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Industry Research: Getting Started

Key Business Article Databases

Look for articles on your industry in some of our key business article databases.

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. 

Using Company Information

There is a lot of overlap between company and industry information. Company information will often lead to industry information (and vice versa). If you are interested in studying the computer manufacturing industry, for example, you might want to try doing a few searches in some company databases for Apple.  

Research Tip

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.