Last Day at ALA Annual 2015: Researching Emerging Industries

by Ray Pun

Another ALA Annual conference has come and gone! I will return to Shanghai on Tuesday morning at 1 AM! Before I go back to work, I wanted to discuss a BRASS sponsored program I attended on Monday morning: “Not Elsewhere Classified: Different Approaches to Researching Emerging Industries,” presented by April Kessler and Laura Young from Bizologie.

It was a very interesting presentation that taught me a lot about how to think creatively in using a variety of current (and free) resources to conduct industry and market research. I found it to be very relevant and applicable to research in general. The program description states that “Experts will enlighten participants on how to locate and evaluate information on leading-edge industries, assess markets, and lead your clients in making strategic decisions when their business crosses traditional NAICS code boundaries or is part of a new or soon-to-be-existing field.”

The two speakers addressed many of the startup enterprises that are creating many waves and headlines in the world: Uber, Airbnb, HomeAway and other food delivery apps. These new technologies are part of this new sharing economy that can be very challenging for any researchers to find more information about.

Luckily, the speakers gave plenty of research techniques, tips and ideas when conducting research on emerging industries. Here are a few new things I learned:

• There are plenty of free resources for researchers to use. The speakers mentioned the following tools that could be helpful: Crunchbase,, BizJournal, online casino, and Statista, among others. They can give market trends, competitors or at least data/information about these new emerging companies.

• Google Research – You can run a Google search on Google News as well as searching for filetype: ppt, pdf, or xls for free sources on your business research.

• When researching these new emerging industries, think about new tax laws, regulations, SEC rulings, etc. These new policies are also determining how these new startups can operate responsibly under the law.

It was a great time to reconnect with friends, colleagues and many other folks at the ALA Annual conference! I always learn a lot and enjoy meeting new people in this event! Thanks for reading and I hope to see some of you next year in Orlando!