Today I got an IM from a student asking “Where can I find wine consumption by state?”.
Typically when I get a question like this, I will look for a trade publication in Business Source Complete. In this case I found an article in Beverage Industry, which while it it had great statistics, did not have the breakdown of what we were looking for. However, I noticed that the article cited the “Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)“, and with the help of Google I arrived at the organization’s page. After poking around on the website, we found statistics on the “consumption of distilled spirits by state”. While this wasn’t exactly what the student was looking for, it was better information than I had expected to find.
Now you may ask why I didn’t go to Google in the first place. I actually searched Google first, but was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of irrelevant hits I got from Google. With Business Source Complete, I could control my search better and limit to a trade publication that was likely to have the statistics that I wanted. My search lead me to something that I could have eventually found on the free web, but most likely after wasting my time weeding through tons of irrelevant hits.
As time permits, I may try to revisit this question to see if I can’t find a better source. In the meantime, if you happen to find a better place for these kinds of numbers and want to share, please leave a relevant comment if you’d like.