USA Today's Paul Overberg provides a step-by-step guide for finding and cataloging government data.
The U.S. Census Bureau's annual County Business Patterns data offer a breakdown of firms by size that can be used to gauge the health of a local industry. Learn how to use a simple tool called the diversity index to see which industries have the greatest diversity of small-, medium- and large-sized firms in an area.
Just as in the animal world, the greater the diversity, the better. Greater diversity in firm size means an industry is likely to be creating synergies for workers, firms and suppliers that can boost productivity and growth.
The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism provides free training and resources for journalists hoping to enrich their business and economic reporting.
For more information, please visit businessjournalism.org.