As well as internal sources of information companies can also use external sources to help them make the correct business decisions. Examples of external information sources are: Government, trade groupings, commercially provided information, database and research. If a company uses external sources of information then they must be sure of the reliability of the data sources. Here are some examples of how the company could use information supplies by external sources.
Government: Information supplied by the government is definitely coming from a reliable source as this is the governing body that they business operates within. Companies need to use important legal information from the Government to help run the business successfully and legally. For example if a company had over 1,000 employees that were being paid the minimum hourly rate as outlined by the Government and the rate changes then the company needs to take this information on board and increase the wages for the staff on this wage range. Another example would be if the Government offered businesses grants for opening manufacturing plants in areas of high unemployment a company might use this information to their advantage to set up a new plant at a lower cost than in another area.
Trade Groupings: A trade grouping is a group of businesses that operate within the same sector and not within the same location. For example tech companies would be part of the Technical Trade Association and Farmers might be part of the Farming Association within a country or region. As a business being a member of a trade grouping enables you to access information that helps you run your business successfully. For example, solicitors are part of the legal trade and will have memberships that give them access to the latest laws that the must use to support their clients in the best possible way.
Commercially Provided: Companies can use commercially provided information to help them make the correct business decisions. These decisions are made based on information made available to them from other companies. For example, a hotel group might use the information about the number of flights to and from a number of airports along with the information on the number of hotels beside each airport to make a decision on where to open their newest hotel. A games development company might make a decision on what platform to create a game for based on the number of units sold for each hardware platform. For example if apple released sales figures for the iPhone 5 and they were much less than Samsung’s Galaxy SIII then the company would probably target to release their latest game for the Samsung phone first.
Databases & Research: Companies can research information that might help them increase the sales and level of interest in their business. The key thing to researching information that helps run your business to ensure it is accurate and reliable. Some companies will pay to access commercially available databases that offer a range of information directly based on their business sector. Many companies can make money creating this information by analysing currently available sales stats in particular business sectors. When using any external information source it is absolutely essential to be sure about the reliability of the data sources and sometimes it is worth paying to access relevant information.