I'm just a beginner myself, but I did manage to beat this mission finally (after quite a few attempts). I'd recommend watching both Soren's and Zultar's playthrough of this mission on youtube, especially taking note of the advice given by Zultar right at the end of the game, where he describes the approach that he would recommend, using the robotics corporation.
A brief summary of how I played it through, based on Zultar's advice (from memory so might not be perfect):
Use Robotics corp.
lvl1: settle bottom right part of map, taking some iron to assist the first upgrade, but leaving the high iron (right next to your base). Mine the high iron and build 2x steel mills.
lvl2: I claimed the close-by geothermal and started on electronics production (2x factories). I built the geothermal when I'd generated sufficient cash. The geothermal I protected with a goon squad as the AI likes to target it.
lvl3-4: develop electronics production and oxygen/carbon production (build solar condensers on the dry ice around your base). I think I got the Optimisation Centre up during this time also. Any additional power required was sourced through wind turbines, connected to the base/buildings to help boost their efficiency. Did not bother at all with water/food/fuel/chems/glass for the entire game.
Note that the 2x strongest markets on this map are; electronics: home market, oxygen: offworld market. I therefore enhanced production of oxygen, carbon, electronics through the optimisation centre.
I think that I claimed/grabbed a high silicon to the West of the base too.
lvl5: 2x offworlds, shipping oxygen only. Additional electronics, for the home market. Goon squads on the offworlds, optimisation centre and geotherm. My final set-up was producing oxygen and electronics and little else.
Regarding finding out what others are producing, just take a look at their bases (either click on their name in the top right part of the UI, or hit [TAB] to cycle through everybody's base).
Hope that's of some help. Took me at least half a dozen (probably more) attempts before I beat the level, so keep trying!