In college, I was the go-to-person for research in my friend circle. I was good at finding information. I knew where to look. My friends liked to Google and I liked to do everything else. I was also marginally better at choosing search terms and not scared of pages 2, 3, and 4 of the results list. Google Scholar, Journals, Annual Reports, and Databases were very good friends of mine and I liked using them. You can also get information from national statistics boards and international organizations’ websites. They tend to make top line data public. They are all good places to look for info.
Information is very useful and accurate data even more so not only to corporations, but also to students. Students do projects, case studies, reports, class discussions, etc. to prepare for their jobs in the future. Students try to understand various industries and their dynamics so they have a better understanding on how to evaluate the market they are working in. Actual data makes these discussions more in-depth, more interesting, more enlightening, and deepens your understanding of the market. More importantly, it teaches students to be more comfortable working with actual data – data that doesn’t fall in clean charts and whole numbers.
Journals are great to understand what the latest research and findings are, but Databases help you build that base and understanding of market dynamics that give students that clear insight into the market dynamics. They can see their theories at work. Telling students that some industries are not sensitive to economic slowdowns is interesting, showing them the industries and data can start more informative discussions. In turn, this will filter into them having more interesting discussions with their prospective employers. If they can show clear understanding of the industry that they want to work in, they are more likely to be hired.
Not only do students benefit from systematically researched databases, professors do too. Professors need systematic data for their own research. It is also important to them to have access to verified and standardized data. Having standardized data makes it easier for them to draw conclusions and dismiss variables that they are not interested in. It gives a stable data set to work with. Databases provide essential data which research projects can be built upon. It is also data that they can use in classes to test the understanding of students or explain the movements of the market.
In short, systematic research is not only useful to corporates and governments – their interest in the data is clearer – academics need this data just as much.
These are my thoughts about the resources. It’s especially become a hot topic in Asian universities as they shift more towards a research system and develop their resources to compete on an international level. What are your thoughts on this?
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