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Industry Research Tutorial

Profile the Industry

Standard & Poor'sS&P

D&B HooversD&B Hoovers

What is an Industry?

Think "Companies", "Businesses", "Competitors".

An industry is a group of enterprises primarily engaged in the same kind of economic activity regardless of their types of ownership. (IBISWorld) Industry Profiles give you the "Big Picure."

Industry Research Questions

  • About: Industry definition |NAICS code
  • At-A-Glance: Key Statistics | SWOT
  • Industry Performance | Current...
  • Industry Outlook | Forecast
  • Products & Markets
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Major Companies
  • Operating Conditions
  • Key Statistics

Locate Industry Statistics

Bureau of Economic AnalysisBEA
Econ Data

US Data

Industry Statistics Questions

  • Industry Overview | Size | Segments
  • Spending | Revenue | Profits | Unit Sales
  • Industry Financial benchmarks
  • Historica CAGR (%)
  • Forecasts & Trends
  • Major Companies | Competitors | Market Share 
  • Major Markets and Products
  • Imports | Exports 

Find News, Articles, and Reports

EBSCO Business Source PremierBSP


Industry News Questions

  • Current News / Trends / Updates
  • Industry Outlook / Forecasts
  • New Products and Services
  • Technology & Innovation / E-Commerce
  • Major Companies / Market Share / Competitive Intelligence 
  • Economic Conditions / International tTade
  • ESG / Environment / Sustainability / Governance

Research the Competition

Standard & Poor'sS&P

Private Firms

Company Research Questions

  • Who is the company? What do they do?
  • Is the company publicly-owened (stock trades) or privately-held?
  • Where can I find the SEC's EDGER filings and Annual Reports?
  • How do I find company financials and stock market performance?
  • Where can I find stock reports, investment research, company news and articles?

Search Google

Google ScholarScholar

GoogleGoogle Help
Search Tips

Who is Google?

Google is your best friend; your worst enemy; and  an indispensable search tool for finding industry information. Trade associations, industry groups, trade journals, professional societies, nonproft resources, government statistics, and much more.

How to Search on Google

 The CRAPP Test*

Anyone can say anything on the internet. How do you distinguish trustworthy information from the unreliable. Put it to the test! Librarian Sara Blakeslee devised the memorable acroynm as a mnemonic for evaluating information resources.

The CRAAP Test

  • Currency - Timeliness - Up-to-Date 
  • Relevance - Important for your needs
  • Authority - Credibility; Source
  • Accuracy - Reliability, Truthful; Correct
  • Purpose - Inform, teach, sell, persuade, entertain?

  "Fake" Market Research

When you search for virtually any product or services using the words "market research", your results list will be filled with a dozen(s) reports that seem to deliver preciselly what you want. Many of these reports are produced by "research mills".

Fake Research

  • Is there an author? Credentials? Bio?
  • Fake firms claim to cover almost every industry
  • Real firms specialize.
  • Who is the firm? How long has it been in business?
  • Does the firm disclose its methodology?

* Blakeslee, Sarah (2004) "The CRAAP Test,LOEX Quarterly: Vol. 31 : No. 3 , Article 4.