This week we cover business and statistics sources of information. This title is a bit, and purposefully, misleading, because by business I mean sources of information that provide business leaders and entrepreneurs with the data and information they need to make smart, strategic decisions, rather than sources of information that specifically cater to business people or that specifically supply business information.
What this means is that we are largely looking at government sources of information. The fact of the matter is is that the US government has a strong incentive to grow the economy. While it's true that our two major parties disagree about how best to accomplish and encourage economic growth, and on how to do it fairly and justly, it's also true that good data and good information are fundamental and necessary for any business--it's true if a business wants to make a profit and it's true if a business wants to make a profit efficiently.
Our readings this week guide us through a handful of government websites. Aside from listening to this short lecture and reading the two chapters this week, you are going to pick two of the sites listed in this discussion prompt and write about them. Your task is to spend a good amount of time with these sources, to play around with them, to see what kinds of information and data you can get out of them, and so forth. The book is a good guide in doing this, and I've listed a few questions for you to respond to in this post as a result of your engagement with these sources.
I'm not going to ignore more traditional business sources. This week I'll post a couple of short demonstration videos of sources that are specifically designed for business research. These will include the Mergent Online and the Business Source Complete databases, but I do this only to expose you to the kinds of tools that are available to you. Your job is to focus on the government sources I've listed here. Your job is to focus on the government sources that I've listed here.
Again, I encourage you to spend some time with these government sources --- play around with all of them but select only two to discuss in your post here. The best way to really see what you can get from these sources, and to learn them, is to spend time with them and use them. If you become good at this, you'll have a huge competitive advantage in any future career you tackle or in any future business that you may start -- these sources of information are that good. Note also, these sources we're studying are not simply useful to those in business -- they're useful for many others too -- e.g., journalists and even to citizens who want to know all the things that the government collects data on. Think about how these sites and sources apply more generally as you study them.