May 2010 Archives

Lifestyle Market Analyst and the New SRDS Database


I have some bad news and some very, very, very, good news that is tinged
with a tiny bit of bad news.

the bad news: as some of you know SRDS stopped selling the paper edition
of its Lifestyle Market Analyst

the latest edition we have in our Reference Collection is 2008. The data
in this easy to use printed source is still relevant, and students doing
research are still using it. The loss of this vital reference source
pushed us to find sources that could replace this information

And now the good news: the SRDS people now publish this information in
their SRDS database, which now includes local and national Lifestyle data
in addition to their advertising data, sources and prices. That
information can be described like this:

"Provides media rates and data for the advertising industry, listing
advertising rates, editorial or programming content, circulation and other
basic information for a variety of advertising media, including radio,
television, newspapers, and consumer magazines."

We managed to make a very very good joint deal with the Twin Cities
campus. In our current situation we could not afford this database
directly. I thank our Library Director, Bill Sozansky for his outstanding
ability to make great deals!

The new database is now listed in our Library's list of databases, and
will be soon listed on my Launch Pad. It can be directly accessed here:

And here is the "How to" PDF:

and the TINGE OF BAD NEWS IS: this database is clunky. I recommend
playing with it (a lot) to get comfortable with it.

MORE GOOD NEWS: On the Lifestyle Analyst side of this database there is a
lot more information than in the printed volume. You can look at a DMA
like Duluth-Superior, get an overview of the region, see the map, look at
the information on a county basis... see demographics, lifestyle markers
and psychographics... much more than we had in the printed volume.

If you study what is there, in some respects, this could become a
replacement for our lost MediaMark Reporter. This is very good news,
indeed. The data in this SRDS product seems to be coming from this source:

If you have students working on assignments who need this sort of data,
please pass this information on to them.

Also, if you have any questions or comments, call or email, me.


New Lexis-Nexis interface


Our Lexis-Nexis Academic database has changed the look of its initial
interface. It is located here:

Note that other searching options are available under the "Power Search" as
well as the options offered on the blue buttons on the Left Navigation

If you use Lexis, I suggest you play with it to get familiar with the new
arrangement. This new interface is a mixed bag. For example, it is now far
easier to find a company report. The "Accounting" subsection is now less
apparent, hiding in subjects. It easy to find a particular case now, but the
rest of Lexis Legal is to be found in the blue Left Nav.

Lexis's focus groups have told them, that in general, this new interface is
easier for students to use. However, because Lexis is so large, it is
important for frequent users to become acquainted with the layout.

Here are other LN (micro) searches that are available -- See below. You can
place these on your webpages or Moodle. I will be adding these to my Launch


New source for SWOT Analysis


Just a few days ago, I happened to discover that our "Business & Company
Resource Center"

now offers a SWOT Analysis on many of the larger corporations in their
database. Subsidiaries and smaller companies tend to not have SWOTs. These
SWOTs can be found by doing a company search, say, Sara Lee, and then
selecting the right company (SLE) and in the Company Profile tab, right at
the top, there is a rectangular blue box that links the PDF. These SWOTs
are provided by "Global Market Direct."

I have compared this Sara Lee SWOT to the Sara Lee SWOT found in our
Datamonitor reports accessed through our "Business Source Premier" database,
and they ARE different. There are some similarities too.

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in this, and if you have students
doing research, you may want to pass this information on to them.

If you have any questions, please give me a call, or email.


Comparing Companies.


Sometimes when students are doing research, they need to compare the
financials of one company to another. I am about to add the section below
to my new "FAQ" list. I hope it will be of help to people doing company

Comparing Companies

On occasion you may need to compare financial, or other data, of one company
to another. We have three financial databases that offer comparison options.

In our Lexis Nexis Academic database,
when you go into the database, note the blue area on the left column. Click
on the "Companies" option, and then click on the "Dossier Compare Companies"
option. When you do that, you will have to option of comparing five
different companies to each other.

In our Business & Company Resource Center database,
begin by searching for a company, say, Sara Lee. Once you find the right
company via a Company search option, then click on the "Financials" tab. At
this point you will see financial information for Sara Lee, but you will
also have the option of comparing Sara Lee to a selected list of competitors
or up to five companies of your choice. Note the option on the upper part
of the page.

And, in our Mergent Online database,
you click on the "Enter Mergent Online" button. Then you select a company,
say, Sara Lee. And then you can check the small box to the left of the
company name. Directly above the box, several lines up, there is the phrase
"Click here to add the currently selected companies." When you do that, the
selected company goes into the "Company Analysis List" located on the upper
right corner of the web page. You can collect up to 500 companies in this
list. When you click on "(Expand)" you will have the ability to set up your
comparison criteria.

If you need additional help in using these databases to compare companies,
please give me a call. I am happy to answer your questions.


FAQs: Frequently Asked (Business Research) Questions


I have been working on a re-design of my Business Research Launch Pad, and
an important part of that will be a new section I am calling:

"FAQs: Frequently Asked (Business Research) Questions"

located here:

I have been working on this for some time, and it is not yet complete. But
as the semester is almost at an end, I would like you to look this web page
over. I would like your comments. Do you see FAQs that can be improved,
and if so, how? Do you see FAQs that should be there but are not there?

It is my hope that this page will help students, or anyone doing business
research, to quickly see where the most important sources are for any
particular problem.

I appreciate your assistance.


ReferenceUSA Mapping!


I have good new for users of our ReferenceUSA database located at:

and on my Business Research Launch Pad page.

ReferenceUSA has turned on their new mapping features, and we are among the
first libraries to see them. They are so new, they do not even have
instructions or promotional materials on them. There are a number of
mapping related enhancements, and I will try to list and explain.

There are a number of ways to interact with the mapping.
For example, do a search on "Bulldog Pizza." When you find our Bulldog
Pizza, note that you can do a radius search. Put in 1 mile, and click on
find similar. You get three hits. Note now that you have a Map option. You
can quickly see where they are located.

Next, do a Custom search, and do a search on "Geography." Check on
"Neighborhood." Then select"Minnesota" then "Duluth', then "Congdon". (WE
CAN NOW SEARCH NEIGHBORHOODS!!!) Now you have the 160 businesses in
Congdon. Now Click on the "Map" option, and you can see the locations.

Now, for even more fun, do a fresh search. Enter the Business section,
select custom, then select geography, Now click on "Map Based Search Beta."
Now open the map. You have a Google Map of the USA. In the search box,
select an area, say, Duluth, MN. Notice now you have menu options to "Draw
Shape," or "Define Radius," or "Boundary Select", or etc. Note that you can
draw or create any shape, and see the results in that shape. This is

And as you look the menus over, you will see other types of mapping options
that can be combined with other ReferenceUSA search fields and search

People here at UMD have asked for, dreamed about, such possibilities,for
many, many years, and NOW THEY ARE HERE!!

If you have questions, email or call.


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