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MBA Country Research Resource Guide: Country Information

A how-to research guide on collecting and using country and international data.

Country Data Resources

For this first section we are going to use just a couple of resources. We are going to work with CultureGrams. CultureGrams is a publication that gives a short overview and basic facts about a country. I started with Canada as my choice of countries and you can find a narrative. This map is an image that I took from the CultureGram page. CultureGrams also provide the researcher with information on the history of the country, its people and its culture. The orientation of the narrative is to the concept that doing business with a company within a nation means that you understand the customs, the people and the past-times.  





Business Insight shares data on companies and industries but also includes the Dunn and Bradstreet reports on countries. The report itself is quite lengthy and includes great data on the country, its economy and growth. Notice that the narrative has changed. You are now seeing data that is important to an economist - the GDP of the country - the Life Expectancy - the unemployment rate and so on. Obviously these are important pieces of information for me to know about my country. These are also topics that I could use to compare this country to another country. Business Insight allows you to “tree off” in other directions including leading companies – overall industry information along with links to other narratives. 


As seen here, click into the Key information to see tables and charts and then compare data between countries. 

One of the useful functions in Business Insight is the Compare Country feature. It allows me to show a graph of one of these aspects of the economy of a particular country and then compare that to another country of interest. With this access, I can answer some simple questions - how large is economy of Canada in comparison to Mexico? Out of a list of selected countries, who exports the most product or imports the most? What are the strengths of the economies of a particular country? As you run some country comparisons you can also educate yourself on the many types of data that are collected by these countries. 

You should be feeling more comfortable about the type of data that you are finding and also more knowledgeable about the type of data that countries collect. To help with this, HPU has a very broad based statistical resource that you can use to find out almost any type of data on a country (or a product, or a company .....) It is called Statista. Statista collects data from the web, from pay-for marketing sites and even does primary research of its own. One of its better traits is that it is published by a German company so the data collected is very international in nature. Try a simple search for your country and then spend a minute looking through the screens.


You should be see all types of content that you need plus a lot that you had not considered. You can then download simple or interactive charts as images that will work well in a presentation. Be careful, I can also download entire power point or PDFs of collected data. REMEMBER TO CITE YOUR DATA - a source is only as good as its origin and it is important to let the reader know where you found your content.