1. Select an industry using IBISWorld, S&P Global NetAdvantage, or the industry reports in ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry. Look for analysis of Political, Economic, Social, and Technological (PEST) factors in the industry reports. When analyzing a public company, check the company's 10-K report, especially the Risk Factor section.
2. Use SWOT analyses in D&B Hoovers, Mergent Online/Investext, or Business Source Premier to find strengths and weaknesses of a model company in your industry.
3. Find trends and competitive environment in IBISWorld, S&P Global NetAdvantage, and the industry reports in ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry, Business Source Premier, and Factiva.
4. Identify trade associations and mine their websites for regulatory issues, legal matters, and (sometimes) marketing data.
5. Research government information and the Economic Census data using NAICS codes.
Most resources featuring company overviews or industry overviews will have some information on environmental factors and their impact on a company or industry. Trade association websites often have some free information about industry trends and developments. You can also follow current events in the news and search for current articles related to a company or industry. Be sure to think critically about the information and write your analysis using your own words.
For public companies, be sure to check the company's 10-K report, especially the Risk Factor section.
While library resources do not include separate PEST/PESTEL reports, here are some things to check.
Environmental scanning is a process of analyzing internal and external factor of the environment.
PEST is a framework that you can use to analyze the context in which a company or industry operates. PEST is an acronym.
Political factors can include tax policies, changes in trade restrictions and tariffs, and government leadership.
Economic factors can include interest rates, inflation rates, gross domestic product, unemployment rates, levels of disposable income, and the general growth or decline of the economy.
Social factors can include trends in demographics (population size, age, and ethnic mix) as well as cultural trends and attitudes.
Technological factors can include changes in new product development and technological developments in an industry.