The best free vs fee sources for statistics and country research #ncla11

The best free vs fee sources for statistics and country research #ncla11
Lynda Kellam (’07) and Steve Cramer

Proving that statistic and country research can be exciting at 9am, Lynda Kellam and Steve Cramer pitted resources against each other in this session. Broken into rounds, they took similar resources, compared their strengths and weaknesses and then illustrated the battle with battle bots and tortoise and hare races. Here are the winners (marked with **) and other contenders:

EIU Country Reports vs Datamonitor reports (both via BSP)
– search by source, country reports in BSP
– in premier get full report in one, in bsp broken out; very text-heavy
**Datamonitor country analysis (PESTLE insights)
– includes environmental landscapes
– pretty charts and graphs

World DataBank v UN Data v IMF Data
**world databank
– 9 datasets, all free
– economic as well as demographic and social data
UN Data
– many free, some fee
IMF data
– some free, other fee, can do short trials
– data mapper, can get images out for reports

Political risk yearbook (bsp) v CQ political handbook of the world
– broken down into different pieces in bsp (look for biggest PDF file for full report)
– how safe is it to do business in a particular country?
– fee, similar to Europa and CIA world factbook but focus on more current issues in each country
– focus on political systems

Country watch v IHS country monitor
**Country watch (via BSP)
– no embargo
– narrative reports on wide range of topics
IHS (via BSP)
– country and industry forecasting company
– monthly reports (but not updated since Jan)

OECD v Euromonitor Passport GMID
**OECD iLibrary
– subscription but papers available through BSP
– lots of resources on lots of subjects, including most of the books published by OECD
Euromonitor Passport
– international consumer markets with data, reports, analysis
– very expensive!
– difficult to use, slow

CCG v WB v EIU (all good! Use all 3)
Country Commercial Guides
– free!, produced by US Dept of Commerce, US Commercial Service
– focused on exporting US goods to other markets
– practical guides
WorldBank “doing business in…”
– free, very visual
– not necessarily about exporting, but about expanding business
EIU Country Commerce (via BSP)
– how to do business, broken down into individual chapters

wikipedia v nationmaster
– further reading, bibliography, external links are helpful, make students find keywords using it
– free but with ads
– dated! Taking it from good sources, but not necessarily the most current data

Europa Yearbook v WorldMark Encyclopedia of Nations
– fee, basic but current and informative narratives about countries
– covers all countries and UN system but not updated as frequently

CIA World Factbook v US Dept of State Background Notes
– free, includes military and transportation, not as narrative driven
US State Dept
– free, land, people, politics, etc
– updated irregularly
– also provides travel warnings (mobile app!) (


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