Top Six Databases for Company Research

By Jo Ann Henson, MLIS

Recently, I gave a presentation to Mason’s MS in Technology Management students about how to compile a better business plan using research from online databases available through the Mason library.

While this was a specific topic, the Mason library has a broad array of online resources that would be valuable for almost any business assignment.

As a follow up to my presentation I want to encourage you to contact me ( at any time. The number of available databases is staggering, but I can swiftly steer you toward those that I think are most informative, depending on the subject matter.

For example, here is one of my favorite resource lists for business students.  It’s my top six databases list for company research.

  • Mergent Online – My first stop for company research! This database has information on public and private companies. Mergent provides full company reports, the ability to view competitors of both private and public companies, and up to 15 years of key financial information. (For private companies click the “D&B Private Company Database” box directly above the search box.) Find your company here and your company research is complete!
  •  Factiva – Search for a company by name, then choose from company results in left panel. Factiva contains company information and data, as well as international business and news coverage from over 9000 sources, all archived from 1984-present. Factiva is also where you can read today’s Wall Street Journal, just click on “News Pages” on the top of the page.  Let me know if you need help with this.
  •  Million Dollar Directory by Dun & Bradstreet – MDDI provides information on both private and public companies and their executives. It includes coverage of all businesses in the U.S. and Canada and business profiles on firms in over 200 countries worldwide. This database will also let you build company lists with geographic and industry criteria. (Try the MSA feature to limit results to Metro DC!)
  • Business Source Complete – Search for companies by name, and then find your company in the results panel to the right of the search results. This is a great source for all types of information on companies, including news, market and trade information, and articles.
  • LexisNexis Academic – To find company information, Choose “Companies” on the right side of the page. Get a snapshot of a company with links to more detailed information. Results may include company information, mergers and acquisitions, news, top executives, SEC filings, legal information, and more.
  • Uniworld Online – This easy to use database includes two multinational business directories, American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries and Foreign Firms Operating in the United States. Search criteria include location to either zip code or postal code level, number of employees, and industry.  Uniworld provides information on headquarters, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates of multinational firms. These directories cover 20,000 industries in over 200 countries.

Accessing these databases is easy. From off-campus, simply enter your Mason ID and password when prompted. If you have difficulty, you can get help troubleshooting off-campus access to e-content at

If you have used the databases mentioned above, I would be interested in your feedback. Also, if you have suggestions for databases that should be added to the list, let me know.

As the business librarian, Jo Ann Henson instructs classes and provides research assistance to students and faculty. She has office hours in Enterprise 008 in the fall on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. You can also contact her by email at

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Mary Crowson

Mary Crowson is a program operations specialist for the Research Partnerships and Grants Initiative within George Mason's School of Business.

Comments (1)

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    Judy Montag


    Thanks for coming and speaking to the TECM class. Great job.


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