Changing to Thursday due to another meeting coming up on Wednesday. Apologies for the switcheroo!
I am a market research jackpot. I will speak with you about your needs. 1 in 6 of my users are startups… What am I?
I am SCOTBIS, the Scottish Business Information Service at the National Library of Scotland (George IV bridge across from the central library).
If you’re already signed up and have made use of the resources, then pat yourself on the back and let us know what you thought. If you’re in the dark, here are 10 reasons to check it out:
1. No more swearing when you find the perfect report online that wants to charge you £3000 to read it – you just might find it free!
2. ‘This is the motherload. Everything is in here’ – anonymous SCOTBIS enthusiast, a real person who has used it for his MBA dissertation
3. 17 different databases at your fingertips rich for market research – mwahahaha
4. Get information on companies, such as your competitors’ financials or lists of suppliers – oooh sneaky!
5. News databases – yes, even on the latest tech stories (check Frost)
6. When you have a specific enquiry, they’ll do 30 mins of research free of charge for you – remember when your parents used to help you with your homework? Yeah, like that =)
7. You can submit a new enquiry every day, week, or as needed – so don’t hold out, it’s not a one time deal
8. 10% of their market research data is not available elsewhere in the UK
9. Find lists of email addresses if e-marketing is your thing (check Compass)
10. It will get you out of your flat! – and you can get a drink on George IV bridge afterward if the research drives you mad
I caught an ERI talk today by John Coll, Head of Access & Enquiries at National Library of Scotland, and it made me appreciate living in Edinburgh with all of this on our doorstep. I learned that our library here actually specialises in company and market data, which is quite handy (sidenote: the Mitchell Library in Glasgow covers more on the patent side, so head there if IP is your need).
Some of the databases can be accessed online, but many only work on site. An additional benefit of visiting in person is access to the reading room, as there’s a lot of information that exists only in print form.
Students get a better deal on photocopying (think you get one chapter free), whereas photocopies that you declare are for business use will be charged a commercial license fee of 40p per page. Don’t let that put you off though, as you are free to take notes on anything you like.
You need to register in person to use most of the services, and I must admit I’ve been meaning to do this for 3 1/2 years. That’s ridiculous! To make the process more fun and prevent further procrastination, I propose a field trip to the National Library so we can all register together. You with me?
We’ll be meeting Thursday, 22nd October Wednesday, 21st October at 12pm on the path between Appleton Tower and the Informatics Forum. If it’s windy/rainy, meet just inside the Forum doors. We’ll walk over to the NLS together on George IV bridge, conquer registration for SCOTBIS access, and we can go for lunch afterward to celebrate our great achievement!
*Registration requires 2 things, so bring these*
1) A utility bill or proof of address
2) Another ID with your signature (ie. credit card)
See you then!
Final tips and tricks:
*If you’re organised, email firstname.lastname@example.org before your visit to say ‘I’m coming in Thursday at 2pm, and I’m interested in ___(be as specific as you can)___.’ That gives them time to do research for you before you arrive!
*There are 2 types of reader tickets you can apply for: choose the 3 year option (as opposed to 1 month) so you don’t have to go through the process again later.
*You can access SCOTBIS 9:30am-8:30pm M-F (well 10-8:30 Wed) + Saturday morning, but the research helpers work normal business hours 9:30-5pm so plan accordingly.