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Placement Students: Finding information for your assessment

You can find out the research databases available to you by viewing the subject LibGuides.  Each LibGuide lists the databases that provide academic and commercial literature.



You can use the databases to help you 

  • target employers for a placement.  
  • increase your awareness of different companies and demonstrate that you understood the culture of an organisation. 
  • Consumer choices and beliefs.
  • Spending habits.
  • Profits generated in certain industries.
  • Major competitors, companies and brands in an industry.
  • many more.....


The research will show an employer that you are motivated and committed and understand how and why you fit into their organisation.


Commercial Awareness:  Company Financial Analysis

These resources provide contact details, profit and loss, balance sheets, ratios, equities, market indices, bonds, foreign exchange, interest rates, commodities and derivatives, and news and many other company and financial details.

Commercial Awareness: Industry and Market Reports

Business Source Complete includes market reports and industry analysis from the following providers

  • Acquisdata
  • Barnes Reports
  • IHs Markit
  • Marketline

There are two ways to search for market reports

1. You can use the Browse feature on the right hand side of the screen and choose Market Reports.  Then search or browse the list.



2. You can type in your industry in to the search box and scroll down the screen to limit the search by Publication Type.  I recommend choosing Industry Profile and Market Report


IBISworld Industry Reports are comprehensive yet easy to digest reports on hundreds of UK and Irish industries. Each report consists of key statistics and analysis on market characteristics, operating conditions, current and historical performance, major industry participants and more. You can download a full list of report titles.

There are also

  • Risk Rating Reports
  • Business Environment Profiles
  • iExpert Summaries


IBISWorld is excellent for pulling together information based around Porter's Five Forces





Passport is is a global market research database providing insight on industries, economies and consumers worldwide, helping you to analyse market context and identify future trends impacting businesses globally.

Use Passport when you are looking for:

  • Market shares by brand for specific consumer products
  • Demographics at the country level
  • Various governmental data, including levels of government spending on things like defense, corruption levels, infrastructure data, etc.
  • Economic and resource data.
  • Consumer lifestyle data, such as how frequently people shop, eat, drink out, etc.
  • Company profiles, particularly for large and/or international firms
  • and so much more


Proquest provide access to market reports from the following publishers

  • Business Monitor International (BMI) Reports
  • First Research
  • Just-Series Market Research Reports

Search for Document Types "Industry Report", "Market Report" and "Market Research" in the Advanced Search option.

Legal Requirements


Aston University Library have signed a licence agreement with each of the databases. The licence agreement allows you to search and re-use the content within the databases for an academic assignment or project but not a piece of research requested by your employer for use by the company.