Skip to main content
Golden Gate University Logo

Company Research: SWOT Analysis

This guide lists recommended databases and websites to use for company research including resources that provide information on company financials, overviews, articles, SWOT analyses, ratios, organization charts and historical company data.

SWOT Analysis and Alternatives

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

SWOT analysis is a means of evaluating the internal and external factors that impact an organization in order to formulate business strategy. The technique takes its name from the four elements it evaluates: (1) the company's strengths, (2) its weaknesses, (3) the opportunities in its competitive environment, and (4) the threats in its competitive environment. SWOT analysis was developed by Kenneth R. Andrews (1916–2005) in the early 1970s, and it continues to be used with only minor modification and development into the twenty-first century.


Find a SWOT analysis on your company using these recommended library databases:

What do I do if there isn't a published SWOT analysis for my company?

You might not find a SWOT analysis for your company. But there are other options. An annual report on Form 10-K filed for a publicly traded company at the Security and Exchange Commission contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that involve risks and uncertainties.

Of course, you can search for articles in our journal databases for information on each of the 4 aspects of the SWOT. You may want to consult a librarian for suggestions on specific search strategies to find such articles.

There are some alternatives besides a SWOT for strategic analysis. You can read about SCORE, NOISE and SOAR here:

Alternatives to SWOT Analysis

Going beyond SWOT analysis

Also PESTEL analysis or PESTLE analysis (formerly: PEST analysis) stands for: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal.  There are also some other variations. It is a strategic business planning tool used to identify the macro (external) forces facing an organization. They will not be found as a feature in our databases like SWOT, but the concepts can be searched in the journal article databases. Try using this template as a basis for searching for articles.