I felt conflicted as I began writing this because it goes against the grain of a bizologist to recommend commercial products when there is so much cool business info available online. I recently had a reference question though that brought me through ReportLinker, so I decided to revisit it outside of my fancy schmancy work subscription to see what’s what. Here’s the good non-subscription stuff: News: In the Top Stories + Archive you’ll find four categories of news: Business, Economy, Finance, and World. Unfortunately the news pages are not searchable by keyword, which is supremely annoying because you have to browse in hopes of finding a story that’s relevant to your research. But, if you do find one, you will be delighted at the amount of analysis and forecasting (read: excerpts from MarketLine reports) that goes into it. Conclusion: Hot if you find what you need, but otherwise tepid.
Industry Overviews: From the homepage there are links to major industries and sub-segments, e.g. Consumer Goods -> Footwear. Click the “more” button on the Footwear page, you get a solid, citations included, executive summary of the industry including Regional Markets, Industry Leaders, and Market Outlook. Conclusion: Improving by degrees!
A note on subscribing: Naturally RL wants you to give them money for their assemblage of “public” reports for download. Of course they keep titles vague and don’t tell where they sourced them lest you go find them yourself. On the other hand, when I drilled to the point-of-subscription, I was pleased to see the tag read $56 for a day of access. Conclusion: Factors like time constraints and the number of reports RL has on a given topic might make the day pass a temperate investment.