Advanced Business Research

Advanced Business Research
5 Minute Librarian presentation by Linda Heichman Taylor
2006 Reference Retreat
What to do when a business student asks for specific information on an obscure product.
Examples: I need to find market share in Southern California for aquarium filters.
What is the target market for handheld massage devices?
1. Help the student find the most relevant industry code for their product/industry.
Recommended sources:
Standard Industrial Classification Manual Ref/Bus Table HF1042 .S73 1987
North American Industrial Classification System Manual
Ref/Bus Table HF104.5 N674 2002
I prefer the print versions as they seem to have more descriptive information, but use whatever version you prefer.
2. Use industry resources to find information that is readily available for the closest industry.
S&P NetAdvantage
Environmental & Waste Mgmt Health Care: Products & Supplies
Plunkett Research
none found
Health Care
3. Local or regional information, especially statistical information, can be difficult to locate. The student may
have to rely on national (U.S.) information only.
United States consumer spending on entertainment by type and by ethnic group in dollars
US market size for pets as spending in dollars
United States health and green product industries by product type in dollars and percent change
4. Use Factiva, ABI/Inform and other business article databases to check for more specific information.
Factiva: aquarium filter, massage device
5. Encourage the student to expand the possibilities of relevant industries in light of what we have available
through our databases.
Sample reference interview questions:
What other types of products/services would aquarium filter buyers most likely purchase?
supplies, fishing/marine supplies, scuba diving equipment
other pet
What other industries could be closely allied with massage devices?
alternative medicine, spas, health care
At all times reiterate to the student that the intention of the assignment is to use the
information that is available in the library, not to spend a great deal of time searching for
obscure information that may not exist or spend inordinate amounts of money on detailed
market research reports.