January 12th, 2011

Business Research & Statistics

The business world affects us all because our standard of living is so undeniably incorporated with it throughout our lives. Many of us might be interested in starting our own business. Most of us will need to gather information on investments options for retirement funds. Yet, the business world, with all its complexities, is one that many of us find confounding at best. To assist business and non-business learners alike, we’ve gathered together some resources which will be helpful and accessible.

First, it should be noted that more specific marketing research and forecasting reports are widely available on the web. However, these reports usually cost money. As an alternative, consider state and federal government websites that contain a myriad of economic- and business-related statistics. Although the information is free, the statistics are a bit broad or are limited mostly to public companies. However, if you take the time to go through all the available resources, you can usually get a good answer to your marketing research inquiries.

Here is a list of free resources:

Governmental Resources for Economic Statistics:

Your state government will also likely have a department of business and/or economics. Check out that department’s website for local business and economic statistics.

The USA.gov website provides a web page devoted to business and economic-related statistics and information: http://www.usa.gov/Business/Business_Data.shtml

The U.S. Small Business Administration also provides resources for business statistics: http://www.sba.gov/content/general-business-statistics.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides labor- and employment-related statistics by industry: http://www.bls.gov/bls/industry.htm

The Bureau of Economic Analysis contains various statistics, surveys and reports on the economic status of the nation, the globe and whole industries: http://www.bea.gov/index.htm

Inflation Calculator has links to different types of inflation calculators such as Consumer Price Index (CPI), Employment Cost Index (ECI), GDP Deflator Calculator, International Price Index (IPI), Producer Price Index (PPI): http://cost.jsc.nasa.gov/inflate.html

American Factfinder, 2007 Economic Census is a significant source of statistics which profiles the U.S. economy. It is an excellent place to find industry-wide statistics. These reports are done every five years: http://factfinder.census.gov

General Economic Reference:

Resources for Economists on the Internet (www.rfe.org) is a site sponsored by the American Economic Association and contains over 2000 economic-related resources on the Web.

BizStats (www.bizstats.com) provides free industry-wide statistics.

Library Databases:

Don’t forget that you have access to subscription databases through the Capella University Library. The top three databases that we recommend for business and marketing research are:

Business Source Complete and ABI/INFORM Global contain several thousand business journals, including many that are peer reviewed. Thus, in these databases, you might be able to find articles on certain business topics or companies. LexisNexis Academic has the capability of producing detailed reports on publicly traded (and some private) companies.

For help using LexisNexis, see our LexisNexis User Guide

-Ruth

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