Information literacy Videos

Quick and easy video production for Librarians and Instructors

This video showcases my method or protocol to prepare quick & easy videos for my learners. I am a librarian working in a University in Canada and I use free software, namely Quicktime, to produce these instructional support materials. This video is hosted here: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

Here is the outline of the video:

1. Before you begin: Create a new user account; Fix accessibility settings; Lights, camera, outline

2. During the video capture: Be yourself, pretend a friend is with you; 10 minutes max; Don’t edit, throw away & start over

3. Post production and uploading: This outline is your description on YouTube; Use YouTube’s tools for post production

DON’T PANIC! Be playful! Practice…

Source: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

I have prepared a 10 minute video about how I produce my instructional videos. It has taken me about a decade to arrive at this workflow, I’ve transformed my practice long ago to harness the potential of new technologies, tools and platforms. My goal is to share with you my playful and underwhelming method to make simple but useful videos.

Please don’t feel like you should put yourself “out there” as I have. As a middle-aged, overqualified and, well, tenured, white male, I am well aware that I can leverage many factors in my favour to curate an Internet persona. Please focus on the production method (QuickTime hack & inexpensive computer equipment), not the dissemination strategy (YouTube & posting on a blog available on the Internet).

I simply use QuickTime, my old computer with an onboard mic and camera and zero editing (ok, I have a nice external microphone which is 10 years old, but you really don’t need it).  It is available on my YouTube channel and embedded in my work blog, at this address: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

Of course, this is the workflow I’ve implemented for my own practice in supporting my community: hundreds of faculty and thousands of students from the Marketing & Management departments of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. These diverse and energetic colleagues and learners require a special kind of library service, which goes well beyond the canonical book-article paradigm of librarianship. (Actually, most of my colleagues go well beyond the book-article paradigm, but I need to speak to what people perceive librarians to be).

I say this because there are passionate and smart people working on various “video production workflows” at my institution, Concordia University, and elsewhere. Please consider this video as “a” possible method, the one I’ve crafted that I am now sharing with you. It works for me and maybe you’ll feel empowered or inspired to try your hand at creating your own videos… Please remember to consult with your institutional experts about best practices that are meaningful for your local community.

Stay safe and well. See you around the Internet!

Business plans Country statistics

Researching foreign markets for Canadian business students

This guide is curated by Olivier Charbonneau, Senior Librarian at Concordia University (Montréal, Canada), for students enrolled in MARK 462 / IBUS 462 Environment of World Business. It provides for sources required to successfully research international business topics for Canadian corporations engaged worldwide.

Some sources are available to all on the Internet, others are licensed by Concordia University’s Library for students, faculty and staff of our organization. You will require your credentials (e.g. Netname) to access library licenses databases. To browse all databases recommended for students at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, please access the Business Research Portal on the library website.

For each of the headings below, we provide the name of a source, also called databases, as well as a clickable link to access its content. Should you be prompted for your NetName, please provide it to log on.

And, yeah, you need to visit and use of all these sources. Yes way. For real… No, I’m not kidding. Using better sources will increase the quality of your paper. These are the best sources out there. You should have a really great bibliography…

Find out how to use the APA citation style for your business oaoer’s bibliography. Or, you can just use OWL at Purdue University.

– Olivier Charbonneau, Senior Librarian, Concordia University

Passport by Euromonitor

  • Licensed by Concordia for faculty, students and staff only. Netname log in required, contact your local institution to enquire about access.
  • Consumer data and reports for 180+ countries, includes Canada. Very expensive professional research tool, free for Concordia Community curtesy of your Library.
  • Use keyword search for:
    • Lifestyles <country-name-here>
    • Click on “Analysis” & download as many reports as you want
  • Also, remember to browse this system, it contains sectorial reports and data. The video below explains how to navigate this database.

OECD iLibrary

  • Licensed by Concordia for faculty, students and staff only. Netname log in required, contact your local institution to enquire about access.
  • OECD is the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. This system contains all OECD publications, as well as those from: International Energy Agency (IEA), Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and International Transport Forum (ITF) since 1998.
  • The OECD is a an association of governments mostly from affluent countries.
  • Every year or so, the OECD produces a comprehensive report on the economies of member states (e.g. countries who are part of the OECD). If your target country is a member of the OECD, or if member states asked for such a report, make sure you search for:
    • economic survey <country-name-here>
  • Make sure you browse for other publications and dataset from this system, it contains information on many countries.
    • Make sure you use the “full version” of this system by clicking on the link above. The version on the “free web” does not provide enough insight to be useful.

DoingBusiness: measuring business regulations

  • Free website maintained by the World Bank
  • It uses common aggregated data to generate an “ease of doing business” score, raking most countries around the world.
  • In addition to a country report, ou can access, download individual metrics composing the DoingBusiness index.
    • Find your country in the drop-down box
    • Download the (static) pdf version or use the web portal to browse individual variables for a country

Information by countries and territories – Government of Canada

CIA WorldFactbook

  • Free website by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America. This is what they want us to know that they know about the world. We can neither confirm nor infirm that they know more, but they probably do. Incredible amount of detail for every country.

LonelyPlanet Guide

  • As Douglas Adams points out in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, backpackers know their way around the universe. Looking at travel websites and guides can provide insight and evidence useful for business. This is the free website of a specific series of travel guides. There are others out there. Your local public library may have more.
  • Remember to wash your hands… and to carry a towel.

Search “The Economist” on ProQuest Business Databases

The Economist Intelligence Unit

  • Licensed by Concordia for faculty, students and staff only. Netname log in required, contact your local institution to enquire about access.
  • Provides a summary report for each country. Complementary to searching The Economist magazine (step above).

United Nations Data’s «Datamarts»

  • Free website provided by the United Nations.
  • Provides for an interactive way to generate custom data tables for a multitude of topics, ranging from literacy rates to foreign direct investment (FDI).

Free International business textbook

Bonne chance !

– Olivier Charbonneau, Senior Librarian, Concordia University
Business plans

Researching a business plan using free sources

This page was created for District 3 or D3 in Montréal Canada for a training seminar on May 6th 2020.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Locate industry and market reports from the Internet and the Library
  • Understand how to use datasets from Statistics Canada and other providers
  • Develop a healthy information diet

COURSE OUTLINE

  1. How to frame your business environment: industries, markets, competition and regulation… think before you Google.
  2. Using Google for business research: trade associations & governments
  3. Statistic Canada for entrepreneurs
  4. Resources from your local library: industry/market research and trade/research articles

1. Think before you Google or figuring out your business environment

Entrepreneurs are called upon to seek out misaligned flows of money. Be it capital expenditures, spending or untapped markets, the keen eye will spot opportunities to launch a new business. Before you spend all night frantically googling the web for insight, here are some key points to consider.

Googling means missing out. Yes, there is a lot of great stuff out there, that’s why we’ll talk about using the Google search engine as our next point. But, there is a lot of information on the free web that’s not indexed by web crawlers used by search engines to compile their index, most notably datasets from Statistic Canada. Similarly, search engines like Google may crawl and index pages which are behind a paywall. This happens often in Google Scholar. Either you fork out your hard earned cash, either you let your local library pay for digital access. That’s what we do at Concordia, with our Business Research portal, as well as McGill’s Library for their students and the Grande Bibliothèque for anyone in Québec. We’ll talk about library resources later.

Google means popular. Google’s algorithms uses many variables to determine the relative value of a page, given a specific set of keywords. For many reasons, such as search engine optimization (SEO) strategies or past behavior online, this process can fail you. Seeking out valuable and authoritative business insight sometimes just does not fit with what’s popular on the Web. You seek authority and the algorithm is set up to promote popular stuff.

Google as a tool. You should learn how to use the tool in light of its limitations. You should also look for other tools that complement it. Pro tip: this involves obscure websites and the library. Let’s dig a little deeper…

The Internet as linked documents from people and organisations. Creating any document requires effort: tweets, YouTube videos, blog posts… but also market reports, industry statistics, newspaper and trade articles. These documents were created by people and organisations. Why would someone release invaluable and authoritative insight for free on the Internet?

There are a set of usual suspects who regularly create valuable and authoritative documents: governments; trade/lobby or consumer organisations; corporations; market/industry analysts; and journalists and researchers. Some of them want to monetize their efforts, so their documents are not posted online for free. Also, sometimes they post their material online, but it doesn’t make it to the top results because they are not concerned with popularity.

So, to Google or not to Google? My answer is in three parts: better googling, in addition to seeking out obscure websites such as Statistic Canada’s Data and using Library resources.

2. Better Googling

Government agencies exist to ensure compliance with regulations and the safety of our communities. Any time a corporation needs a permit, a government agency is usually somewhere in the background looking and thinking about what they do. Government services rely on and supplement markets and corporations. This symbiotic relationship means that governments have a lot of reports and data you can use, in addition to Statistic Canada, which we will cover later.

Here is an example. Industry Canada, the federal agency curating Canada’s business environment, posts average financial statements and business ratios of small business by province. The database uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to organize industries. Find your NAICS code to get financials and ratios for your business idea, while being mindful of these tricky NAICS codes for high-tech sectors.

Trade associations are organizations where industry leaders converge to share concerns, advocate to governments and media, as well as organize events such as trade shows. They provide lists of their members, write white papers, publish news and trade journals, list job postings… all of these documents provide insight and authoritative information – but only if you take a moment to think about what they mean. Google can’t help you think.

The first two videos from this playlist covers my points:

3. Statistic Canada

Google only indexes a few sections from the Statistic Canada domain. Most of the juicy stuff is located in obscure sections, most notably the Data portal and the census. Here are two videos on each of these topics.

You can also watch a video on getting a demographic profile of a neighborhood from Statistic Canada.

If you are looking for information on another country, find their national statistical agency, it will have a census as well as a data portal. Some examples include: Census data from the USA, Eurostat for the European Union and UN Data’s Explorer for most countries worldwide.

Pro tip: don’t look for what you think you need, try to use what you find.

4. Library subscribed industry/market research

IBISWorld provides industry reports for Canada, US and China.

Passport by Euromonitor covers worldwide consumer data and reports, including Canada. Vividata is a data reporting tool from a yearly survey of Canadian consumers. SympliAnalytics Canada allows the creation of custom maps based on the Census.

ProQuest Business Databases covers articles from news, trade and scholarly journals. Eureka.cc provides articles from Québec.

Olivier Charbonneau

Olivier Charbonneau is an associate Librarian at Concordia University, Olivier Charbonneau is primarily interested in copyright issues as well as questions of open access and Web 2.0. He is a doctoral student at the Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal. He has over 15 years of professional involvement in library and cultural communities. He holds two masters degrees from Université de Montréal, one in information sciences and another in law, as well as an undergraduate degree in commerce from McGill University.

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