7 online resources to help information seekers identify industry trends.
Throughout all industries, information seekers often need to know what are the ongoing and future trends. Knowing the trends, accordingly, helps professionals to make precise decisions which may impact their businesses. Several tools are available that assist in this discovery process, helping researchers to know what are the most popular global trending topics.
Resources for Finding Industry Trends
Although it may seem obvious, regularly reading industry trade publications and popular online generalist business publications can help a reader to keep abreast of industry trends. Such popular websites as Business Insider and TechCrunch keep a finger on the pulse of trending topics. Often, popular topics like virtual reality, mobile payments, crowdsourcing, quantified self, and wearables can be found on these websites. Online and print trade publications often will continuously report on the latest industry trends and may even have feature articles or special issues dedicated to particularly trending topics.
Google Trends is another useful tool to see what people are actually typing into the Google search engine. A user can browse by topics to see what the top keyword searches are regarding financial companies, cars, foods, games, movies and celebrities. A custom search can also be performed with a keyword of interest, such as “bitcoin.” Google Trends will show a line graph of search interest over time, from 2004 to this year. Top countries of origin whereby people are searching for this term are provided. Related queries and topics will also be displayed.
Social media analysis tools like Epictions Epicbeat help to show how often types of content are being shared. The tool also provides similar words/concepts of a given popular keyword. A sample search for “augmented reality” will show the popularity of that term on social media and provide a word cloud of similar terms. Additionally, the resource shows a list of influencers, with numbers of followers noted as well as activity metrics.
KPMG’s Technology Trends Index helps researchers to see, in real time, what are the hottest topics within the tech sectors. Eight industries are tracked in this resource, including automotive, consumer goods, energy, financial services, healthcare, media/entertainment, retail (wholesale) and transportation/shipping. The website shows topics that are trending upward as well as those ones that are fading in interest. The real-time aspect of this tool literally provides a snapshot of the trend as of that given day and even provides research as to how the trends have changed over the last few weeks.
Another consulting firm that provides analysis of trends is Deloitte, with their “Industry Outlooks” content. Multiple industries are profiled in this service, such as real estate, manufacturing, energy, life science and the public sector. Each industry portal provides analyses and perspectives on some of the most important trends within that industry.
Consulting firm, Strategy&, also provides insights into industry trends. On their offering called “Industry Perspectives,” summaries of trends are provided. Industries include chemicals, engineering, retail, financial services and utilities. The profiles include overviews of opportunities and challenges for each industry. PDF downloads for various industry profiles are provided.
Having a collection of go-to resources to find trends can definitely make the task easier. These tools are also a helpful way to perform a deep dive into an unknown industry in order to learn about the latest hot topics or pending changes. Indeed, a well-rounded assemblage of quality research sites can help the trends research process to be more quick and efficient.
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