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Identifying the Industry
Industries are classified into one or more classification systems. The two main classification systems are SIC and NAICS. Many business databases allow you to search by these codes, so it can be very helpful if you know how to find them.
Companies will be assigned more than one industry code if they are operating in more than one line of business.
IBISWorld - Try this first!
IBISWorld is our most comprehensive source of industry level data. You can search for industry information by classification code, industry description or company name.
It also includes "Business Environment Reports" that offer short summaries of data and analysis on over 250 economic drivers, categorized in seven “environments” that surround the economy.
IBISWorld U.S. Industry Research
Provides economic, demographic, and government data on American industries, updated three times per year. Each report offers key statistics and analysis on market characteristics, operating conditions, current and forecast performance, and major industry participants.
Euromonitor International's Passport is a global market research database that provides statistics, analysis, reports, surveys, and breaking news on industries, countries, and consumers worldwide. Covers consumer and industrial market details from over 200 countries and 27 industries with historic data from 1997 and forecasts through 2020.
Key Business Article Databases
Look for articles on your industry in some of our key business article databases.
Discover - As a high-concept pitch, Discover is the "Google search for library databases." You will get a lot background articles about your business start-ups from databases with different disciplines.
A comprehensive and diverse full text business database. Covers scholarly journals, working papers, newspapers, blogs, podcasts, websites, books, conference proceedings and papers, dissertations and theses, magazines, and newspapers from 1923 to the present.
Provides essential business news and information combined with content delivery tools and services to help users to make better business decisions.
Business Source Complete
Business Source Complete is a scholarly business database that provides full-text access to many peer-reviewed business related journals, including disciplines such as marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. Direct Opt Out Link
The amount of information that's available on any given industry will vary depending on the age and size of the industry, among other factors.
If you can't find information on your industry consider the following strategies:
- Try looking for a broader industry category. Sofware publishing instead of smartphone apps, for example.
- Look for information on related, or similar industries.
- Find out who the main companies are in your industry and base your analysis on that information.
- Combine information from multiple industries. This can be particularly helpful for younger, emerging industries such as e-book publishing.