Archives for posts with tag: research

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This will be the last post I write for simplybusinessresearch. For five years I have been covering topics of interest about writing, books, innovation, libraries, and business trends – a true hodgepodge! My business, Cottrill Research, has been consuming more and more of my time. There are exciting new initiatives I will be pursuing with Cottrill Research and have decided to retire simplybusinessresearch. Who knows maybe in a few years I will pick it back up, but until then, goodbye. It’s been a true joy sharing content with fellow lovers of books and innovative thought.

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lyd2017

The second annual Love Your Data Week (LYD) is scheduled for February 13 – 17.

LYD week is conducted via social media and is coordinated by research data specialists, mostly working in academic and research libraries or data archives or centers. LYD aims to raise awareness about topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. Practical tips, resources, and stories to help researchers at any stage in their career use good data practices will be shared.

You can add your institution to the list and see other 2017 participants here. You can find detailed information about each day’s activities/resources here.

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Photo by Thomas Litangen via Unsplash

Virginia Woolf’s classic essay, A Room of One’s Own, was written in 1929 and explores, in regards to woman and fiction, the opinion that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. A woman at that time, due to social restrictions, had limited resources, space, privacy and time, all of which are needed to create and write fiction.

Fast-forward to today and a variation on the theme of independence can be explored that pertains to both men and women and includes the world of business. It is about creating an environment that allows for intellectual freedom. One way for business professionals and others who wish to grow creatively and intellectually outside their places of work, is to start businesses of their own.

Starting a business today is vastly different than starting one in the past. The main reason for this is due to, thanks to technology and innovation, the development of open access resources and tools. Starting and running a business in the past required a great deal of investment. Now, the availability of open access resources offer not only high quality, but economical options and opportunities as well.

Here are just a few examples of open access resources and tools and their uses. There are many, many more available:

  • Marketing/Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
  • Social Media Monitoring – Social Mention, Icerocket, Hootsuite
  • Marketing/Communications – blogging sites such as WordPress and Medium
  • Marketing/Design – Canva allows you to design and create professional presentations, flyers, documents, infographics, and more
  • Business and Market Research – SEC filings, Google Trends, Owler, SimilarWeb, Kompass. Emergence of government data combined with analytics
  • Accounting – GnuCash, Wave
  • Virtual Meetings – JoinMe, Google Hangouts, AnyMeeting

Today, it truly is possible to create a personal environment to freely pursue intellectual endeavors. Lucky for us that we live in a time where high quality open access tools and resources are readily available.

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Photo by Sean Brown via Unsplash

Search Engine Land featured an article in June, written by Wesley Young, entitled The Voice Search Explosion and How It Will Change Local Search. Included are fascinating tidbits of information for those who follow and are interested in the world of search and retrieval. Here are two key takeaways:

  • There is explosive growth – “At LSA [Local Search Association] 16, [Timothy]Tuttle shared that within one year (last year), the use of voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search volume…Yet more recent numbers show that growth accelerating — Google announced at I/O that 20 percent of all searches have voice intent, while [Mary] Meeker’s charts show that in May 2016, 25 percent of searches on Windows 10 taskbar are voice searches.”
  • Voice search is different than keywords in a search box – “Because search queries are more conversational in natural language, they tend to be longer, more nuanced and reveal greater intent…It’s also easy to see how queries may no longer be ‘search-oriented’ in the way we define it today but rather jump over search straight into a request for action. For example, instead of searching for pizza restaurants near me, you can now request Alexa (Echo) to order you a Large Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza with mushrooms and extra sauce and have it delivered to your house via the Domino’s Pizza skill.”

Just the beginning? I think yes.

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The universal mission of public libraries is to serve and meet the cultural and information needs of their local communities. The business community, without doubt, is an important sector and services are offered with the goal to help local businesses thrive. Unfortunately, many businesses do not know about all the wonderful resources that are available. Here is a list and reasons why businesses, both large and small, should be utilizing the offerings provided by public libraries. It is not necessary to physically visit the library, as most resources are available in 24/7 accessible digital formats.

Business Research Databases

Accessing quality business research data can be expensive and many times the high cost of business databases limits the purchasing of these types of resources. Most public libraries have at least one or two databases that provide company and industry information and access to key business and trade publications. Larger libraries provide access to many of the databases widely used in corporations. Databases that provide the ability to create targeted company lists for sales and supplier identification are commonly available.

Business Publications

It’s true that your business probably subscribes to the key trade publications that are important in the industry in which you practice. What to do when you want to read more than just a select few? The library has access to many key business journals, in addition to local and regional business newspapers (which are important for searching small, private companies). For general business, Zinio is a service that provides access to magazines online and there a Business/Finance genre where publications can be viewed/downloaded.

Business Books

The business book collection in your local library will contain titles that are hot off the press, popular titles, and classics. Business books can be expensive to purchase, which might limit the enthusiasm to read and keep current. Many books can be downloaded on a device of choice from Overdrive or Hoopla and enjoyed while you are commuting to work or jogging around the block.

Books, Music, and Movies for Enjoyment or Relaxation

Download or check out the latest best sellers, songs, or movies. Enjoying fiction and non-fiction books either by reading or listening to them lets you get far away from the stresses of work. Libraries have unique and excellent DVD collections that include hard-to-find foreign films and documentaries.

Access to Search Experts

Many librarians take on subject expert roles, and there is a good chance that one of your local librarians has expertise in business research. Tap into that knowledge to learn the best resources to use for your information need and how to perform research that gets results. Research and digging up information is what reference librarians truly love to do and the harder the challenge, the better!

Free Meeting Spaces

If you are a solopreneur and don’t want to meet clients at your home office (and want a break from the usual coffee shop) the library has small meeting rooms available for free.

Interlibrary Loan Service

Let the librarians find that obscure or hard-to-get article, report, or book. If your local library does not have what you need, the librarians can make a loan request to a lending library, anywhere in the country.

Free Wi-Fi and Computer Use

Many professionals do not work in an office and often work with a laptop anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection. Also, computers are available for use, along with printers and scanners. As a minimum, expect most to have all the Office applications available.

 

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Image Credit: Ibagli, OSU Graduation, via Public Domain

In 2013 the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) launched a three-year program, Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) designed to help postsecondary institutions “investigate the library’s impact on student learning and academic success.” The project findings are important because they reinforce the “growing body of evidence that demonstrates positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success.” According to the findings report these contributions are in four key areas. They are listed below (directly quoted from the Executive Summary):

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them acquire a common set of competencies for their undergraduate studies. The assessment findings from numerous AiA projects that focused on information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  1. Library use increases student success. Several AiA studies point to increased academic success when students use the library. The analysis of multiple data points (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) shows that students who use the library in some way achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.
  1. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).
  1. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Several AiA projects document that libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.

 

Academic libraries do indeed contribute to student success and the research and critical thinking skills developed in college will also contribute greatly to success in the work environment.

16_Skills_FutureofWorkImage Source: Tanmay Vora, QAspire Blog, August 31, 2015

I ran across a great article through a post shared on LinkedIn (thank you John Semanik). Entitled, Skills For Future Success in a Disruptive World of Work, author Tanmay Vora starts out with the story of his father retiring as a Library Science professional right before libraries were completely transformed by digital disruption. Questioning what skills will be required in a future world of work that will continuously be disrupted by technology and innovation, Mr. Vora lists the “skills young people should be learning to be prepared for a career in 2020,” which are from a 2012 Elon and Pew study, and included in Janna Q. Anderson’s article: The Future of Work? The Robot Takeover Is Already Here.

My favorites:

  • The ability to concentrate, to focus deeply.
  • The ability to search effectively for information and to be able to discern the quality. and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well.
  • Synthesizing skills (being able to bring together details from many sources).

Mr. Vora, added a few of his own; which are depicted in his graphic shown above:

  • The ability to learn constantly in a self-directed mode.
  • Social Intelligence and ability to connect with people beyond geographical barriers virtually in a deep/meaningful way and collaborate.
  • Adaptive mindset to evolve the thinking and learning to keep pace with the pace of changes around us.
  • Interdisciplinary thinking
  • Critical thinking