Why do we include company research in a guide on job hunting? There are many possible uses for these databases, including making lists of companies to send inquiries to, finding out about competition, and reading up on the industry so that you know where the hot new developments in your field are.
But the most important thing is in preparing your cover letter, and preparing for the interview. If you want to set yourself apart from the other applicants it is important to understand the nature of the business you are applying to, and try to find a way to address their specific needs and culture.
Before going to an interview, it is especially important to know about the company. Go beyond their web page to find out their weaknesses and opportunities that you might be able to talk about.
These databases present company and industry descriptions. Some focus more on qualitative information like description, market share, history, and so on. Others emphasize quantitative information and financials. To get a full picture of the company you're interested in you may want to look at it in several databases. For off-campus access, use your Banner ID number.