Cara Cadena, the Business Liaison Librarian at Grand Valley State University, can see the future and knows exactly what budding college-aged entrepreneurs are in for: a highly competitive global business world that demands an edge to get ahead. It’s Cadena’s job to help students develop that edge despite a workload that requires her to juggle multiple responsibilities, like teaching library instruction courses, managing the library’s growing collection, and assisting students with research projects.
Today’s college students have terabytes of data at their fingertips. However, that data is not always trustworthy, accessible, or housed in formats that best position students to comprehend and use it appropriately for homework projects. Cadena prides herself on providing the one-on-one research assistance business students need. However, with hundreds of students all vying for an advantage, Cadena lacks the time necessary to provide individual attention to every student who requires it.
It’s why Cadena, who is passionate about connecting students with the business data they need to produce higher quality homework assignments, knew she needed a digital solution that empowered students to find relevant data with ease and on their own.
Just ten months into her job at GVSU, Cadena found exactly what she was looking for in DemographicsNow (DemoNow), a cloud-based collection of business-focused reference materials that provides students easy access to real-time demographic, purchasing, and consumer behavior data. The DemoNow tool, according to Cadena, is a gateway for students who want to turn in higher quality homework assignments that highlight their business acumen.
DemoNow provides students the edge they’ll need to be successful by helping them validate their business ideas and improve the quality of their classroom performance. For instance, customer expenditure reports (CEX reports), help business students better analyze consumer spending trends.
The data is extremely valuable when analyzing whether and where to launch a product as students are regularly asked to do in homework assignments. Students can easily use DemoNow to identify people to whom products are most likely to appeal and target specific neighborhoods with appropriate marketing messaging. Students can also use to DemoNow to combine CEX reports with census data, which is not only easy to read but easy to manipulate.
University students are increasingly enrolling in business and entrepreneurial courses in search of insight that will better position them to succeed outside the classroom. DemoNow helps them achieve this goal and better comprehend the data they’re reviewing by presenting it in compelling ways.
Besides also being useful in other courses that challenge students to incorporate data into their research projects, Cadena says DemoNow’s ease of use is what has students excited.