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Data where you might not expect it

Relevant data for research can turn up in some unexpected places. For example, we subscribe to a number of financial databases such as SNL, EIKON and Bloomberg. Their main purpose is to provide financial data on companies, stocks and markets. But to aid the industry analysts who use them, the databases also provide wider macroeconomic and demographic data. They even have information on infrastructure and geography. 

SNL, to focus on one, is strong on US statistics and contains the populations, age structure, household size and incomes, and unemployment rates of US states.

This information can also be mapped, along with:

  • World airports, cities, ports, railroads, roads and utilities
  • Real estate mortgage information across US counties 

  • Numbers of businesses by NAICS classification. 

Maps created can be exported, like this one of the population density of Houston:

This is a good lesson in going beyond known databases, and using sources against the grain. The full list of statistics databases we subscribe to can be found here:

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