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Syracuse University Libraries

Business Information Guide

Industry Research Tips

Identify relevant industry classification codes. With industry classification codes, such as NAICS codes, you can locate industry reports and articles. See the Identifying Industry Classification Codes box for industry code sources.

Find industry associations. Industry associations often gather industry statistics and data, create industry reports, and publish industry news and articles. This valuable industry information is sometimes made available to non-members either on the association's website or via the Libraries' research databases. Business Insights: Essentials, IBISWorld, and Plunkett are databases that are especially useful for locating industry associations.

Browse industry reports. The Libraries have several databases that provide overviews and in-depth industry information, such as IBISWorld and Business Insights: Essentials.

Read industry articles and publications. Discover industry articles and publications via your feed reader, industry associations, and by using the advanced search of business article databases, such as Business Source Elite and ABI/Inform, to search by NAICS code. See the Articles and News tab of the Business Information Guide for tips on article databases and feed readers.

For a demonstration of how some of these tips may be applied, refer to the Industry Research Video Tutorials.

Identifying Industry Classification Codes

With industry classification codes, you can find business statistics, compare companies within the same industry, and locate industry reports and articles.

Research Tip: If you are having trouble determining the appropriate NAICS or SIC codes, try looking up a few companies within your industry of interest in a company database, such as Business Insights: Essentials. Take a look at the industry codes associated with those companies and then go back to the industry classification system to review the official industry code definitions in order to determine which codes may be most appropriate for your research.

Recommended Databases for Industry Research

Top Three Database Recommendations for Industry Research:

Additional recommended databases for industry research:

Census Resources

Here are a few U.S. Census links that may help you when researching an industry.

Industry Research Video Tutorials

The following two industry video tutorials (which complement the Nuts and Bolts of Great Business Plans page of the Business Information Guide) are part of a series of four video tutorials developed by Business, Management and Entrepreneurship Librarian Stephanie JH McReynolds to support EEE 457 students as they develop their Capstone business plans. Although developed with EEE 457 students in mind, anyone who is interested in learning more about industry research resources offered by Syracuse University Libraries is welcome to view. If something interests you, please check it out. For instance, maybe you already know a lot about IBISWorld, but have never considered exploring the "First Research" industry research module in Mergent Intellect.

Video Chapters for Industry Research Part 1: Identifying Industry Codes:
  1. Introduction: Introduction and short description of North American Industry Classification (NAICS) codes. (38 seconds)
  2. Searching for Codes in NAICS: Tips for searching for NAICS codes in the North American Industry Classification System (6 minutes 42 seconds)
  3. Browsing for Codes in NAICS Reference Files: Overview of how NAICS Reference Files can be browsed to identify relevant codes that might otherwise be overlooked. (1 minute 17 seconds)
  4. Using Company Databases to Find NAICS Codes: Overview of how company databases can be used to find NAICS codes. (50 seconds)
  5. Searching ReferenceUSA for NAICS Codes: How to search in the company database ReferenceUSA to find NAICS codes. (5 minutes 19 seconds)
Video Chapters for Industry Research Part 2: Discovering Industry Research Reports and Data:
  1. Introduction: Intro and overview of NAICS codes (already identified) to use when searching in industry databases. (2 minutes 7 seconds)
  2. IBISWorld for Industry Research: How to find industry reports in IBISWorld using NAICS codes and keywords searches. (5 minutes)
  3. Business Insights: Essentials for Industry Research: How to find industry reports, industry associations, market share reports, and rankings in Business Insights Essentials using NAICS codes. (4 minutes 17 seconds)
  4. Mergent Intellect for Industry Research: How to find industry reports using NAICS codes and keyword searches in the "First Research" module of Mergent Intellect (2 minutes 54 seconds)
  5. Plunkett Research Online for Industry Research: How to find industry reports, market reports, and industry associations using NAICS codes and keyword searches in Plunkett Research Online. (2 minutes 16 seconds)
  6. Bizminer for Industry Research: How to find industry reports and ratios using NAICS codes and keyword searches in Bizminer. (2 minutes 32 seconds)
  7. Business Source Elite for Industry Articles: How to find articles relevant to an industry by using NAICS code searches and keyword searches in the business article database Business Source Elite. (5 minutes 51 seconds)
  8. Citing Business Resources in APA Style: Shows an example of how to find citation feature in article databases and demonstrates how to find recommended guide for citing other business resources in APA style. (1 minute 33 seconds)
  9. Finding Additional Data: Recommendations of resources for finding additional data, including Explore Census Data and Data-Planet Statistical Datasets. (1 minute 42 seconds)

Industry Financials (in print)

Additional Resources (in print)