Competitive Intelligence Research on the Internet

| Company Profiles | News | Primary Sources |More Information

What is Competitive Intelligence?

"Competitive intelligence (CI) is the process of monitoring the competitive environment. CI enables senior managers in companies of all sizes to make informed decisions about everything from marketing, R&D, and investing tactics to long-term business strategies. Effective CI is a continuous process involving the legal and ethical collection of information, analysis that doesn't avoid unwelcome conclusions, and controlled dissemination of actionable intelligence to decision makers."

Source: Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals

The Point of this web page is not to be an exhaustive list of C.I. resources on the Web. Rather this site should start you off in the right path for researching businesses online. Many of the tools and tricks used in Web research are borrowed from the same places we research in paper sources. Added to the traditional methods, dynamic speed and an open market atmosphere, the Web makes a great place for competitive intelligence research.

Company Profiles

Locating information about a company on the WWW can be as simple as inserting the name of the company into the "companyname" slot of More, different, and sometimes better information can be obtained through a variety of search engines and specialty Internet business sources.

Fuld Business Intelligence company has put together an excellent resource for industry searching.

Internet Intelligence Index

Yahoo! allows you to search it's immense Business_and_Economy database for Company information. Type the company name you are looking for in the search box, and check off "Search Only in Companies" button underneath.

"EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its primary purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency."


Hoovers, the ultimate source for company information. You can search by company name, keyword or ticker symbol. "We publish information about more than 12,000 public and private companies worldwide. Our capsules and profiles are the most engagingly written, accurate, and informative information about companies you'll find on the Web. Hoover's Company Capsules are a free source of basic information and useful links for all the companies we cover. Hoover's Company Profiles offer in-depth information on 2,700 companies. They cover each company's strategy, history, products and services, competitors, and financial performance."

Hoover's Online


To really dig for information on a company it's important to cover all the angles. Researching newspapers for current and historical articles on a business can turn up real gems. An important factor to remember in researching news sources is to check national papers such as the New York Times, as well as regional sources, Bergen Record (NJ paper). This allows you to understand what the big news is, and what the local feel for the company has been. Also, a company will advertise heavily for new employment positions in their area. Employment ads will specify what the perspective employees need to know to be hired. Those specifications will tell the researcher which direction the company is heading, where they are developing, and what equipment they are buying!

Infoseek an incredible database which will search the following multiple news wires and newspapers simultaneously.

News Wires

National News Sources follow NEWS

Primary Sources

Primary sources are the experts in any profession. It's impossible to be knowledgeable in all fields. If you don't know the industry you are researching find out who is an expert. Experts are conference speakers, patent holders, former employees, technical recruiters, authors, reporters, and discussion lists.


Event Source lists trade shows, conventions, conferences and seminars Internationally. You can specify your search by trade, country, date and location.

Event Source


IBM Patent Server. With this World Wide Web server, IBM lets you access over 26 years of U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) patent descriptions as well as the last 23 years of images.

IBM Patents Server

United States Patent and Trademark Office is also available on the Web.


Listservs, Mailing Lists and News groups

Listservs and Mailing Lists are subscriber based forums which allow you to join and participate. These groups are focused on a particular topic which is of interest to the constituents. Entering a group to learn about an industry, company, or product news can be extremely helpful in finding out who the key players are. Newsgroups are similar to listservs, except you do not have to join the forum in order to participate. Generally of the two groups listservs and mailing lists are considerably more respectable sources than newsgroups.

Locating Listservs and Mailing Lists

Dejanews is a searchable interface to over 50,000 newsgroup postings. Job postings, comments, insults and queries can be located in DejaNews.

Be sure to choose "Discussions/Power Search

Push Services

Customized news services that deliver to your virtual doorstep the latest news, sports and company information that you specially design for your needs.

"ClariNews includes general, international, sports, technology, entertainment, and financial news -- plus special features and columns, press releases from major companies, and information about the U.S. government."

Pointcast utilizes a unique and free desktop delivery service which allows you to track stock quotes, news, company information, and other assorted national and international interests.

For more information visit:

The Fuld Corporation

Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals

Researching Companies Online Tutorial

Investigator's Toolbox

Created by Cynthia Hetherington, MLS
Monday, April 13, 1998
updated: July 12, 1999
updated: March 20, 2000
Click here for a printable version