Use these resources to generally orient yourself to external factors affecting your market and industry.
- Business Source Complete - Find a country report that will describe general economic and political trends. To access these type the name of the country in the search box and select country report as the publication type.
- Passport - Get country reports on consumer behavior, demographics and economics. Find reports on technological trends.
- Bloomberg - Use the BI function to find detailed reports on industries and economies.
- Conference Board of Canada - Reports on Canadian economy at the national, provincial and local level. Also contains reports on Canadian Industries.
- globalEDGE - Provides an overview and data for countries as well as links to other sources.
Find Industry-Specific Resources
Use Google to identify government bodies, associations and trade journals relevant to your industry. These will often provide information on TESP factors that affect the industry. Examples are Canadian Dairy Information Centre, Canada Energy Regulator, Railway Association of Canada and Canadian Grocer.
Look for Reports from Consulting Firms
Major consulting firms publish reports on trends affecting an industry. These include TESP factors. Major consulting firms include:
Look for data and information on technology that is used in, may disrupt or act as a substitute for your industry. Use corporate filings such as 10K or annual reports to find technologies relevant to your company. Big consulting firms and banks publish industry trend reports. Industry Associations and trade journals often write about new trends.
Major Consulting Firms
- Passport - Search for Top trends reports or specific technologies by name
- Gartner Research - Information Technology (IT) related reports
- Business Source Complete - Search for technology and industry in Trade Journals
- Articles may also be found in Canadian Business & Current Affairs, Ei Engineering Village, Factiva
Start here - Use these resources to orient yourself to the current economic outlook
- Business Source Complete
- Economist Intelligence Unit - provides disposal income
- Conference Board of Canada e-Library - browse by topic Economic Trends for forecasting at federal, provincial and municipal levels in Canada.
- Statistics Canada
- Google to find government bodies that may have economic information relevant to your industry. Examples: Canadian Energy Regulator; NATS - National Transportation Statistics; Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
- Bank of Canada
Bureau of Economic Analysis -
Data.gov - Search for open data from the US government
- OECD iLibrary - Access economic data related to OECD countries.
- UNData - Search through data from multiple UN agencies.
- Worldbank World Development Indicators
- Global Economic Prospects (World Bank) Note: Commodity Markets Website. Also, note Research and Publications - Data leads to country statistics.
Statistics Canada - You must use this resource if you need demographic data for Canada
Census of Population is conducted every 5 years and is the most extensive source of Canadian demographic data.
- CHASS Census Analyzer - Access major demographic variables from the Census from 1986-2016.
- Census Program Website - 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 - Statistics Canada's Public Portal to access data for each Census after 1996. Each Census year has its own website.
- Census Datasets - Access more detailed Census data tables. Contains tables from 1991-2016. Generally, each table represents an individual year.
Other Statistics Canada Data
Browse by Subject - Find data from many other Statistics Canada Surveys and Programs. Contains rich demographic and behavioral data that might not be included in the Census.
- U.S. Census Bureau - You must use this resource if you need demographic data for the United States.
- Census Data Tool - data platform
- Browse by Topic
- Families and Households Data - Many Historical Data Tables with family characteristics.
- Decennial Census
- American Community Survey - Conducted yearly results are released as 1 year or 5-year estimates. Can be compared to the census for some variables. Instructions for comparing ACS data
- Data profiles of the United States (social, economic, housing and demographic)
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- 2012 Statistical Abstract - continued by ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States
- Passport - Provides international information on consumer preferences, behavior and markets with a focus on consumer goods and services. Use the top menu to select industries for industry-specific information and Consumers for general information on consumer behavior. Use the Country Report box to select a specific country and report.
- Vividata - Canadian consumer data on the consumption of goods and media as well as lifestyles. Tools allow you to break down consumer behavior by demographics. For further help using Vividata see these videos developed by Humber Libraries: Creating a Cross Table and Reading a Cross Table. This resource requires a password that you can get by contacting the business librarian Matthew Gertler.
- Conference Board - Data on consumer confidence.
Search public opinion polls for information on attitudes.
Structural Analysis of an Industry
- Begin with Business Source Complete.
Select Industry Profiles from the menu on the right-hand side. Browse alphabetically to search by industry.
Search under BI for aggregrate data
- Mergent Online
Select the Report Search tab from the menu. Select industry of interest and then geographical region.
Go to Industries at the top of the page, select the relevant industry or industries and narrow by country.
Mouse over Companies/Markets from the menu bar at the top of the page and select Industry. Select industry from the list provided.
- Conference Board of Canada e-Library
Browse by topic -> Industry Sector Economics for industry profiles or enter industry name in the search box.
- Buyer Power
- Supplier Industry
- Business Source Complete Industry Profile
- Bloomberg - go to company profile, key in supply chain
- Mergent Online
- The following directories will give you an idea of the number and location of firms that produce or can supply the products companies in your industry need:
There are also many trade/business directories available online. Do a google search for the region or country you need.
For example: business directory china
- Threat of New Entrants
- Threat of Substitutes
- Degree of Rivalry
Specialized reports from reputable sources:
- World Energy Outlook from the OECD
- Global Auto Report from Scotiabank
- J.D Power offers some info on ratings and customer satisfaction surveys for free.
- Look to investment and consulting firms for research on industries:
Look for valuable information and data from trade associations Google the industry + country + associations to find trade associations
- Canada - Statistics Canada
- Canadian Industry Statistics (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada)
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2017
- Use the search function in NAICS 2012
- United States - Census Bureau
- United States - Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Visualizations of Industry Data
Begin with the company's 10K or annual report - usually found on their web site or by doing a google search of company name and 10K or annual report. Read the Management Discussion and Analysis - (MD&A) section of the Annual Report or 10k. Read the letter to the shareholders from the CEO in the company's annual report.
Company Reports, Information and Financials
- Bloomberg See our help guides for instructions and tips.
- Mergent Online
- Corporate Filings
- Passport Select Companies from the top tab and key in your company name. Select the relevant segment and open the profile. Look in the table of contents for a SWOT analysis
- Business Source Complete Search for your company and limit to SWOT from filters listed below the search box.
No SWOT for your company - try a competitor. External factors will affect all companies in an industry.
- JUST Capital - provides information and rankings on how large corporations perform on issues that matter most to the public.
- Forbes - The Companies With The Best CSR Reputations In The World
- Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index
Tips for finding a company's HR policies:
Most companies don't publicly list their internal policies. However, you may be able to find small pieces of information* searching through several sources:
- Search Google for company name and "human resource policies" or "hr policies" and filetype:pdf or filetype:doc ; this will locate if any documents have been posted on a website etc.
- Finding company job postings. See the company's website, major job boards like Monster.ca, etc., as well as do a Google search for company name and "job posting"
- Use Data USA to find data and salary information on major industries (scroll down to industries)
- If it's a Canadian company, see SEDAR. Search your company name and then locate their 'annual information form'. This often contains small pieces of HR-related information.
- Search news and magazine articles in Business Source Complete and Canadian Business & Current Affairs.
*list compiled at McGill University Library.
Lobbyists (industry associations) are the interface between government and business. They work for the best interests of the industry and try to persuade governments to support them on issues.
Industry associations often provide information and data to the public. To find the relevant association(s) for your industry, search google for the industry + country + association. A few examples:
- Retail Council of Canada
- Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)
- Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) (U.S)
Many non-governmental organizations are critics of industry. They act as a watchdog for the public and lobby governments to be diligent in overseeing activities of an industry. To find relevant NGOs, search google by keyword(s) + protection or organization. A few examples:
- Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
- Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN)
Think tanks are independent, nonpartisian, public policy research institutes that are often non-profit such as the C.D.Howe Institute, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institute, etc. They do not have an agenda as many NGOs have, but conduct research and analysis on current issues and topics. Harvard Kennedy School provides a searchable database of over 600 think tank listings.
Select the link on a country's page to the Country Commercial Guide by the U.S. Commercial Service. The guide includes analysis of doing business with countries world wide.
Regulations (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) - A great starting point to find relevant government ministries, departments and other bodies associated with regulations for an industry.
To find the names of associations and companies that are currently lobbying goverment see Lobbying statistics - Subject Matter in Monthly Communication Reports
To stay on top of proposed regulations - Canada Gazette
To see the Government's regulatory intentions - Government-Wide Forward Regulatory Plans
Departmental/Agency Plans (DPs) describe the priorities and programmes for the next fiscal year, along with the expected outcomes
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - Budget appendix contains financial information on individual programs and appropriation accounts
Government Accountability Office (GAO) - role is to improve the performance and accountability of the federal government
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register (updates the Code) and Reginfo.gov
- Factiva (Globe and Mail and the Wall Street Journal live here)
- Bloomberg News
- Canadian Business & Current Affairs Provides full text to Canadian business journals and magazines.
- Canadian Newsstand Access to over 280 Canadian news sources
- Eureka Fulltext Canadian French and English newspapers from Alberta, the Atlantic provinces, Québec and aboriginal communities. Includes fulltext transcripts radio and television broadcats from CBC, CTV and SRC.
- PressReader PDFs to more than 2300 newspapers from 97 countries in over 55 languages.
- Wire Report The leading news service covering Canada's rapidly converging telecom and media sectors.
- Journalist's resource: research on today's news topics
The following titles are available online through the Library catalogue:
- CardOnline - Canadian Advertising Rates and Data
- Passport - Look for articles and podcasts to find advertising trends and strategies. Search by keywords.
For example - using the search box, search keywords marketing, or advertising to find:
- Survey Results: 8 Global Consumer Types for Marketing in 2018
- The Ungendered: Marketing to a Non-Binary Generation April 2017
- Shifting Market Frontiers August 2017
- Special Report: Online Advertising Surges in Developing and Emerging Markets While TV Advertising Remains Popular Feb 2016
- Marketing to Inbound Travellers: Strategies For Canadian Retailers 2017