1. Mine the office/agency's website and social media channels for information; read the "About Us" tab and look for Resources or Publications. Check its parent agency, or related agencies (example: for a unit of city government, check the city government’s website.) See if the organization (or its parent unit) has posted an Annual Report.
2. See if the state Better Business Bureau has information on them.
3. On the Companies tab, search for your office/agency in the directories Mergent Intellect and Reference Solutions.
4. On the News/Articles tab, search local and regional news sources for articles and news stories on the city/area and the parent agency. You may also want to search if there are comparable agencies in cities of similar size. You can search for full-text articles in ProQuest US Newsstream, Access World News, Pioneer Press, and Business Journals (which includes the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.) You can also search newspaper websites directly, but they often have a paywall.
5. Perform an Advanced Google Search on your office/agency and limit it to the "PDF" format. Many annual reports, program reviews, and other documents will be on the web in this format. Be sure to check how current the information is, and evaluate where the information is coming from.
6. Set up a Google Alert on your office/agency or their executive(s) to monitor the media.
Learn about the Government Sector. What are the larger trends?
1. On the Industries tab, search in ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry for industry profiles related to the government section (examples: Government Sector, US Municipal Governments.) Use the format limiter to narrow your search results to industry reports. Search in ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry, and Business Source Premier for trade publications related to the government sector. Use the format limiters to narrow your search results to these types of publications.
2. You can get statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more from the Census Bureau’s QuickFacts, and for the Twin Cities region from the Metropolitan Council’s Community Profiles.
3. Look at the Census Bureau’s Census of Governments for information on the nation’s state and local government sector.
4. On the Market Research Reports tab, you can use Statista to locate statistics related to governments. Possible keywords: state and local government, government agencies, government sector.
5. On the News/Articles tab, search local, regional, and national news sources for articles and news stories on what the office/agency does (examples: housing, transportation.) You can search for full-text articles in ProQuest US Newsstream, Access World News, Pioneer Press, and Business Journals (includes the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.) You can also search newspaper websites directly, but they often have a paywall.
6. Search for relevant trade and professional associations in the government sector. You can find trade associations through web searching as well as in industry reports in IBISWorld and ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry.