By Leigh Howe

Data and information are plentiful these days.  We’ve been searching for ways to automate data and information collection so that we can spend more time determining what the information means.

Many news sources and databases have alerts and web crawlers available to comb the web and search engines for specific information.  Here are some resources to check out that may make company and industry research and monitoring a little less painful.

Hoovers Alerts – allows you to track companies, industries, and even people.  It will search over 600 news and information sources for this information and report back to you.

Business Journals – can send you daily updates via email on news from many metro areas around the country.  Also, you can receive weekly email updates on any articles pertaining to certain industries. and – These two resources allow you to monitor certain web pages for any changes.  If you track companies for recruitment or want to monitor companies within your community for updates, one of these programs might help keep you up to date. – Copernic is a “Search Bot.”  Copernic Basic is a free version that you can download and install on your desktop. It will search approximately 90 search engines and present the results of your query with duplicate links removed. It even maintains a history of your searches, which is useful when you need to go back and recheck a source. This program is worth checking out. and – These website are meta search engines and do not require you to download and install software.  Both of these sites search across many search engines to bring you comprehensive results.

Give a couple of these resources a try and make your data collection and monitoring a little easier.  Just remember that you may need to spend a little time setting up and refining the search language so that you get the results you desire.