Magazine article Information Today

Thomson's West Group Recasts and Expands Business News Service as Westnews

Magazine article Information Today

Thomson's West Group Recasts and Expands Business News Service as Westnews

Article excerpt

West Group (, a division of Thomson Corp. (, has gathered up the sources already in its Westlaw News and Business service, added some new data sources, redesigned the interface, and retitled the service Westnews. Competing with the NEXIS side of West's traditional foe, LEXIS-NEXIS, Westnews draws on an array of sources gatewayed from DIALOG and from Factiva's Dow Jones Interactive. With the acquisition of Dialog Corp. by Thomson, one should expect to see new sources on Westnews go into the DIALOG database as well. West has primarily targeted the service toward legal researchers who need business and news information, such as those working in corporate legal departments.

One major new data source and two new features designed for intranets have been added. The West Company Profile database (CO-PROFILE), created by sister company Gale Group, contains over 310,000 company background profiles with news and data on corporate executives, key products, financial statistics, etc., for public and, in particular, privately held companies. CO-PROFILE carries the following 12 categories of information:

* Cover page of the company's directory information including name, address, URL, telephone number, industry classification, year founded, employee base, structure, and annual sales information

* Divisions and subsidiaries

* Key people

* A full list of the company's product line, branding, and strategy

* News culled from 2,500 newspapers, periodicals, and trade press over the last 5 years

* Industry overview with a narrative on market value, volume, competitive analysis, and forecasts

* Company overview with variant names, the company's ranking in "top lists," a historical sales summary for private companies, and a stock overview for public companies

* Financial-performance income statements and balance-sheet summaries from SEC filings on public companies only

* Corporate chronologies for 1,500 of the top international companies

* Financial-statement analysis on sales and earnings information for public companies and general financial condition

* Wall Street Views with summaries of recent investment-analyst reports and recommendations

* Industry group comparison of the top 20 companies in each industry, including market share and profitability

The Westnews interface supplies a template into which users can enter company name, ticker symbol, address (city, state, country, and ZIP code), and SIC or NAICS code. The database also carries more than 67 million public and private company reports from Dun & Bradstreet.

Westnews also easily identifies 32 databases using the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the industrial categorization code that is replacing the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. NAICS-indexed files contain articles from newspapers; newsletters; trade press; and inside-industry databases covering accounting, advanced technology, advertising and marketing, agriculture, transportation, building materials, chemicals and plastics, communications, computers, construction, electronics, engineering and design, entertainment and recreation, finance and insurance, foods, beverages and tobacco, furniture and home and office products, healthcare, information industries, legal services, machinery, metals, mining and drilling, paper and packaging, petroleum, printing, real estate, retailers and wholesalers, textiles and apparel, utilities, and consulting. …

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