CERC +1 (860) 571-7136

Business Planning and Access to Data

Posted on by Beth Wallace

Are you a new entrepreneur just beginning to plan your business? Or, a well-established entrepreneur revisiting and fine tuning an existing business plan? If you answered YES, then you know the importance of accessing data. Our office receives this question often and we are here to help you access the resources you need.

So, what do you need the data to reveal?

Understanding your business in terms of industry, supply chain and market place is key. Assessing your competitors, suppliers, partners, customers and labor force are among the top indicators. What resources, especially those that are free or cost very little, do you utilize to access your data?

Let’s highlight a few:

  • U.S. Census offers access to a lengthy list of free data and apps
  • SizeUp provides tools to benchmark your business against competitors, map your customers, competitors and suppliers, and locate the best places to advertise
  • Connecticut Town Profiles offer two-page summaries of demographic and economic information as well as offers an interactive tool to compare data at the municipality level regarding demographics, economics and fiscal conditions over time
  • CT Data Collaborative provides access to data for informed decision making
  • Labor Market Information by the Connecticut Department of Labor 
  • CTSiteFinder offers qualitative and quantitative data specific to towns and real estate

Of course, there are resources that are available at a cost:

  • Dunn and Bradstreet: Commercial data, analytics and insights for business
  • Hoovers: Commercial data, analytics and insights for business
  • InfoUSA: Mailing lists targeting businesses and consumers
  • EMSI: labor market data
  • ESRI: mapping and special analytics using GIS

Do you require additional assistance to develop your business plan? Business planning and counseling assistance is available through the following resources:

There are also some online tools available through the Small Business Administration for business planning.