SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis


Outline

SWOT Analysis consists of analyzing a company or industry based on four criterion. These are as follows:
  • Strengths- characteristics of the business or company that give it an advantage over others in the industry.
  • Weaknesses -are characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to others
  • Opportunities -external chances to make greater sales, profits or achieve greater market share or dominance given the environment.
  • Threats -external elements in the environment that could cause problems for the company or business.
For more detailed instruction on how and why you should use SWOT Analysis please look at the following:

SWOT Analysis-Strategy Tools from MindTools.com
QuickMBA SWOT Analyis
Wikipedia Article on SWOT Analyis

Sources to Help Write a SWOT Analysis

Databases: These will help you to find articles on companies, industries and products. In addition many have special features which are described below.

Business Source Premier (Original Interface) -on top of page, choose Company Profiles. There are reports published by Datamonitor which have SWOT analysis. If you do not find your company, find a company that is in the same industry, as the Opportunities and Threats sections of the analysis should be helpful as these are external and more generic to the industry as a whole. You may also want to look at the Industry Profiles (arranged by industry and then by geographic region/country)

Business Source Premier (Special Business Interface) -same as above.

Business Insights: Essentials -go to Search and type in Company name or ticker symbol. The menu will have a link to the latest SWOT analysis if one is available.

Morningstar.com -often there are reports written by analysts who cover the company which are fairly in-depth which might provide further insight.

LexisNexis Academic Search under Get Company Info, Company Dossier, Search for your company by name or ticker symbol (then under Current News or In the News). .

ABI/INFORM Complete
Search all three ABI/Inform databases together here or search one at a time below. ABI/INFORM Complete provides current and historic abstracts and many full-text articles from over 2,800 business and management journals, including hundreds of titles from outside the U.S. The database covers finance, management, marketing, operations, accounting, business conditions, sports and business, entertainment, and case studies.

Print Sources:

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys REF HC106.6 S74 . These are published quarterly and give good overviews on broad industries including information on economic and regulatory issues and their effects.

Company Documents, Conference Calls & Transcripts

EDGAR Database (Securities and Exchange Commission) -be sure to look at the company's 10-k  and 10-q documents especially the section titled "Management Discussion and Analysis"

Seeking Alpha
Corporate Earnings call transcripts. These are the transcripts from quarterly and yearly earnings announcements are done by corporate officers to various finanical analysts.

Company Websites will usually include a section entitled, Investor Relations. This will include financial documents, presentations and webcasts, news, etc.

Indusry Associations -either consult Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources REF DESK 5353 E52
Lists a wide variety of sources with descriptions to help research a wide variety of business topics especially industries. Lists associations, databases, research centers, statistical sources, etc. or use Google to Find an association related to the industry your company or product is in. Often industry associations will talk about the external factors such as the economy or regulation that effect them and their members. You might also go to Business Insights: Essentials , choose Advanced Search, from the drop-down menu, choose Associations and search by text.