Open http://www.bing.com in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.
By now, you've completed several tutorials that lay the foundation for business research. This tutorial is going to put several of those concepts together as you research an industry.
Specifically, this tutorial will cover:
This tutorial assumes that you've already completed the tutorials on NAICS codes and trade publications. If you need to review these concepts, please complete the corresponding tutorials before starting this one.
Later in this tutorial you will be using the website (bing.com) on the right side of the screen. For now, just use the arrows below to advance to the next page.
Secondary information refers to information collected by others, as opposed to primary information, which refers to information collected first-hand.
There are three main sources of secondary business information:
1. Government: The United States government conducts an economic census every 5 years, and requires publicly traded business to report financial data. You can find this information through the websites of government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Census Bureau.
In addition to federal government websites, you will find useful business information on state and local government websites.
2. Market research firms: Market research firms are companies that gather business information for their clients, for a fee. These firms sometimes make reports available to the public, but they can be very costly.
3. Trade or Professional associations: As you know, these are made up of members who have an interest in the same trade or profession. Trade associations and trade publications can be an excellent source of "insider" information on an industry.
When conducting research, it helps to follow 5 steps:
1. Identify your information need.
2. Find the information you need.
3. Evaluate the information to make sure that it's relevant, reliable, and meets your information need.
4. Use the information.
5. Cite the information.
Let's say that you've just been asked to provide an overview of the soft drink manufacturing industry.
Your first stop might be the internet, via Google, bing, or another search engine. Instead of just typing soft drink manufacturing in the search box, try being more strategic.
Add the word "association" to your search. This will be more likely to return the websites of trade associations, which we know to be a good (though potentially biased) source for industry information.
Look over your search results.
Which of the following do you think is the website of a professional association?
Which of the links on the ABA website would be the best place to look for information on the industry as a whole?
As you browse through the website, jot down any data or leads that you think may help your research.
Now that you've searched for trade association information on the Internet, let's get ready to search subscription databases that are available through Butler Libraries.
When you search library databases, you should think about the search terms you'll use before you start searching. Consider the term "soft drink." There are several other words/phrases that could describe the same concept, such as:
soda, beverage, carbonated beverage, non-alcoholic beverage, Coke, Pepsi, cola ...
In order to find as much relevant information about your industry as you can, regardless of the search term you select, you should see if there is a NAICS code to describe your industry.
Click here now to use the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS website to find a NAICS code for the soft drink manufacturing industry.
You should now be looking at the U.S. Census Bureau's NAICS search screen.
Go ahead and find the NAICS code for soft drink manufacturing.
What is the 2012 NAICS code that describes the soft drink manufacturing industry?
Click here now to use this NAICS code to find an industry profile in the First Research database.
If you're on campus you should already be able to see a screen with a blue CONTINUE button that will lead you to First Research. Click on that Continue button. On the next screen, click Continue again, and then click Submit on the next screen to access First Research.
If you're off campus, you should see a screen asking for your Butler ID and password. Enter this information now to access First Research. Once you enter your Butler ID and password, follow the directions above to start using the database.
First Research is a database that contains industry profiles. It is straightforward and easy to search.
Type the NAICS code for soft drink manufacturing (312111) into the search box and click Search.
Now click on the Soft Drink Manufacturing report.
Once you've opened the report, you can scroll through it to see the different sections. Make note of:
Now that you've found an industry profile, let's search Business Source Complete for more in-depth information about the industry.
Click here now to search Business Source Complete.
On the right side of the screen, you should now see the search screen for the EBSCO Business Source Complete database (if you're on campus) or a login screen (if you're off campus).
If you're off campus, type your Butler ID and password now to access Business Source Complete.
Remember, Business Source Complete is a database of business information from a wide variety of sources. It can is also one of the easiest databases to use to find trade publication articles.
Now that we've used First Research to find an industry profile for the soft drink manufacturing industry, let's see if we can find information about consumers of soft drinks and their preferences.
Start by selecting the Advanced Search option from the Business Source Complete home screen.
Your search screen should now look like this:
Because we found a NAICS code to describe our industry, we should use it in our search to ensure that we capture as many results as possible.
Enter 312111 in the first search box and change Select a Field (optional) to IC Industry Code or Description. Your search screen should now look like this:
This search would return all of the information in Business Source Complete that pertains to soft drink manufacturing. Remember that our focus now is on consumers of soft drinks.
So let's tell Business Source Complete that we would like to see all results pertaining to the soft drink industry, and that also contain the word consumers. Do this by typing the word consumers in the second search box.
Click the Search button now.
You should now see a Results page. Take note of the total number of results found.
At this point in your search process, the results will be from a variety of publication types, including scholarly journals, newspapers, research reports, and popular magazines.
To narrow your results to just trade publications, scroll down the Results page and look in the left column for the heading called "Source Types." Under this heading, click on the box next to "Trade Publications."
Notice that the total number of results has decreased or "narrowed."
Now scroll through the first few pages of results, and look at the publication titles listed in the citations. Here's an example of where you would find the publication title in a citation on Business Source Complete:
You may be seeing articles from publications such as Beverage World, Beverage Industry, Convenience Store News, and Marketing Week.
These are trade publications with articles written by industry experts. Almost every issue of these publications will have news or statistics related to the topic of soft drinks.
Remember that you might not always find a NAICS code for your industry. If that is the case, you can always search by keywords. Just keep a list of the keywords you use, and try to think of the different words and phrases that can describe your industry.
Congratulations! You've completed the industry research basics tutorial. You now know how to combine several resources for industry research to:
If you have any questions, please contact your Business Librarian.