Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Database: DemographicsNow

Sawyer Library recently added another valuable database called DemographicsNow. It allows you to build a demographic (that is, statistical characteristics of a specific population) report after setting your own criteria and stepping through a simple report-building process.

The resource self-describes itself in this way: "DemographicsNow is a comprehensive yet easy-to-use tool that provides highly sought after demographic data that allows prospective entrepreneurs, long-time business owners and students building marketing plans to collect, analyze and quickly act upon that data. With demographic information including income, housing, race, age, education, consumer expenditures and more, users have immediate access to untapped opportunities that can significantly enhance their current business intelligence."

Of course, it's not just business people that find demographic information useful. Many researchers in the social sciences will also find this a useful way to build a quick snapshot of social factors in a particular area!

You would first pick a geographic area--these include state, county, zip codes, and the like. Then you select specifics in your geographic category, then pick the types of statistics you want, or look for the grey tab that says "Report Packages" to choose a "Express Pack" report that covers topics like "Business Location" or Census or Population. You can even do comparisons or ranking reports, and produce maps. Once you build or open the report you want, it can be put into a Printable Version, a PDF Version, or an Excel Version which would allow you to manipulate the data further. (Just look for the buttons at the top of the screen.)

In some cases, you might wonder what some of the terms and statistical categories mean. Look for the "Help and Info" link in the upper left corner for tips and explanations. The glossary, for example, will help define things like a DMA. (A "Designated Market Area" as a "formal term for what is more commonly known as a TV or broadcast market....")

Gale/Cengage, the maker of our InfoTrac and GVRL databases, is the company releasing this Library Edition of DemographicsNow. If you are interested, they have a few informational web resources on the database. These include a PDF descriptive factsheet on the product, as well as a nice PowerPoint presentation that details features and techniques.

We hope you find this resource a useful one!

[FIND DemographicsNow on our "Databases by Subject" List in both the "Business and Management" category and the "Social Sciences" list.]

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