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MSF Orientation : You Have An Industry, Now What?

Industry Research

To develop an understanding of an industry, you must understand its structure. Exploring your industry will help you gather information to persuade others to work in this industry. 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

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.

Database: IBISWorld

Industry reports include the following sections (all with data to persuade):

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

Database: First Research (Intellect)

Search by industry or company name (if it is a large player). Reports include:

  • Call Prep Sheets: Highlights industry analysts' concerns.
  • Industry overviews and challenges
  • Trends and Opportunities: great for a focus on future employment
  • Executive insights

In the unlikely event that your industry is not there, find a related industry.

  • EXAMPLE: If you are interested in Pixar, look at "Motion Picture Production and Distribution" and also "Graphic Design."

Note: use the Web Links to find leading organizations with an interest in this sector for more industry information

Database: Hoovers (formerly OneSource)

Example of SWOT analysis from Hoovers:

Example of SWOT from OneSource

Niche and Fragmented Industries

For niche or fragmented industries, think about who cares about the industry. It might not be gathered all nicely and packaged for you. You may need to rely on industry experts using First Research’s web links described above. Business news and articles will also help by looking for similar products, competitors, ideas, etc.

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Walker Management Library
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