Finding Industry Information

last modified 2018-07-17T14:20:07-04:00

I. Industry Classifications: SIC/NAICS

The easiest way to identify the industry classification of the industry being researched is to use a directory. Directories frequently list basic company information including the industrial classification code assigned to the company.

The SIC and NAICS codes are used in many online and print resourcs to collect articles and data on industries, industry subcategories, and similar companies. The codes can be very helpful in doing industry research.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
The SIC system uses a 4-digit cascading code. The first two digits indicate a general industrial sector while the next two digits specify a more focused industry segment. The Standard Industrial Classification Manual:1987 is also available in print (Ref HF 1042 .S73 1987).

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
The NAICS utilizes a 6-digit cascading system. NAICS officially replaced Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system in 1997. The North American Industry Classification System is also available in print (Ref HF 1042 .N6).

NAICS/SIC Codes Lookup and Conversion Table
Use NAICS Association website to find appropriate classification.

II. Industry Overview

Industry overviews usually provide summative and analytical information on industries by experts at financial institutions and organizations. It is good to use multiple industry overviews to gain the broadest perspective on the industry being researched.

Business Source Complete Business Searching Interface (EBSCO)

Under "Browse" select "Industry Profiles"

Mergent Online

Select "Industry Analysis" tab

ABI/INFORM Collection (ProQuest)

Select "Browse" to access industry and market research

III. Industry Statistics

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios Tarver Reference, HF 5681 .R25 A45
The Almanac features NAICS data covering North America and provides 50 performance indicators on 192 industries. The data are based on actual IRS tax returns from 5 million U. S. and international corporations.

Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios Tarver Reference, HF 5681.R25 I53 2016
This source contains statistics on over 800 different lines of business as defined by the the U.S. SIC code numbers, covering industries of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Mining; Construction; Manufacturing; Transportation, Communications and Public Utilities; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Finance and Real Estate; and Services.

Census Bureau Economic Statistics
See Data by Sector in the left sidebar.  Industries are further narrowed in downloaded tables.

BizStats provides free financial benchmarks for more than 5,000 industries and can be narrowed to company size and location.

IV. Trade Associations

Many industries have a National Association and these associations usually have developed web sites that provide substantive industry information.

ASAE Gateway to Associations Directory
The ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) Gateway to Associations Directory allows you to search for an association by name, interest area, or geographic location. The search results provide a list of associations that meet your selection criteria.