Why create a company list?
You might already have a good idea of the top five companies in your industry, but it can be useful to expand that list to firms you might not have top of mind. Using these databases, you will be able to create a custom list using filters such as target location, industry, revenue, and much more.
What can you learn from a company profile?
When you're preparing for an interview or researching a company for a class project, taking a look at company profiles can often give you a broader understanding of a company's history, operations, competitive landscape and strategic priorities. Remember, it is far easier to locate information on public companies (see Private versus Public Companies box), so even when you do locate a profile on a private company, its content will likely be limited.
Both Foundation Directory and Guidestar (listed below) are excellent sources for non-profit research.
You can use them in tandem by considering the following: