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MGRL 2300: Entrepreneurship - The Business Planning Process: Planning Your Research

Research 101

As you begin your research, ask yourself:

  • What do you already know?
  • What you NEED to know?
  • Do you need to identify companies?
  • Do you need to understand an industry?
  • Do you need background on a product or service? 

Think about "who cares" enough to compile, analyze and publish data on a particular business topic. Library databases contain peer reviewed contents, analyst reports and other vetted information. In addition, consider sources such as :

  • Government agencies at the Federal, State and Local levels
  • Trade associations
  • Consulting firms
  • Locally based media

Vetting Your Sources

While searching the internet SEEMS quick and easy, the quality of your research is related to the quality of the sources you use: "garbage in, garbage out." Applying the C.R.A.P. test is one way to evaluate the quality and value of a data or information source. Ask yourself these questions to determine if you should utilize a resource:

  • Currency - Is the information current? Is it updated regularly?
  • Reliability - Is the source reputable? Is it accurate?
  • Authority - Who created the information? Why?
  • Purpose/Point of View - Is there a balance of perspectives? Is the information biased?

Please see this additional information about the CRAP test as well as the Vanderbilt University presentation What The Crap?

The World of Business Information