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For many business research projects starting out with an industry report is highly recommended.  We have a variety of them that either define industries broadly on a global scope (such  NetAdvantage or Mergent Online) or rather narrowly by country or activity or product (such as Datamonitor, Freedonia or BMI via ReferenceUSA OneSource).  We  have a trial to IBIS World, a particularly deep depository of industry reports with over 700 industries in the U.S. and 65 global reports.

One may wonder why industry reports are so useful.  They explain how the defined industry operates in terms of finance, technology, regulation, and underlying economic conditions. Usually technical terms and jargon are explained and key professional and trade associations are referenced.  Trends and forecasts are typically provided as are statistical benchmarks relevant to the industry.  The major players are always listed and described if not analyzed in depth.  Given the aforementioned  list of sources for industry reports one may think  that business research material type is well covered at  Falvey Memorial Library.  However gaps persist because industries definitions are variable and the need is great.

The IBISWorld platform has another feature that I think job seekers and journalists will find valuable.  These are iExpert reports.  iExpert reports consist of an executive summary of the industry as a whole and then list internal and external trends specific to the industry and suggest intelligent probing questions around those issues.  What great tips for having a successful conversation with an industry insider!

The first time you use IBISWorld you will need to register with an email address in addition to authenticating with your Villanova credentials if off campus.  Let me know if IBISWorld is a keeper!



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Last Modified: March 9, 2012

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