Competitive Intelligence on the Internet

In the previous issue, we gathered domain information and assembled a list of organizations and individuals with possible Internet connectivity (not all registered domain names are active). Let's probe in other directions for data that give some depth to our list. I have in mind the U.S. Census Bureau ( and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

For our search term, let's stick with the ZIP code referent and see how far it takes us. Launching our Web browser, linking to Census and choosing the search button, we enter the Vienna, Va., ZIP code, 22182. We eventually arrive at ( cdrom/lookup/CMD=TABLES/DB=C90STF3B/F0=ZIP/LEV=ZIP/SEL=22182) a table to select an area of interest ranging from persons, families and households to mortgage status and plumbing facilities. For information on the universes of families, persons and households, we select those tables. The results?

According to the 1990 U.S. Census Data,


Universe: Persons19,018


Universe: Families5,184


Universe: Households6,221

While interesting, this demographic data is just a start. We want business information; we search for county business patterns after uncovering that Vienna is in Fairfax County ( We discover when connecting to the anchor named "1994 County Business Patterns Economic Profile" that "1994 County Business Patterns data are scheduled for release in September 1996." Well, let's review 1993. In the 71 kilobyte ASCII file, or text file, we find that during the week including March 12, 1993, Fairfax County had 21,796 establishments with 340,038 employees.

We also find that in the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code 7370, that is, Computer and data processing services, there were 1,052 establishments with 33,051 employees and a total annual payroll of $1,624 billion. For context, the total annual payroll for Fairfax County establishments was $10.9 billion; so just under 5 percent of the establishments account for nearly 15 percent of total annual payroll.

While we could pursue this more deeply, let's instead turn to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Connecting to their Web page and selecting "Most Requested Series" (http://stats., we see data on subjects from employment and unemployment to productivity and technology. To get a sense of inflation, we choose "Consumer Price Index - All Urban Consumers" for "Washington DC-MD-VA All Items - CUURA315SA0." Retrieving the data, we find this array:

Consumer Price Index- All Urban Consumers

Series ID : cuura315sa0

Not Seasonally Adjusted

Area : Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.

Item: All items

Base Period : 1982-84=100

YearJanMarMayJul Sep


1996156.8 158.4159.0160.1

In the third and final part of this series, I will cover the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, among other sites.

John Makulowich writes, talks and trains on the Internet. Send e-mail to The URL for his home page is

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