I know the danger of first impressions. And of reportage on the basis of superficial knowledge. But when something newsworthy comes along, caution must yield in the moment. So, permit me to introduce you to NYPL's newest marketing research electronic resource: IBISWorld.
Let's start with a (nearly) real-world example from the research desk at SIBL—Where can I find industry information about yoga retreats?
Australian White Ibis, photo by JJ Harrison (Wikipedia)The desk response to a question of this nature generally entails a caffeinated introductory tour of our recommended databases. And a word or two of warning: niche segments (which this is) may often require scouring several different resources and many reports and articles, pulling from each details and pieces you need to cobble together yourself; a real creative writing exercise!
So what happens if we try to plug this search into IBISWorld? A keyword search on "yoga" yields several industry reports, of which the top one is titled: Pilates & Yoga Studios - OD4185. Noting that there are a total of 24 reports in the results, opening the entire list shows at #10: Summer Camps - OD5349.
If you've not tried to do market research on niche markets, at this point you might say "hey, what the hay..." in reaction to these seemingly unremarkable results. Shouldn't we get stuff like this every time? And these are OK, but there's no report on "Yoga Retreats." What good is it?
Well, based on my experience helping our readers, this is one of the best result sets I've seen from a search of this nature. If you are doing market research, I invite you to come to SIBL and try this resource. We can learn more together. And if IBISWorld doesn't do the trick for you, believe me we have many more arrows in our quiver.
What You Get From IBISWorld
On screen, the industry reports break down into "tabs": About This Industry; Industry at a Glance; Industry Performance; Industry Outlook; Product & Markets; Competitive Landscape; Major Companies; Operating Conditions; and Key Statistics. Here's a screen shot from the first page (click on the image for a larger version):
Besides the text and statistical charts in the report, some impressive things that catch the eye are different graphic representations contained in:
Industry at a Glance
What You Can Take Away
Happily, this resource allows you to download a pdf, print-friendly version, of the report. For purposes of a teaser, and to help you better understand the level of detail of these reports, I've attached the first two pages from the pdf of the Yoga report. Two things I call to your attention in this pdf: the date of the report (I expect there are annual updates) and author are listed, and the "tabs" from the screen version form a table of contents with subheadings.
So please come to SIBL, do research in IBISWorld, and take away a report or two. But, I must make this request... please kill only what you intend to eat... help us make sure NYPL will preserve access to these reports for other readers!