Market research – St. Thomas Libraries Blog
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Market research

Business & Economics

Industry information: new and improved!

“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.

Libraries, News & Events

Finding Census Statistics during the Government Shutdown

I blogged last week about government sites that are down because of the partial government shutdown.

If your assignment can’t wait any longer, and you’re scratching your head about where to get government data and stats when so many websites are shut down, we do have some ideas for you!  (We’ll keep this list updated as we hear more, too – so check back!)

  • The Wayback Machine ( has done a great job archiving in-depth versions of government sites –  as opposed to just screenshots of homepages – so a lot of data can still be found via their site.  It will not be the most up-to-date, nor will it be complete, but it is better than nothing!

These and some other great hints are published by the Pew Research Center – and more are continually being added by researchers across the country.

As always, if you have specific research questions, please don’t hesitate to ask an UST librarian – we are happy to help out!

Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials, Services

Featured Librarian: Marianne Hageman

Welcome to new series here on the blog: the Featured Librarian!Marianne

We figured it would be fun for everyone to know who we are and, along the way, learn a bit about what we love about the place we work.  First up is Marianne Hageman, a business librarian who works mainly on the St Paul campus.

Here are some answers she gave in a recent interview:

  1. What departments are you a liaison for?
    I’m a liaison librarian for business, specializing in (but not limited to) marketing resources. I’m also liaison for the advertising and PR side of COJO.
  2. What resource – in your topic area – do you think is the coolest?
    That’s hard, since we have so many cool resources. But I’ll give a huzzah to MRI+ Mediamark Reporter, the demographics database.
  3. What’s one cool thing that resource can do?
    MRI+ can give you information on who buys what, and then ties that to different characteristics, including what magazines people read and the kinds of television programs they watch. There’s a separate section for teen data, and it’s pretty cool (or creepy, depending on how you look at it) to see what teens like to eat for breakfast.
  4. Who is your favorite author?
    I can’t limit it to just one! A favorite author from childhood is Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the “Anne of Green Gables” books and so much more. She’s a great comfort read. A favorite British author, recently deceased, is Diana Wynne Jones, who wrote “Howl’s Moving Castle” (made into a film by Hayao Miyazaki (it’s a great film, but the book is better.) A favorite Minnesota author is Lois McMaster Bujold; I’m working on reading all of her books this year. If you ask me tomorrow, I might have a different list.

Marianne can be contacted for research assistance or classroom sessions by email, or by phone at (651) 962-5404.  See more information about her, and schedule a research consultation, on the library website.

Business & Economics, Database Highlights & Trials

Happy Valentine’s with Euromonitor Passport!

Welcome to Spring Semester, business researchers!

We’re less than one week away from Valentine’s Day, and I thought it was a good time to share some interesting Valentine’s-themed nuggets of note our vendor has shared with us that will (hopefully) help you to fall in love with one of our favorite market research databases: Euromonitor Passport GMID!

First, the Dashboards in Euromonitor Passport GMID reveal that the US is the largest market in the world for chocolate confectionery.  Good news for chocolate lovers, but growth in this market has declined since 2009.


Secondly, Mars is the dominant player in the confectionery market after overtaking The Hershey Company in 2008 (I’m excited to see Lindt and Ferrero on this list, personally).

And finally, if jewelry is more your style this Valentine’s Day, new data available for Passport Industrial reveals that Tiffany’s is the largest producer of jewelry in the US.

Continue Reading

Business & Economics, Libraries, News & Events, Uncategorized

It’s baaaack: The PNC Christmas Price Index!


Did you know?  Each holiday season, your favorite UST business librarians anxiously await the release of one of our favorite traditions:the PNC “Christmas Price Index!”

The PNC CPI tracks how much it would cost to buy each of the 78 gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  PNC has been doing this every year since 1984, so they really know their stuff.   For those of you who aren’t some of my amazing Finance students, this CPI is a play on the “Consumer Price Index,” which tracks the changes in price of goods and services like housing, clothing, food, and transportation that reflect American consumers’ spending habits.

PNC makes a fun website every year depicting their CPI and allowing us to discover the costs of each individual gift; this year we get to hop aboard the “Index Express” railway.  As we travel through “Fluctuation Farm,” “Inflation Station,” “Index Falls,” and “Percentage Peak” to hear how the golden rings, partridges in pear trees, ladies dancing, and more are faring in the markets.

CPI Express

And the results? The 2011 CPI increased by 3.5% over last year – to (drummers drumming please):


The largest increases were for the poultry this year: the Two Turtle Doves (25%) the Partridge in the Pear Tree (14.2%), the Swans-a-Swimming (12.5%), and Geese-a-Laying (8%).  The Four Calling Birds were left out of this trend, with a 13.3% decrease. Four French Hens remained constant at $150, as did the price of Ladies Dancing ($6,294.03) and Lords-a-Leaping ($4766.70), although the dancers did get a large salary increase last year.  And, as some of you who follow the markets might predict, the cost of everyone’s perennial favorite, Five Golden Rings, is at $645 – a decrease of 0.8% from last year.


If you do a Summon search on the Twelve Days of Christmas, there are nearly 73,000 items – which is an increase of over 325% from last year!  Included are thousands of books, videos, music, and more to help get you in a holiday spirit (and perhaps help you out of finals doldrums?) from some our favorite authors and artists.  Check them out!

Happy Holidays!

Business & Economics, Charles J. Keffer Library, Recently Read

Massive Google Infographic

Click for the rest!

Click for the rest!

Most web users know and use Google.  According to comScore, a market research firm that tracks search statistics, Google captured 65.4 per cent of the US online search market in January.  That’s two-thirds of the 15.2 billion searches run in the US in January. 

Other interesting bits: Its global market share is estimated to be 86 per cent.  Its IPO price in August 2004 was $85; yesterday it closed at $541.  And there’s more!  It’s the #1 website in the world.  It processes 20 petabytes a day, or something like 1330 times the information currently held in the Library of Congress.

Want to see these figures and more?  Click the image for the rest of the Google Facts and Figures infographic, from Pingdom.

Business & Economics, Libraries, Recently Read, Subjects/Topics

What’s the market for the iSlate like? Ask Gartner

Apple’s entry into the tablet computer market, the iSlate, has been getting a lot of attention the last couple of days, coinciding with annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas opening this week. So how will the iSlate and technology like it impact the tablet computer marketplace?

Turn to Gartner, a UST Libraries source for reports and analysis of the technology industry.  In mid-December Gartner released a report, “Magic Quadrant for Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms.”  

To find this report, log on to Gartner, search for “tablet,” and select the report from the list of results.  Remember to capitalize your first and last names when logging in.

So what’s a Magic Quadrant?  Essentially it’s a modified X Y graph on which are plotted the various vendors in a market relative to one another.  Strategists will use this tool to determine what kind of technology to invest in, or which company to partner with for a particular venture.   Business development will use this information to identify corporate prospects.  (And of course students might use this information to target companies to work for.) 

An illustration of a Magic Quadrant is below.  In the case of tablet computers, companies like IBM, Apple, RIM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP will appear as points on a graph indicating their relative market position.

Gartner Magic Quadrant

As you can see in this YouTube video, not everyone likes the Magic Quadrant.  The questioner in the video says that it’s the most “reviled” in the industry.  Gideon Gartner, the founder of Gartner Group, admits that it is “overused, misused, and abused.”   Which only attests to the degree to which the Magic Quadrant has become embedded in the business of technology.

Contrary to appearances, Mr Gartner is not attacking anyone in this clip, though it may appear otherwise.  It’s a Q&A session.  Not daytime TV.

Links in this post:

Gizmodo’s Exhaustive Guide to the iSlate
Homepage of the Consumer Electronics Show
UST’s link to Gartner
Gartner’s guide to Magic Quadrants
YouTube video of Gideon Gartner on Magic Quadrants