SWOT reports in Business Insights: Essentials are currently unavailable. Our vendor, Gale, says that they won’t be up until sometime next week. In the meantime, you can use the SWOT reports in OneSource Global Business Browser and Business Source Premier.
We now have a trial for Simmons OneView – just click OK when it says we have no challenge question.) Simmons is a database of consumer demographic information (formerly known as the Simmons Study of Media and Markets); it provides national survey data from the Simmons National Consumer Study and the National Hispanic Consumer Study. These studies include demographic and psychographic characteristics, including attitudes and shopping habits, of product users. They have several YouTube tutorials; a good one to start with is “Create, Export & Save a CrossTab.”
We are comparing this to MRI University Reporter. A big difference between them is that unlike MRI, Simmons OneView has no “canned” reports. Users can choose their variables, which makes it more powerful, but there is more of a learning curve.
Our trial to Simmons OneView runs through November 17. Please send your comments on this resource to Marianne Hageman.
This month we are trialing a marketing and advertising resource called eMarketer. It provides market data, statistics, and analysis including trends in e-business, mobile, social media, and online advertising. The data can be used to look at consumer behavior and market size. eMarketer includes articles, analyst reports, and statistical tables which can be downloaded to Excel for further analysis.
This trial runs through 10/27/2016. Please send your comments on this resource to Marianne Hageman.
Target Corp. SWOT Analysis
As the temperatures warm up and we move through spring, our thoughts turn fondly to – well, for many students, you’re thinking about job-hunting. You’re thinking about potential employers, maybe you have some interviews lined up. You want to know more about a company as a potential employer, and you want to go beyond what you find on the company’s website and some quick web searching. If you’re a business student, you’ve probably done a good deal of company research for class projects. But if you haven’t done it recently, or aren’t a business student, here are some tips and suggestions.
Get a good overview. Business Insights: Essentials and Business Source Premier are great places to check for a basic overview of a public company (one that sells stock or other registered securities to the public.) This can include a description of the company, financial information, and news stories. BSP, BIE, and OneSource Global Business Browser include SWOT reports, which summarize Strengths and Weaknesses of a business, and the Opportunities and Threats it faces in the business environment.
Focus your search. BSP and ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry each have a way to search for items about a company that’s more precise than keyword searching. This helps a lot with companies like Target or even Google, whose names are part of daily life. (The word “target,” for example, can refer to target markets, target dates, target-based pay, and of course target practice.) In BSP, you can use the pull-down menu to search for Target as a “company entity,” to get articles specifically about Target the company. And in ABI, you can search for Target as a “company/organization.”
Find those private companies, too. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, PrivCo is our newest business resource, covering privately-held companies that average around $50,000,000.00 in annual revenue. For smaller companies, ReferenceUSA is a “business phone book” covering 24 million U.S. businesses. In the Custom Search, you can look for companies by name, business type, business size, location, and more.
Don’t forget the news. Yeah, you can find news on the web, but some precision searching can help here as well. ProQuest Newsstand, like ABI, lets you search for articles on a “company/organization.” That helps focus your search in local news sources, like the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press, as well as major papers from other cities (the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, just to drop a few names.) And my good friend BizLink has full-text coverage of 40 regional business journals, including the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and business journals from Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, Portland, and Silicon Valley. It’s a great place to search for information on local or regional companies, and you get that local perspective that you don’t find in national sources.
Be sure to check our career and employment resources guide as part of your job search. And good luck!
“New and improved” is one of those standard tag lines in business, but we really have seen some cool industry stuff lately in our business resources. Fans of IBISWorld, that great source for mid-level industry overviews, may have noticed an increasing number of OD reports. Now these aren’t “ODD” reports, they’re “OD,” which stands for On Demand. Businesses order these reports from IBISWorld and, once they’re delivered to the client, IBIS can resell them. There are about 600 of them now, in addition to the 700+ regular reports in IBIS. St. Thomas pays a little extra for them, and they’re worth it. Besides 3D Printer Manufacturing (OD4428) and Ethnic Supermarkets (OD4333), where else would you look for reports on Sports Video Game Publishing (OD4860) and my personal favorite, Chocolate Stores (OD5339)? One can only say that the revenue outlook is Sweet.
Another resource near and dear to the hearts of business researchers is ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry. Despite its less-than-glamorous name, ABI Trade is a great source for high fashion news, as well as market trends, and product announcements of all sorts. This is due to its great coverage of trade journals, which is a publication covering, and intended to reach, a specific industry or type of business. ABI also has a bunch of industry reports, which until recently have not been easy to find. But now you can search them more easily through ABI’s Data & Reports tab, or best of all, browse them through the Browse tab:
Here’s an example, Food and Drink:
As we move toward project deadlines and the end of fall semester, keep a warm place in your heart for industry overviews. Well, maybe not. But keep them in mind for your research projects, and spring job-hunting.
Yes, you’ve all been waiting for it – the annual CPI. Consumer Price Index? Oh, no. It’s the Christmas Price Index®!
Compiled every year by the PNC Financial Services Group, this CPI tracks how much it would cost to buy each of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (did you know, there are 78 of them?)
Despite the down economy, the 2010 CPI increased a surprising 9.2% over last year. Big increases were seen in the Five Gold Rings (30%), as well as higher costs for wages and benefits for some of the entertainers. The Twelve Drummers and Eleven Pipers both went up 3.1%, Lords-a-Leaping increased 8%, and the dancing Ladies saw a 15% rise (note that none of these performers had a raise last year.) The Maids-a-Milking did not receive an increase, as the federal minimum wage stayed flat at $7.25 an hour.
What about the wildlife, you ask? Bird prices increased due to rising costs of feed and demand for certain fowl. The biggest increase was for the Three French Hens (up 233%) and the Turtle Doves (up 78.6%.)
Interestingly enough, if you do a Summon search on the Twelve Days of Christmas, there are over 22,000 items, including classic New England activities for the holidays, a newspaper article on cruise lines, an article from Mathematics Teacher, and an article from Australian Doctor. And there are 45 books, from such authors and illustrators as Anne Geddes, John O’Brien, Jack Kent, and one of my favorites, Jan Brett.
You’re taking a class, and need to research an industry. Where to start? One great place is IBISWorld. It has over 700 overviews of “mid-level” industries, including clothing stores, hair and nail salons, and fast-food restaurants. Reports are 20-40 pages long and can be downloaded in pdf or Word. The table of contents on the left takes you directly to specific parts of the report. Try it out, and let us know what you think.
In connection with its series on immigration in the United States, the New York Times has used census data to develop an interactive immigration map. From 1880 to 2000, you can track selected immigrant groups (including groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas) in their movement to, and around, the United States. It’s a wonderful and visual use of census data.