Ten Steps to Industry Intelligence
Step 1: Identify the Industry
Make a list of appropriate keywords to use when searching the databases listed in the Industries subject guide. Both ABI/INFORM and Business Source Premier on EBSCOhost have excellent searchable Thesauri that return the subject terms used as descriptors for searching the databases as well as broader, narrower and related terms you may consider using. For example, when looking for information on the "Computer industry" you can focus your search by using more specific terms such as “personal computers” or “legacy systems” or broaden it to the entire "Electronics industry". After compiling your list of keywords, find relevant Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes – the 4-digit numbers widely used to classify business activities. Use OSHA’s SIC Search. For example, the SIC code for computers is 3571. The 1997 NAICS and 1987 SIC Correspondence Tables help you find the newer North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) that will supplant SIC codes. See the Census Bureau's NAICS Website.
Step 2: Locate Industry Surveys, Overviews & Reports
IBISWorld US & Global Industry Reports features over 700 reports on U.S. industries and a growing collection of global industry reports. The U.S. reports are written at the 5-digit level of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Each report of about 25-30 pages uses Michael Porter's "Five Competitive Forces" framework providing data on Key Statistics; Industry Structure with market segmentation, major players, and market share; Industry Analysis of recent conditions and a five-year forecast; and Factors affecting the industry including economic conditions and management actions. Reports are updated up to four times a year depending on the popularity of the industry. Standard & Poor’s Industry Surveys are comprehensive reports on more than 50 industries. Written by industry experts, each report begins with a survey of the current environment followed by a profile of the industry, a discussion of industry trends, an explanation of how the industry operates, key industry ratios and statistics, an invaluable section detailing how to analyze a company in the industry, and concluding with a glossary, industry references and comparative company statistics. Hoover's Online now includes timely First Research Industry Profiles for more than 200 industries from Architects Offices to Wharehouse Clubs and Superstores. OneSource integrates industry information from leading business publishers including Datamonitor, the Financial Times, Freedonia, Investext, Robert Morris Associates, and other key sources. Datamonitor360 is an international market research database that has thousands of in-depth industry reports. The reports utilize Porter's Five Forces framework to create industry scorecards. Gale's Business Insights provides access to a suite of their publications including industry essays and statistics. Investext on OneSource has a good selection of investment research reports on companies and industries. Mintel publishes hundreds of market research reports covering the U.S., UK and European consumer markets and lifestyles. MarketResearch.com Academic has detailed market research reports on selected products and services and demographic groups. Business Source Premier (EBSCO) now has international market research and industry reports from Datamonitor, Plunkett and other publishers. Euromonitor International's Passport is an online database providing business intelligence on countries, consumers and industries. It offers integrated access to statistics, market reports, company profiles and information sources. 205 countries are researched, with extended coverage of 52. BCC Research reports explore major economic, scientific, and technological developments in industrial, pharmaceutical, and high technology organizations. Industry analysis and market forecasts for advanced materials, high-tech systems and components, nanotechnology and novel processing methods are at the forefront of the company's expertise. Frost & Sullivan provides in-depth market research reports covering: Aeorspace & Defence, Automotive & Transportation, Business & Financial Services, Chemicals Materials & Food. Healthcare, Information & Communication Technologies & more. The U.S. Commercial Service publishes a Market Research Library with detailed country and industry research reports to help U.S. businesses export. Value Line Investment Survey Online has timely one-page overviews of each industry it follows. Business.com has industry profiles, news, events and a searchable directory. The Encyclopedia of American Industries [HC102 .E53x 2001 Bus Ref] is a two-volume print reference work that profiles both manufacturing and service industries. It is complemented by the Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries [HC102 .E54x 2001 Bus Ref] and the Encyclopedia of Global Industries [HD2324 .E531. Bus Ref]. These sources are integrated into Gale's Business Insights: Essentials along with many other useful industry-related publications. Industry Information Resources from Valuation.Resources.Com is a free resource that covers more than 250 industries. For each industry, it includes overviews, key issues, trends and the industry's outlook as well as financial benchmarking, compensation surveys and valuation resources. There are links to trade associations, publications and research firms.
Step 3: Find Current News and In-depth Articles About the Industry
Articles published in leading business magazines, trade journals and newspapers often provide added depth and insight into an industry’s structure, strategy and competition. Factiva has complete coverage of industry news and articles. Lexis-Nexis has both current news and business articles. Both ABI/INFORM and Business Source Premier index, abstract and provide full-text for leading English-language business and trade magazines and journals. The Wall Street Journal covers all major industry developments. OneSearch is a discovery tool that searches across hundreds of thousands of articles simultaneously and links to the full text in our subscription databases. All of our subscription services are listed in the Articles subject guide.
Step 4: Visit Industry Web sites and Leading Industry and Trade Associations
Nearly every type of business has one or more trade or professional associations to promote its interests and provide a forum to collect and share information. Use Business.com to find important industry-related Web sites, publications and associations. Search engines and directories such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others can easily identify relevant sites. Articles often mention trade and industry associations by name that can then be looked up in these sources. S&P’sIndustry Surveys has a section devoted to industry references with hyperlinks. OneSource also links to industry information sources. Check Industry Information Resources for links to the major industry and trade associations and publications.
Step 5: Look for Business-to-Business Marketplaces
The Internet has spawned a new phenomenon: the Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketplace. These are Web sites oriented towards facilitating electronic commerce. B2Bs are “business communities” that keep members up-to-date on news and issues that concern their industry, offer buyers’ guides, storefronts, auctions, training, education, career guidance and other services. Some industries have their own “portals”. For example, the Chemical Industry Home Page bills itself as “the worldwide search engine of the chemical industry.” Jayde B2B Search Engine is a searchable directory of B2B sites. You may also use Google and the other Internet search engines and directories to identify sites. ThomsNet.com is a business directory that identifies suppliers and offers product sourcing.
Step 6: Make a List of Leading Companies (Rankings)
Learn who the industry leaders are. Hoover's Online provides information on leading companies and their top competitors. OneSource enables you to create lists of companies ranked by criteria you choose with links to individual company reports. Business Insights: Essentials provides worldwide company reports, analytics and market data. provides access to several publications that rank companies including Ward’s Business Directory, Business Rankings Annual and the Market Share Reporter. Most of the Articles databases can be searched for articles about industry leaders.
Step 7: Find Market Share Data and Other Industry Statistics
STATISTA: The Statistics Portal integrates data on over 60,000 topics from over 18,000 sources. It covers both U.S. and international markets and with special emphasis on electronic commerce, new media and advertising."Market Shares” is used as a descriptor in the ABI/INFORM records. Most of the Articles databases can be searched for market share and other industry data. Business Insights: Essentials gives access to the Market Share Reporter. The Investext on OneSource has both market share and industry data. The industry and trade associations discussed above are essential sources of industry data. You can also use Statistical Universe to identify sources of industry statistics. S&P’s Industry Surveys are filled with key data on the industries covered. MarketLine Advantage offers both company reports with market share data and a statistical database that enables you to create reports with data you select. MRI+ from Mediamark Research offers comprehensive demographic, lifestyle, product usage and exposure to all forms of advertising media collected from a single sample. Register with your GatorLink email account. AdSpender is a web-based database which delivers advertising expenditure information on over 100,000 brands and product categories, major industries and companies across 18 media including cable and network TV, broadcast radio networks, major national newspapers and hundreds of business-to-business and consumer magazines. For logon information contact or call Peter Z. McKay, the Business Librarian. Passport contains over a million demographic, economic and marketing statistics for 205 countries worldwide. The historic and forecast statistics enable you to build detailed country profiles and analyze trends from 1977-2015. SimplyMap is a geodemographic database that enables you to map consumer, demographics, and business variables in custom maps and reports. DemographicsNow Library Edition offers up-to-date resources on demographics and extensive market-level information.
Step 8: Use 10-Ks from Leading Companies to Gain Industry Insight
The Form 10-K is the annual report that U.S. public companies must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the Business Overview Section (Item 1, Part 1., Business), companies are required to discuss the nature of competition in their industry. This section often delivers key insights into the competitive factors that shape an industry. You can retrieve 10-Ks from numerous sources in the Business Library: Hoover’s Online, ThomsonOne Company Reports section, and OneSource. You can also search the SEC’s EDGAR database directly.
Step 9: Compare Company/Industry Norms and Financial Ratios
ThomsonOne has detailed, exportable financial reports for publicly-traded companies worldwide. You can compare any company with its peers and download the data into Excel. Hoover’s Online has company/industry ratio comparison reports. OneSource has company/industry/market sector ratio comparison reports as well as detailed industry norms and financial ratios in PDF format from RMA in the Industry section. The RMA reports offer a choice of data by the entire SIC code or for different levels of sales or assets, thus facilitating company comparisons with benchmarks that are appropriate for the specific size of the company.
Step 10: Putting It All Together
The Industry Information Center is designed to be an up-to-date list of the most important sources for industry analysis. Now that you are familiar with the key databases and selected Web sites that are important for industry research you can use the Industry Information Center as a short cut to industry information. When the Library acquires new databases they will be posted on this guide.