Skip to content

Industry Research

Methodology | Industry Codes | Industry Overview | Trends and Forecasts | Financial Norms | Industry News | Government & Other Statistics | Trade Associations | Help

 


Methodology

To understand a company and its competition, you need to understand the industry of which it is a part, even if you are looking for information about a niche industry.

Finding information about an industry includes the following steps:

  • Get an overview of the industry
  • Look for articles on trends and see if you can find forecasts
  • Find financial norms and estimates if you need them
  • Gather statistics from government agencies and trade associations
  • Contact trade associations for additional information about the industry

Problems

  • Each information tool uses its own industry groupings and covers different industries
  • Small industries are often reported as part of larger industries in government data and other information sources
  • Quality, availability and cost of association information varies widely. Some of it is only available to members or for a fee
  • Emerging industries are difficult to research 


Industry Codes

Many information tools use the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes that were developed to track data on American industries. SIC codes have been replaced by a new classification system, the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System); however, many information tools continue to use SIC codes.

Generally Available Online Sources

Crocker Business Library

  • Standard Industrial Classification Manual (Circulation Desk HF1042.A55)
  • North American Industry Classification System  (Circulation Desk HF1042 .N678 2007)
  • North American Industry Classification System (Circulation Desk HF1042. N67 1997)  
     

Industry Overview

USC Subscription-Based Online Sources
These database links will re-direct you to our proxy-enabled subscription database page to facilitate connectivity:

  • Business and Company Resource Center: Industry module provides reports, surveys, and analyst coverage 
  • Hoover's: brief industry profiles are attached to core company profiles
  • IBISWorld: search by NAICS code or by keyword descriptor to find US industry reports
  • Investext: find analyst reports on US and global industries
  • ISI Emerging Markets contains industry overviews for select emerging economies worldwide
  • Mint Global: find Datamonitor industry reports; under Switch Mints, search Mint US to find Freedonia reports 
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage: click on Industries for current US and global profiles; go to Monthly Investment Review for industry outlooks and charts
  • ValueLine Investment Survey: primarily a company investment resource, but provides a brief industry overview (click on 'Standard Edition', then 'Industry LookUp')
  • EBSCO Business Source Complete: contains select R.K. Miller industry reports (enabled only for MyMarshall accounts)

Crocker Business Library

  • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys (Circulation Desk) Based on the industries that comprise the S&P 500, provides short- and long-term industry forecasts. Consult the index for a list of industries that are included.
  • Encyclopedia of American Industries (Reference HC102 .E53) Provides overviews of a wide range of industries in every area of American business. This is a particularly valuable resource for smaller industries. 
  • Business Statistics of the United States (Reference HC101 .A13122)
  • U.S. Industry & Market Outlook (Reference HC101 .U55 2006)
  • U.S. Industry Profiles: the leading 100 (Reference HD2771 .U25)
  • Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries (available online through the Gale Virtual Reference Library Business module)
  • Handbook of North American Industry (Reference HF1746.H36)
  • Service Industries USA (Reference HD9981.3 S47 1999)
  • Information, Finance & Services USA (Reference HD9981.4 I53)
  • Infrastructure Industries USA (Reference HD9506 .U5I63)
  • Manufacturing Worldwide (Reference HD9720.1 M33)
  • Market Share Reporter (Circulation Desk HF 5410 M376) A compilation of market share data on companies, products and services
  • Mergent Industry Reviews (Reference) Supplies comparative statistics of largest companies in the industries listed with rankings by a variety of financial data
  • ValueLine (Circulation Desk) Primarily a company investment resource, but provides a one-page industry overview 


Trends and Forecasts

Newspapers, magazines and trade journals are good sources of trend and forecast information for large and small industries.  Recommended keywords: trends, forecast, outlook, future, growth.

USC Subscription-Based Online Sources
These database links will re-direct you to our proxy-enabled subscription database page to facilitate connectivity:

  • ABI Inform through ProQuest indexes academic, professional and trade journals in the areas of corporate intelligence, new products, accounting, banking and finance, economics, international business, marketing, management, decision science, telecommunications and computers.
  • Factiva offers the full text of the Wall Street Journal online, and indexes 6,000 other global publications.
  • General Business File ASAP contains full-text articles from trade publications, newspapers and journals.
  • Investext: find industry analyst reports with forecasting information.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic indexes professional and trade journals plus many newspapers.
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage  publishes trend commentary on selected industries every six months. 
  • EBSCO Business Source Complete (enabled only for MyMarshall accounts) 


Financial Norms and Ratios

USC Subscription-Based Online Sources
These database links will re-direct you to our proxy-enabled subscription database page to facilitate connectivity:

  • eStatement Studies
  • Orbis: search different ratio variables by industry
  • ValueLine: industry snapshots contain select ratios (Click on "Standard Edition" then "Industry Look-Up")
  • Factiva: search 'Companies/Markets' to find select industry ratios
  • Hoover's: contains comparative ratios for companies that are benchmarked against their primary industry as a whole
  • Mergent Online: contains company ratios, typically going back 15 years
  • Business & Company Resource Center: search for a company profile which will contain 'Financials' with ratios

Crocker Business Library

  • Dun & Bradstreet's Industry Norms & Key Business Ratios (Circulation Desk HF5681.R25I525)
  • Risk Management Association Annual Statement Studies (Circulation Desk HF5681.B2R6)
  • Troy's Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios (Circulation Desk HF5681.R25T68)

 

Industry News

USC Subscription-Based Sources
These database links will re-direct you to our proxy-enabled subscription database page to facilitate connectivity:

  • ABI Inform through ProQuest indexes academic, professional and trade journals in the areas of corporate intelligence, new products, accounting, banking and finance, economics, international business, marketing, management, decision science, telecommunications and computers.
  • Factiva offers the full text of the Wall Street Journal online, and indexes 6,000 publications. 
  • General Business File ASAP contains full-text articles from trade publications, newspapers and journals.
  • ISI Emerging Markets contains local news coverage of core industries in select emerging economies worldwide.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic indexes professional and trade journals plus many international newspapers.
  • Mint Global: search the News module which indexes Dow Jones and Reuters sources.
  • EBSCO Business Source Complete contains full-text access to the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly and other premier business publications (enabled only for MyMarshall accounts) 

Generally Available Online Sources

Crocker Business Library

  • Daily issues of the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, The Financial Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal are available for general reading.  This content is also available full-text online

 

Government Data & Other Statistics

USC Subscription-Based Sources
These database links will re-direct you to our proxy-enabled subscription database page to facilitate connectivity:

  • STAT-USA: The State of the Nation section includes current and historical economic and financial releases and economic data from the U.S. federal government. Industry Statistics contains quarterly reports on core U.S. industries.  Search the Globus module to find international information and statistics.
  • TableBase: Adds 25,000 new tables per year from trade publications; one of the first places to go when you need numbers.
  • Lexis-Nexis Statistical Universe

Generally Available Online Sources

 

Trade Associations

Trade associations represent the interests of an industry and its workers. Many trade associations include industry data on their websites and in their publications. Sometimes these are only available for members-only or for a fee.

USC Subscription-Based Online Sources
These database links will re-direct you to our proxy-enabled subscription database page to facilitate connectivity:

Generally Available Internet Resources

Crocker Business Library

  • Encyclopedia of Associations (Reference HS17.G3362) 
  • Additional trade journals can be found in the SRDS Business Publications Directory located in the Periodical Stacks.
  • Small Business Source Book (Reference HD2346.U5S66) 


Need More Help?


Methodology | Industry Codes | Industry Overview | Trends and Forecasts | Financial Norms | Industry News | Government & Other Statistics | Trade Associations | Help