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In this guide you will learn what a SWOT Analysis is, find a list of databases that provide information needed to conduct one, and additional online resources to help with this type of research project.
Conducting a SWOT Analysis is when you analyze a company or industry based on four criterion. They are as follows:
Strengths - Advantages and other characteristics that a business or company has other others in the industry.
Weaknesses - These are disadvantageous characteristics that the business or company must overcome.
Opportunities - External chances to increase sales, profits or achieve greater market share in a given environment.
Threats - Aspects of the external environment that may become problematic for the company or business.
SWOT Analysis Example
Below is an example from the University of Arizona Global Campus of a SWOT analysis for a small business that provides tutoring support, and who would like to expand the number of universities that they work with.
Team consists of qualified professionals who are trained to provide effective feedback to students.
The team is small, with only 15 employees, which means they are close-knit and rely on each other when needed.
Only 2 employees have an advanced degree, which limits the opportunities to support students who may be pursuing a graduate degree.
Having a small team can at-times make workloads difficult to manage.
Many university students need additional help with writing, yet many schools do not provide this specific support.
The increase in online programs allows our company to provide support outside of our small geographic area.
There are several tutoring companies that could expand to provide writing support.
Due to federal funding issues, universities may not be able to invest in this kind of support.
Finding SWOT Analyses in Library Databases
We have two primary databases that provide access to SWOT Analyses. Business Insights: Essentials and Business Source Elite. Keep in mind that there will not be a SWOT Analysis available for every single company, so if you have an assignment where you need to conduct a SWOT Analysis you may want to select a company for which one is available.
The other databases found in this section provide information that can be used to create your own SWOT Analsysis. Information that may be found includes a list of top competitors, industry analyses, and company financials and reports.
Once in the database, click on 'SWOT Reports' found in the 'Companies' drop-down menu. These reports provide analysis of hundreds of global companies.
Contains investment research reports, SWOT reports, company profiles, market research reports, industry research reports, company histories, key competitors, and full-text articles from journals and news reports.
Once in the database, click on 'Company Profiles' along the top of the page. There are MarketLine Reports on a large number of companies, many of these reports contain a SWOT Analysis. If they do not, the reports still contain a lot of information that can be used to create one.
Specific companies can be searched for and found in this database. There is A LOT of information that is available here, so once you've narrowed down to a company be sure to click through all the tabs and collect all of the information needed.
Search for a company in order to go to their company dashboard. There is A LOT of information in here but pay attention to the Peers, Industry Analysis, Business Overview, and Value Line PDF Reports boxes. In particular, the Value Line Reports are very detailed and contain a lot of the information needed for a SWOT Analysis.