William M. White Business Library
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Want to get quick information on international business? Newspapers provide current and concise information on international climates. Factiva CU has strong international news coverage, including foreign and US newspapers. For more information on searching newspapers, check out the library's How do I guide.
Studying business in one country? You can find in-depth information from a variety of sources from the library's Country Guides, there is one for every country in the world.
Some tips to international research:
- Developing versus Developed World
If you have done research on the United States you probably have become accustomed to finding lots of data, news reports, etc. If you are researching business in other developed countries you may encounter a similar bounty of information, but that is not going to be the case in the developing world. If you want more information on what constitutes a developing country, check out the World Bank's FAQs.
- Foreign Language Difficulties
Do you speak the native language of the country you are researching? If not, don't despair there is still information to be gathered in secondary sources and often you will find English versions of pages. That being said, if it appears a government web site might have information if you just knew a few words of Italian, don't forget tools like Google Translate.
- International Organizations
You may not realize it, but international organizations, like the United Nations or Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation, can be huge assets in your research. In addition to providing data on individual countries they often contain useful information on doing business in their member states.
For in-depth assistance doing industry and company research check out the library's Industry or Company guides, which features resources for both the US and internationally. This tab will focus on a select set of resources that focus more directly on international business.
Passport GMID CU
This is the top database for conducting international business research. In this database you will find industry research, market reports, and data. There are articles, tables and customized data sets available, in other words a bit of everything on international business.
Mergent Online CU
Mergent focuses on company information, with over 12,000 foreign companies listed, providing data on their industry, financials and much more.
Wait, doesn't the "USA" in the title mean it doesn't cover international sources? No, it covers international topics too, you can find detailed data on Canadian business and OneSource provides company profiles on international companies including executives and financial data.
Frost & Sullivan CU
This database is a great source of market information, focusing primarily on the science and technology sectors.
Searching for international data can be difficult. This tab will walk your through some of the ways to explore finding international data.
Big Pots of Data
If you know the database that contains your information then you can go straight there, but if you are unsure of who might collect the numbers there are a few places that can connect you with the in-depth data sets.
UNdata provides a single source for data from the United Nations and affiliated organizations. You can also use this database to discover the names of the organizations that gather more specific data.
Statistical Insight CU
This database contains data on the local, state, federal and international level. That means that if you do a search here it is not uncommon to find data for the United States, but not worldwide. That being said, it is one of the biggest collections of data sources out there and can be another great source of information on the groups that collect more specific data.
While most times you are going to be looking for who might have your data, sometimes you already have knowledge of a specific source of data in mind. These are some of the most frequently used international data sources.
World Bank Data
This is the site to visit for developing country data. This page will give you quick access to all the data in a quick topical or country based form, but it also links you to the World dataBank, which is one of the largest collections of free data available on the web.
OECD iLibrary CU
This is the site to visit for developed world data, you can find some information on the developing world, but that is not the focus of the OECD's research. This database contains data in both book form and by clicking on the "Statistics" tab at the top you can access the raw data.
Still lost? Ask the following questions:
- Who is interested in this data?
If you are having trouble finding data that you are looking for think about who else might be interested in this information. For example, imagine you want information on the average weekly earnings of Boulder residents working in private industry. The United States Department of Labor may be interested in this information and if you go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (part of the Department of Labor), you will find the State and Metro Area Employment, Hours and Earnings.
- Is the data I want too recent?
While information is released faster and faster, statistics still take a while to compile. This means that for the majority of resources, data from the current year or even last year may not be available when you want them. For example, the US Department of Justice's Uniform Crime Reports (the number of crimes committed) routinely takes almost 2 years to be released.
- Have you checked for the data in non-internet sources?
More and more data is available online every day, but for some areas the data may still only be available in another format, such as a CD or book. One of the major databases for finding these sources is Statistical Insight. This database contains many of the tables it indexes, but we have copies of all the materials in hard copy (print or microfiche) in the Government Information Library.
- Ask for help
If you still are having trouble, contact the Business Library by email or phone (303-492-8367) for assistance.
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