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ACC393 Research Skills Guide: Plan

Understanding your task

It is important to break down the requirements of your assessment task before you start searching for information so that you can plan your approach.

At this first stage, you need to work out:

  • what the assessment is asking you to do
  • how you are going to search for answers to the question

The best place to find this information is your Subject Outline. You should carefully read all elements of the assessment information available. If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, ask your lecturer or tutor who will be happy to talk it through with you.

Let's look at a question

Here is a question we can research:

Ten Network Holdings Limited is one of Australia's largest free-to-air television companies. In June 2017, it was announced that the firm would be placed into voluntary administration following a large reported losses.
The firm has struggled to survive the intense competition for advertising revenue given the growth in online advertising and the number of consumers utilising video on demand services like Netflix and Stan. Subsequently, it was announced that US broadcaster CBS would acquire Network Ten from administrators.
Using the Porter's five forces model, provide an overview of Ten Network Holdings' current environment. 
Scroll down to find out how to use the library's databases to research Porter's five forces. 

What information do you need?

You will need a range of company and industry information. This will include:

  • company reports and documentation such as annual reports, strategic planning, competitor information
  • industry and market reports (Identify the industry. You can find the ANZSIC Code here which can be helpful to use for your searches)
  • news sources discussing the industry and companies
  • industry and company data

Try using the library database Connect 4 - Annual Reports to find full-text annual reports for any companies listed on the ASX since 1992.

Where will you find this information?

The table below and the following pages of this guide will help you locate the information you need using a range of library databases and free websites.

Research Strategy for Porter's Five Forces Analysis

This table directs you to our different library databases to analyse the five forces.

Porter's Five Forces

Where do I research? (Which database and within that database - which menus do I use?)

Try it yourself. Look up:

You'll find:

Buyer power

1.IBIS World Industry Report menus:

  • Products & Markets: Major Markets, Demand Determinants
  • Competitive Landscape: Basis of Competition

2.Business Source Complete OR ABI/INFORM Collection OR ANZ Newsstream OR Factiva - use keywords from your Topic Analysis to search news articles and trade publications

3.Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - economic and financial statistics

1.To find Australian industry information, you can use IBIS World Australia Industry Reports. Using this link look for Information Media and Telecommunications and then Free-to-Air Television Broadcasting.

Now use the menu on the left side to navigate the report.

2.On Business Source Complete select Company Information from the top menu. Now Search Ten Network Holdings.


3.On the ABS website, use the Statistics tab then Industry or try searching "television" in the search box.

Now use the menu on the left side to navigate through these pages

1.In IBIS World did you find these relevant sections:

Basis of Competition?

Major Markets?


2.Did you find Company Information: Ten Network Holdings Pty Limited?


3.On the ABS site:

8155.0 - Australian Industry, 2019-20 OR

8679.0 - Film, Television and Digital Games, Australia, 2015-16?

Supplier power

1.IBIS World Industry Report menus:

  • Products & Markets: Supply Chain
  • Major Companies: Major Players
  • Competitive Landscape: Cost Structure Benchmarks

2.Use company's public investor relations webpage to identify suppliers

1.Once again use IBIS World Australia Industry Reports which analyses a broad view of an industry including industry profiles, supply chains, main activities, leading companies, market overviews, consumers, forecasts and much more.

You can use IBIS World to find company information as well, under Company Research look for Ten Network Holdings, or simply search IBIS World in the top right corner.

1.Explore J5621 - Free-to-Air Television Broadcasting using the menu on the left to find industry trends, market share (under Major Companies) and industry data (under Key Statistics).

IBIS World Company Report: Ten Network Holdings Pty Limited

Competitive rivalry

1.D&B Hoovers Company Information:

  • Advanced: Competitors, Closest Industry Peers, Closest Companies
  • Industry Information: Challenges, Trends & Opportunities

2.IBIS World Industry Report menus:

  • Major Players
  • Competitive Landscape: Basis of Competition, Barriers to Entry, Market Share Concentration
  • Operating Conditions: Capital Intensity
  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Industry Outlook

3.Business Source Complete and/or ABI/INFORM Collection - locate company profiles (includes information on competitors)

1.In D&B Hoovers company profiles search for "Ten network holdings"  in the Search for a company bar at the top. 

Now use the menu on the left side to find news articles, competitors and industry information.

Using the search box at the top, use the drop down menu to Search Industries and search "television broadcasting", then look for  the industry code ANZSIC 2006 Code: 562. 




3.Use ABI/INFORM Collection to look up Ten network AND competit*. Limit dates to last 5 years.

1.Did you find the company summary? First login to D&B Hoovers. Now try this link directly to the company summary.

Did you find in ANZSIC 2005 Code:562 this MarketLine Industry Profile on Media in Australia?





3.Did you find any interesting new articles? 

Study: Addressable TV Already Has The Potential To Reach Nine Million Australians

Ten's new era channels the network of old

Threat of new entrants

1.IBIS World Industry Report menus:

  • Competitive Landscape: Barriers to entry & Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Operating Conditions: Regulation & Policy, Industry Assistance, Technology & Systems

1.In IBIS World use the Industry Research tab and to find the industry.

In this example find the Information Media and Telecommunications heading. Scroll down to Free-to-Air Television Broadcasting. Now use the menu on the left to navigate through the report.

1.Did you find:

Cost Structure Benchmarks?

Barriers to entry?

Threat of substitutes

1.Business Source Complete OR ABI/INFORM Collection OR ANZ Newsstream - use keywords from your Topic Analysis to search news articles and trade publications

2.IBIS World Industry Report menus:

  • Competitive Landscape: Basis of Competition
  • About this industry: Similar Industries, Related International Industries

1.Search ANZ Newsstream which contains full-text Australian and New Zealand newspapers.

Use search words from your topic analysis such as competit* AND television. Use the limiters on the left side to narrow your results down to articles from the last five years and by the subject: competition. Did you find any relevant articles? 

Modify your search, add another search term eg advertising. 

1.Newspaper articles:

SBS boss denies unfair advantage: television

New, old media find 'synergy'


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