Once you’ve got a rough idea of what information you are hoping to find (or infer!), your next step is to spend a few minutes thinking about... Who on earth would care enough about this topic to gather and publish the data?
That is, for each of the questions that you brainstormed earlier, can you predict the likely publishers?
I know... you're wondering why we don't just go straight to Google. Why insert yet another step?!
I have nothing against Google -- it's indispensable for market research. However, just a few minutes thinking about what type of organization might have the answers you need can either...
- lead you directly to the perfect source, bypassing Google and saving lots of time browsing through random ads & cat pictures; or
- help you at least spot the good stuff quickly among thousands of Google search results.
In my experience, the most common types of organizations who might publish the data you need are...
See the following posts from my Trampoline series for lots more on the types of questions each publisher type might address and ways to start searching for such resources:
Those posts include links to many specific examples of resources that fit the Trampoline cohort's needs. Those examples may help you understand the value of each category, but they won't answer your specific "EntrepreNorth" questions (sorry!).
Nevertheless, each post's description of what types of questions that type of publisher answers may prove useful, as will the tips on how to (freely) find resources in each category.
Our last post will finish this series off with additional search tips and starting points. Read on!