise,” that distracts you from finding the “signal,” or valuable data, that you want.
- A second free option comes from the government itself:
- Sites like SEC.gov (the Securities and Exchange Commission) contain a treasure trove of company documents.
- Pros: Access valuable filings on important American companies, be they private or public.
- Cons: Overwhelming quantity of information; documents filled with government-speak and legalese, complex system of documentation.
- That’s why there are newer services, like Owler:
- We start by sorting through the piles of information on sites like SEC.gov and collecting news so that you can pinpoint the info you care about.
- Then we filter out the noise so that you’re presented just with the data you care about.
- You receive updates and news whenever an important business event takes place, and gain access to reliable company profiles.
- Result: Time saved, and research-induced headaches avoided.
Check Those References!
While there exist a number of databases that provide company information, you should always double-check the statistics that they give.
- Any credible source of business information will provide sources to support its data or will explain how it was found.
- It’s easy to assume data is correct, but a company profile is only as valid as the sources that it sites.
- Check these sources to ensure that the business data you’re looking at is legitimate.
- Result: A quick click will give you ease of mind when you use this information in the report you’re preparing to present to your boss or company.
We do this research so you don’t have to, so don’t get caught with unsupported data!
Make Sure Your Information Is Up To Date – And Updated!
It’s also deceptively easy to find information that seems “current” but is, in reality, months or years old. What happens in cases when you realize that the information you’ve been relying on hasn’t been recently updated?
- Newer companies like Owler have been able to take advantage of tools such as machine-learning algorithms to ensure that data is automatically updated.
- Updates trigger automatic alerts to let you know when a company you’re following has an important event.
- Result: You’ll know when something changes, and can be confident that the company information you’ve found is fresh and up-to-date.
We know you’ve got a lot to do, so get to it! Check out Owler.com for info on the companies you are interested in. Create a free account to stay up-to-date and gain access to well-researched company profiles. Did we mention that it’s free?
Have questions about market research or Owler? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to assist you! Happy researching!