Market Research Databases

Requests from business school students for market research reports are in high demand. In recent years they are even asking for these by specific product or brand name. Do you have Mintel? How about Forrester? Like the two publishers named, there are a plethora of market research database publishers that provide reports on almost any topic and students come across them regularly when searching the Web. After seeing the "perfect" report they typically turn to the library hoping to get it, but can they? The answer to this is, sometimes. Many, though not all, of these reports can be found in the BC Libraries Market Research Databases. But unfortunately library subscriptions are limited and BC can't subscribe to an entire universe of all reports published. Additionally, if the library doesn't subscribe you can't get these reports by borrowing them through the interlibrary loan service. The licensing prohibits it.

So what are market research reports, and why do users want them? Market research reports are ready made, authoritative, comprehensive reports on products, industries, consumers, companies and countries written by experts. They analyze information about markets, customers, competitors and industry trends used for business plans, marketing plans, entrepreneurship and research papers. They provide an in-depth picture of most of the relevant issues on a topic in one report and from one database. This substantially reduces the time piecing all the information together by reading through perhaps dozens of articles and books from sometimes many databases. With just one or two clicks you get a very good ready-made analysis of the subject including both qualitative and quantitative information. The advantage is obvious.

Some of the most frequently used market research databases in business are: Mintel, IBISWorld, Forrester and Global Market Information Database (GMID).

Provides market research reports covering the US and European marketplace in a variety of sectors including: consumer goods, travel and tourism, financial industry, internet industry, retail, and food & drink. (Must register with BC email).

Provides market research reports with an in-depth industry analysis for over 700 U.S. industries in all major U.S. industry sectors at the 5-digit level of NAICS. Reports are updated regularly, and contain: key statistics, market characteristics, segmentation, industry conditions, industry performance, key competitors, key factors, and industry outlook and forecast.

Provides market research reports on emerging trends in technology and their impact on business. (Must register with BC email).

Provides international market research reports on global consumer trends, companies and demographics.

The primary purpose of these databases is to provide large fairly comprehensive market research reports. However the library also has other databases that are not specifically identified as market research databases but contain a smaller subset of various market research reports mixed in with other content. The reports are sometimes included within databases whose primary focus is on other sources such as articles from journals, newspapers, and data or statistics. The reports are add-on features and are considered extra content contained within the databases' larger mix of resources. Some examples of databases like this are: Business Source Complete, Thomson One Banker (investment banking analyst reports), ISI Emerging Markets, Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage, ValueLine, Statista, and Mergent. These databases provide company, country and industry market research reports as well as other resources and information such as financials, directories, data, statistics and journal literature.

Other disciplines also have resources with market research reports but the intent of this article is to highlight those specifically related to business and management topics. If you have any questions please feel free to email me: claire.oleary@bc.edu.

Claire O'Leary
Senior Reference Librarian, Business & Management