By Nash Wills, Staff Writer
When you think of the IBIC, what do you think of? A pretty building that houses some books and DVDs? A quiet place to study with lots of good worktables and some cool study rooms with big windows letting in natural light and stunning views? While the IBIC is all of that, people might not realize how much more it really is, and I want to try to change your perception of it. The IBIC is a house of vast amounts of information. It is a research warehouse designed to help you discover more, learn more, and grow more as a student and professional. Access to a library like ours is one of the most amazing aspects of being in graduate school, and all students would do well not to forget that. I mean really, what do you think all of that tuition money is paying for?
The advent of the Internet has both helped and hurt libraries. It has helped in that it allows libraries to hold more information in a more organized and efficient way. It makes access to innumerable amounts of documents, data, books, and journals just a click away. On the other hand, the Internet has turned into somewhat of a substitute for libraries. Google and other search engines just seem like more of a natural choice. I come from a liberal arts background. I studied history in undergrad and I really credit my area of study with shaping my current perceptions and reverence for libraries. For myself, when it came to schoolwork at the University of Georgia, I actually had to use the library…for everything. I was forced to learn how to use a library and eventually, I came to love them. The UGA library was so big and housed so much information that I even found my family’s names in the Savannah, Georgia census records from the early 1800s. I digress. The point I am trying to make here is that not everyone, especially people who do not have a liberal arts background, truly had to use a library, and this has contributed to the overall view of a library simply existing as a quiet place to study at nice tables.
It’s funny how certain actions have unintended side effects. A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article entitled “Ultimate Interview Prep Tools” in which I documented my discovery of the different resources that are available to us, as students, here at Thunderbird through the ASU libraries. In the article I discussed a few different databases that I had used in order to prepare for a last minute interview and because I found them so helpful, I wanted to share them with the school. My article, however, caught the eye of someone I wasn’t expecting: Allison Leaming. Allison is the full-time librarian at the IBIC. She can tell you everything you want to know about the library and the information that it houses. Allison read my article and thought that I might do more with it, so we scheduled a meeting and I’m glad that we did. Allison is an awesome person to know. She knows a ton about Thunderbird, and she’s a great resource who is more than willing to help students with any research needs that they may have. She is from Canada where she did both her undergrad and masters in economics and international development and in library and information studies, respectively. After graduation she moved to New York City where she worked at a hedge fund on Wall Street. From there she was brought on at ASU where she worked for 5 years before making the move to Thunderbird, which is where she has been since July of 2011. During my meeting with Allison I asked her to tell me about the databases that she has found to be the most valuable. They are listed below with hyperlinks. Use them to your advantage and make the IBIC’s resources work for you.
Passport: This online database is based off of Euromonitor content. It is an integrated online information system containing information about key business intelligence on countries, companies, markets, and consumers. In total it covers over 350 markets and 207 countries. The information in this database comes from top-of-the-line analysts who produce consumer industry market reports, reference books, company profiles, current market data, market forecasts, competitor intelligence, market and trends analysis, mergers and acquisitions research, and statistical data analysis. As Allison described it to me, “this is where you can get all of the latest reports on baby food consumption in Chile.”
Investext: Provided by Thomson Research, this database provides in-depth full-text investment firm and brokerage house research reports. The reports are presented in their original image format, including charts and graphs. This information is critical for strategic planning, competitive analysis, and M&A activity. It’s the highest quality database that you can use for industry and company research. In the words of Allison: “It is intelligent and is made by the best analysts. It’s all of the stuff that these Wall Street guys know.”
Mergent Intellect: This database provides company profiles, industry overviews, news articles, and even job postings for the North American and international markets. It is a great resource for basic company and industry research.
The Economist Intelligence Unit: This resource provides data and forecasts about political, economic, and business climates of various regions in up to 200 countries as well as related news, analysis, and risk factor assessments. The database includes the online version of the Country Report series, the Financial Services Report series, Country Commerce, ViewsWire, the Economist, Global Outlook, and selected Country Forecast series.
ABI Inform: This database includes articles from thousands of English-language publications worldwide covering business, management, and related areas as well as case studies, annual reports, country reports, industry reports, commodity reports, conference papers, and dissertations. It is a business aggregator and can supply the largest range of sources. Through this database you can get access to the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Economist, and all of the other top journals out there. You can even format the database so that it delivers your own personalized resources. Allison told me “instead of Google you should just be using this.”