ProQuest Statistical Insight: This library database is a useful source for facts and figures. You can find statistics from federal agencies, state governments, and private and academic sources.
Data and Statistics, USA.gov: USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal. Topics on its Data and Statistics page include Business and Economics and Jobs and Education.
The U.S. Census Bureau website also has QuickFacts and County Business Patterns, for very good data on competition (e.g., numbers of a certain type of firm). To view Industry Snapshots, enter a NAICS code in the search box (e.g., 451211 for book stores). Industry Snapshots provide key statistics such as:
Number of establishments in an industry
Sales per capita
Employees per establishment
A map showing where sales, establishments, and populations are concentrated in the U.S.
There's also a Compare Your Business to Industry Averages feature. Look for the link above the Key Industry Statistics chart. Local business snapshots are available for selected metropolitan areas, including Phoenix.
National Science Foundation: Collects and publishes a wide range of excellent data related to science, technology, and the economy, including federal government funding, industry research, workforce statistics, educational spending, etc.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): The primary federal resource for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. TIP: Firefox seems to work better than Internet Explorer when browsing this site (especially the Fast Facts).
Research & Statistics, U.S. Department of Education: A great source for facts, figures, evaluations, and best practices.
Data-Planet Statistical Datasets: Explore a vast collection of US and international statistics in Data-Planet Statistical Datasets. With this dynamic tool, you can scan and search the contents of billions of datasets, compare and contrast variables of interest, and create customized views in tables, maps, rankings, and charts.
ImportGenius: This tool is a great resource for competitive intelligence. ImportGenius tracks the international shipping activities of importers and exporters around the world. It can help you identify suppliers and learn about your competitors' supply chains. Data for the U.S., Latin America, and India.
ValuationResources: A general site, somewhat difficult to navigate, with data relevant to ratios and other valuation factors.