Classifying The Questions Of Small Business Owners: A Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approach

Eileen G. Abels


A classification scheme of business information needs was developed through question analysis of a set of business requests posed by small business entrepreneurs in the state of Maryland. Existing business classification schemes were examined for use in the project and while an existing scheme could be used for subject/industry analysis, no classification scheme was found to be adequate for the information requirements. This classification of business requests can be used to enhance communication between intermediaries and their clients, provide an understanding of user needs, assist in the develop of search strategies, and provide a basis for correlating information requirements with industry, age of industry and purpose of request.

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