Skip to Main Content

BUSA 1100W: Fundamentals of Management

Industry Research

To develop an understanding of an industry, you must understand its structure. For a large industry, information is easy to find.  For smaller industries, which may be fairly new or filled with "mom-n-pop" and private businesses, a different approach is needed.  Examples of where you may find industry information include:

  • Analyst reports
  • Market research reports
  • News articles
  • Industry experts
  • Trade or professional association

To learn about and understand the industry in which your company operates, there are a number of databases that can help you.  Several databases are listed below which give you an outsider’s expert opinion about an industry. Using these sources enables you to find out what information already exists, see the opinions and ideas of experts, and reach your own conclusions based on facts and analysis.

Industry Codes

What is an Industry?
A group of companies producing similar products/services for sale to consumers/businesses.
Basically, we try to group “like companies” together by industry, and industry code. Knowing an industry code can help you find consistent industry analysis from resource to resource by making sure you are comparing consistent industry segments.

SIC = Standard Industrial Classification See this link for SIC codes:

  • 5: Retail Trade
  • 58: Eating And Drinking Places
  • 581: Eating And Drinking Places
  • 5812: Eating Places

NAICS = North American Industry Classification System See this link for NAICs codes:

  • 72:  Accommodation and Food Services
  • 722:  Food Services and Drinking Places
  • 7221:  Full-Service Restaurants
  • 72211:   Full-Service Restaurants

Database: IBISWorld

IBISWorld: Global industry market research reports include insight on the business environment. Search by industry name, NAICS code or company name. Use for understanding market size, competitors, drafting business plans, pitch books, benchmarking, forecasting, business valuations, litigation support, due diligence and more. Search by industry name, industry code, or company name to access industry reports.

Industry reports include:

  • Industry Performance
  • Industry Outlook
  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Products & Markets
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Major Companies
  • Operating Conditions
  • Key Statistics
  • Jargon & Glossary

Database: First Research

First Step: First Research contains:

  • Industry Overview
  • Industry Forecast
  • Critical Issues within the industry
  • Business Challenges
  • Business Trends
  • Industry Opportunities
  • Call Prep Sheets with conversation starters
  • Executive insights and talking points by C-Suite position.
  • Websites which highlight industry experts (usually Associations and Government Agencies.)

Once in First Research, simply search for your Fortune 500 Company name and then open the report that matches their industry. The report contents are listed on the LEFTSIDE of the page.

Additional Industry Databases

Benchmarks & Ratios

Industry Ratios provide analysis of diverse financial data for an industry. They can be used to compare a company against its peers.