Business research is a strange practice. When it comes to art, science, or medicine, content creators have a vested interest in having their work publicly available. Scientists want people to read their articles. Doctors want the public to hear about recent advances in disease treatment. Artists want you to hear all about their new display or show. But when it comes to business, it’s in a company’s best interest to reveal as little information as possible. So how do savvy researchers get access to top-tier business data in order to make informed, intelligent decisions? The answer is surprisingly old-school: go to the library.
Libraries offer a variety of online resources on many topics, and often, business and finance databases are made publicly available for commercial use. Need to pull a list of competitors by employee size, annual revenue, physical location, and industry designation? You could schedule a team of staff members to comb through public records and laboriously track down 10-K filings, or you can use A-to-Z Databases to quickly and cleanly pull a list of companies including mailing address and phone numbers.
What about locating five year forecasts for your company’s primary industry groups? Check IBISworld reports and IBISworld’s new industry-level Risk Reports through the library’s institutional subscription.
Interested in tracking down venture capital for your start-up or equity funding for your established business? PrivCo provides a searchable list of venture capital funding as well as profiles on private company financials, mergers and acquisitions records, and contacts at the firm level.
Long considered the realm of children’s story times and best-selling fiction, libraries have emerged as the hidden weapon in many a business researcher’s arsenal. While public libraries offer a handful of business-specific databases for public use, some research centers exclusively promote business resources. Located downtown on W 4th Street next to the Saint Paul Public Library, the James J. Hill Center works to connect business, entrepreneurs, and community with the best possible business data resources. Swing by the Hill during open hours, Monday through Thursday 8 AM to 4 PM, or schedule a complimentary introductory appointment at jjhill.org to learn how the Hill’s databases and research support services are a match for your business needs. Find all the databases mentioned here and more at the James J. Hill Center. Reimagine what business research looks like, and check out the Hill.
If you have more questions about the reference library at the James J. Hill Center please contact 651-265-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.