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Business and Management Research Guide

Use this guide for help doing general business research, including searching for credible articles, doing company and industry research, and writing a literature review

Types of Data & Statistics

Demographic

Demographics are the measured characteristics of a group: gender, age, race/ethnicity/culture, employment, income level, education level, civil status, etc. This is reported data gathered during the census and other population surveys. 

You want to gather data about your specific group or geographic area of interest and compare it to similar community or group of communities (such as the state of Minnesota or the United States as a whole).

Geographic

The location of your business plays a huge role in products and services you will provide. Observation in a key player in understanding this part of analyzing a target market. Who lives in the community? What other businesses are already in the community? What are the methods of transportation? 

Psychographic

Whereas demographics measure objective, factual information of a group, psychographics measure peoples' habits, hobbies, and opinions. This is typically recorded through surveys and interviews to learn more about consumers than a census can provide. When used in combination with demographic data, psychographic data gives the marketer a more complete picture of the buyer.  

Business Statistics

Need data and statistics for a business or marketing plan? Statista is a great place to find visualized data like graphs, charts, and infographics.  

Demographic Characteristics

Demographic characteristics tell us more about a certain population, including: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Generation (Baby-Boomers, Silent Generation, Millennial, etc.)
  • Nationality
  • Ethnicity
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Household size
  • Religion

Geographic Characteristics

When defining a market segment or target market it is often important to define the population geographically. 

  • Region: continent, country, state, or even neighborhood
  • Size of metropolitan area according to population size
  • Population density: urban, suburban, or rural
  • Climate: weather patterns common to certain geographic regions

Lifestyle Traits

Learn more about your chosen population by searching through these resources. Try finding news articles or other stories about trends -- technology, culture, or fashion -- and consumer preferences that might affect how a product is perceived.  

Use these other online sources together with the above databases to find more.

U.S. Government Statistics