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Now Serving All 50 States! Forums Business Resources SWOT Analysis and Market Research, Oh my!

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      Carly Henry

      There are so many questions you might have after you first try to fill out a SWOT analysis. You might not know exactly who your target audience is. You might not know what the projections for your industry are. You might not know what you don’t know.

      This is where finding reliable data comes in handy and luckily, there are several sources that might have the information you need. Here I’ve gathered a few different formats, including resources about SWOT analysis and how to do it, resources focused on Indiana (the people, industry, etc.), and resources that contain national data. Some links provide interpretation of the data (graphs, charts, etc.), like “Hoosiers by the Numbers”, and some links provide links to even more data sources, or both.

      As you think of questions, write them down. Consider the data you would need and then look through the sources and see where you might find an answer to your questions. Does your question deal with demographics? The labor force? Your industry? Look for a data source for the category and then see what data charts or tools are available that could answer your questions.


      SWOT Analysis

      1. Shopify. (n.d.). How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis: Examples, Strategies, and Templates. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      2. Employment, S. B. (2018, August 27). Example SWOT analysis. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from
      3. Rizzo, A., & Kim, G. J. (2005). A SWOT Analysis of the Field of Virtual Reality Rehabilitation and Therapy. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 14(2), 119-146. doi:10.1162/1054746053967094 from Google Scholar
      4. Houben, G., Lenie, K., & Vanhoof, K. (1999). A knowledge-based SWOT-analysis system as an instrument for strategic planning in small and medium sized enterprises. Decision Support Systems, 26(2), 125-135. doi:10.1016/s0167-9236(99)00024-x from Google Scholar
      5. Taghavifard, M., Mahdiraji, H. A., Alibakhshi, A., Zavadskas, E., & Bausys, R. (2018). An Extension of Fuzzy SWOT Analysis: An Application to Information Technology. Information, 9(3), 46. doi:10.3390/info9030046 from

        “SWOT (an acronym standing for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a commonly used tool for analyzing internal and external environments in order to attain a systematic approach and support for decision making [2–10]. The SWOT approach is based on the aggregation of the internal (strengths, weak-nesses) and external (opportunities, threats) factors for adopting strategies. In other words, the extracted strategies of SWOT matrix is comprised of four categories of factors combinations:

        • Strengths and Opportunities (S-O);
        • Strengths and Threats (S-T);
        • Weaknesses and Threats (W-T); and,
        • Weaknesses and Opportunities (W-O) [11].”

        These are the 4 quadrants of the SWOT grid.


      Indiana Resources

      1. Indiana Department of Workforce Development. (n.d.). Hoosiers by the Numbers. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from

        “As a partner in the state data initiative, Information for Indiana, Research & Analysis is committed to closing major gaps in the state’s collection, analysis and dissemination of data and to providing high-quality data and analysis for informed decision making by job seekers, policy makers, economic developers and other stakeholders in Indiana’s economy and labor market.”

      2. Kelley School of Business. (n.d.). Indiana Business Research Center. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from

        “The IBRC maintains databases on numerous topics such as income, employment, taxes, sectors of the economy, education, demographics and a host of other economic indicators for the nation, the state and local areas. In addition, the Center conducts original research to generate needed information when existing data are not available or sufficient.”

        Be sure to check out the ‘Data and Resources’ page:

      3. Indiana Business Research Center. (n.d.). STATS Indiana. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from

        “The data on STATS Indiana are provided by more than 100 federal and state agencies, along with commercial or private data sources. The STATS Indiana database powers also powers Hoosiers by the Numbers and dozens of local and regional websites throughout Indiana. We add value to these data in the form of calculations, graphs, comparisons of time or geography, time series and maps.”

      More Resources

      1. United States Census Bureau. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Overview of BLS Demographic Data. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      3. **Gale. (n.d.). Business Insights Global. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      4. *EBSCO. (n.d.). Business Source Complete. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      5. **EBSCO. (n.d.). ReferenceUSA. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      6. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Industries at a Glance. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from
      7. (n.d.). Office of Entrepreneurship Education. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from
      8. National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). Project with Partners. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from
      9. (n.d.). Market research and competitive analysis. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from
      10. Beesley, C. (2012, March 29). Conducting Market Research? Here are 5 Official Sources of Free Data That Can Help. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from
      11. (n.d.). Small Business Facts and Infographics | The U.S. Small Business Administration. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from


      Please keep in mind this is not a complete list, just some of the resources available. If you find a link that you think should be included here, please let me know!


      * Available through INSPIRE for Indiana residents:

      ** May be available through your library databases. Check with your local library!


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