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Strategy Research & Industry Analysis: Introduction

Industry Analysis

To fully understand an industry, you’ll want to see what information already exists, look at the opinions and ideas of experts, and reach your own conclusions based on facts and analysis. Examples of where this information is found include:

  • Analyst reports
  • Market research reports
  • News articles
  • Industry experts

Purchased & Licensed Library Resources

Did you know that all the information you need is not free on the Web? In fact, most information is hidden in databases, behind firewalls, and is available only by paying subscriptions or fees.

The Walker Management Library has purchased and licensed access to an extensive set of databases. In them you'll find published industry studies, analyst reports, news articles, company profiles, industry ratios, market research, financial, demographics, statistics and more. This is the kind of information you need to do a complete industry analysis.

Free Websites

Searching the internet is quick and easy, and a great source for so much information. However, caveat emptor: evaluate the resources you use. Use the CRAP test for more information on how to assess Internet resources, such as personal Web pages, blogs and Wikipedia:

  • Currency - Is the information current? Is it updated regularly?
  • Reliability - Is the source reputable? Is it accurate?
  • Authority - Who created the information? Why?
  • Purpose/Point of View - Is there a balance of perspectives? Is the information biased?

Primary Research (Your Personal Network)

Reach out to industry experts: journalists that cover your industry, financial analysts, industry associations and academics. If you don’t know insiders in your network, identify them through publications, industry associations, and trade meetings. To find these easily, see the Trade Associations section of this guide.

Additional Help

Not all databases are intuitive to use and it can be confusing when databases provide differing information or data. Look at the database page layout. If it is simple, keep your search simple. If it has complex search features, take advantage of them to get the best results. For more help stop by, contact us,  or try our additional Research Guides.

Please note that access and use restrictions apply to some resources, and usage implies acceptance of the Copyright and Licensing Restrictions. Databases can be found in the following way:

Walker Management Library

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Walker Management *Library
Walker Management Library
Owen Graduate School of Management
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Nashville, TN 37203

Additional Guides for Business Research