MGMT 202: Perspectives on Business: Industry Research

Industry Research Resources

Industry Research

Industry Research, like company research, includes looking at different aspects of an industry: major companies, market trends, market share, ratios, finances. We have several resources that will help you get an overview, but you will need to use multiple sources to get a full view of an industry.

Many of the resources used for company research are used for industry research. Industry and company research go hand in hand--you can rarely do one without the other.

Industry Research: Where to Start

IBISWorld covers more than 700 US industries. Each report includes key statistics, market segmentation, market characterization, industry conditions, key factors, competitors, and industry performance and outlook. Reports are up-to-date and include a recession update that analyzes how the current economic recession has affected the industry. IBISWorld is searchable by company name or industry keyword.

Business Source Complete (BSC) includes articles from trade journals, industry reports and country reports (among other things). Company profiles cover both private and public companies located in both the US and abroad. Industry profiles cover both US and international industries and include segmentation, competitors, and industry outlook. Smaller industries may not be covered in BSC or IBISWorld, but trad journals in BSC may provide useful information.

The US Census has a Current Industrial Report (CIR) program that provides monthly, quarterly, and annual measures of industrial activity. The CIR program offers timely, accurate data on production and shipments of selected products, organized by industry. The data are used to for economic policy and market analysis, forecasting, and decision-making in the private sector. The CIR's contain data onle--no narrative or analysis.

The Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries covers smaller, newer industries that other sources may not cover. The Encyclopedia of American Industry provides industry information on more common American industries.

Finances of both the top competitors in an industry are important to measure industry performance. Value Line and Mergent provide comprehensive financial information for publicly traded companies. Value Line covers US companies and provides current and historical financial information. Each company summary includes a short analyses of the companies recent performance. Companies are organized my industry and include a one-page summary of the industries performance.

Mergent includes current and historical financial information on US and international companies. It also includes company SEC filings (or the equivalent), and links to current news.

Dun & Bradstreet's Industry Norms & Key Business Ratios provides information on the performance (solvency, efficiency, and profitability). Information is organized by SIC code.Basic industry information can be found at Yahoo! Finance.

Industry Classification

What are industry classification codes? They are codes created by the US government used to collect industry-wide statistics. Many reference sources use them as a way to organize industry and company information. NAICS replaced SIC in 1997, but some sources use both, some still use SIC only

North American Industry Classification (NAICS)
Created by the Census Bureau in 1997, NAICS replaced the SIC. NAICS includes many newer industries in addition to being a uniform classification system for Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Like the SIC, it is hierarchical and classifies each industry by broad group and then subdivides each into smaller, more specific classification. The NAICS is updated every five years and was last done in 2007 (updates: 1997, 2002, 2007); the most current version is online. Most changes happen in the technology sector. NAICS and SIC codes can be found in both print and online—the online version of NAICS is more up-to-date.

Print: North American Industry Classification System, 2002
Reference HF1042 .N6 2002 (Haggard 2)

Online: North American Industry Classification (NAICS)
There is a table that bridges NAICS with SIC, but only for 1997. It is useful, but be aware of changes to any NAICS codes between 1997 and 2007. Tip: Search for the 2007 NAICS and then search the Bridge for the SIC.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
Standard Industrial classification system used to describe the structure of American industries. A hierarchical system, industries are organized into broad industry groups and then subdivided into smaller groups. Each industry carries a unique four-digit classification code ranging from 0100 to 9999. The SIC was replaced in 1997 with the North American Industrial Classification System but many sources still use the SIC.

Print: Standard industrial classification manual
Reference HF1042 .A55 1987 (Haggard 2)

Online: Standard industrial classification (SIC) / United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Database allows you to search by keyword.


Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete (Enhanced Business Searching Interface)
Business Source Complete (BSC) has company profiles for both public and private companies as well as industry profiles. Business Source has a separate search interface for their business database, and it does allow you to search just the company profiles or just the industry profiles.

Company Profiles. You can search for Company Profiles by selecting the Company Profile link.

Company Profiles


Industry Profiles. Contains numerous types of industry profiles and infromation that covers both US and international industries. You can search industry profiles by selecting the the Industry Profiles link marked above. However, you may get a better over view by using the Advanced Search option

Idustry Profiles