Academic discourse continues to dominate the important role that knowledge plays in industry’s success and participants. The increasing amount of cross-disciplinary literature demonstrates the importance of not only identifying but accessing relevant information. In the sense of what we are looking for, where, and how it may be located, no single specific interpretation of the term industrial information is provided with region, language, field, function etc. However, what is evident is that knowledge remains an essential commodity among the skills of a manager. For the purpose of this entry, as E. Ozgen and R.A. Baron write, industry details will represent, “The idea that the acknowledgement of opportunity plays a crucial role. .. entrepreneurs must perceive, compile, analyse and apply knowledge on particular industries, technologies, economies, public policies, and other factors to recognise opportunities for sustainable new projects.”
The digital age was now a usurpation of traditional sources of knowledge to the industry from companies, market research, country and sector study, with projections of 10-fold in the Digital Universe by 2011. A look at UK-based industry/business knowledge in the form of data products can be useful for examples from the digital age. There are a number of sources of information for industry through domestic, international, academic and private libraries. The sources are mainly electronic sources and identify a cross-section from innovation/ideas up to production and marketing: The knowledge sources in the industry:
COBRA (Complete Business Reference Advisor) database: an encyclopaedia which includes information about small business start-up, running and management and examples.
Enterprise in one package Website: a free business start-up guide covering areas such as personnel, funding, ideas security, etc.
Website for business links: DTI Funded
Small Business Service: supporting knowledge, advice, guidance and networking through local agencies.
National Enterprise Agencies Federation: independent, non-profit service to advise providers and small enterprises.
Startups.co.uk: Provides strategic strategy, financial assistance and so on, along with newsletters and start-ups networking.
This study shows a small cross-section of the scope and contents of available sources for rivals, manufacturers, market assessment, etc., using the advertising industry as an example. A similar set of target resources can be defined within each sector of industry (pharmaceuticals, retailing, etc.).
Annual Advertisers: Listings by venue, industry, alliances and sources of the United Kingdom agencies.
BRAD Monthly Media Guide (EMAP Group): Monthly list in the United Kingdom of advertising media, new and current media outlets, by sector organisation.
The World Advertising Research Center’s (WARC) Yearbook covers sales and marketing data for print, radio and TV media in the United Kingdom.
Business ratio report: Main notes: UK market overview, profiling over 120 businesses in the financial sector, league tables, growth of workers, etc.
The World Advertisement Research Center (the European Marketing Pocket Book) covers 33 countries with population, economic indicators, and publicity spending.
Website Ad Forum: Worldwide advertisement resources. Resources.
Advertising Association: Federation of advertising and promotional trade organisations in the UK.
Market research databases such as the following are another useful group of business information sources:
AMADEUS: About 1,5 million business profiles from 32 European countries. AMADEUS: There are main financial details and contact information and lists to be generated in searching in countries.
Business Insight: Offers market research and analysis in many main sectors including medical, financial, oil, telecommunications, high-tech and food and drink industries.
FAME: Detailed financial details in the UK and Ireland for 2.5 million businesses. Expert search enables company lists which can be classified by sale, postal code and other search variables to be created.
Key Note: Provides full text access to over 1,000 reporting covering over 30 industries, including IT and food and beverage.
Kompass Worldwide: Includes comprehensive product details in 70 countries and service descriptions of more than 1.9 million businesses. For producers and suppliers this is a crucial source.
Mintel: Coverage covers a wide variety of business and lifestyle industries in the UK.
Clearly, today’s modern manager also requires additional tools to supplement the above-noted electronic sources. In the non-standard social channels of mentors, information industry networks and involvement in professional fora, E. Ozgen and R. A. Barons address the need to consider peer support and social networking and propose that there are three other sources of key industrial expertise. In the current knowledge economy it is important to understand and use industry information, while trying to be aware of and be capable of using both formal, informal, internal and external sources of information is impractical.