The following is a selected list of resources for starting research in Industry information.

Buyer beware:  Free sites on the web may offer brief views of an industry profile with intention of enticing the viewer to purchase a full report.  Hoovers Industry Profiles, First Research are two examples you may come across on the web.  For those needing brief summaries these may be adequate. Be in an informed consumer, your library collection has a subscription to the full reports.  This guide will lead you to them.

Research Databases

These databases and electronic article indexes are recommended for a regular scan of industry, company, and competitor information.

Business Source Premier (Ebsco)
Contains industry profiles, company reports, and market research reports. 
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Business Monitor Online
Recommended for international industry and emerging economics. Major  industries and companies are represented: Auto, Chemical, Commercial Banking, Defense and Security, Food & Drink, Freight, IT, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Pharmaceuticals, Telecom, Tourism.

Covers news and business information, including Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and The Wall Street Journal, plus more than 8,000 other sources providing current news.

Hoovers In-depth Company Reports via Lexis/Nexis
Broad industry overviews

Lexis Nexis Academic
Provides access to a wide range of news, business, legal, and reference information.

ProQuest Direct
Includes complete ABI Inform (business) and Newsstand publications.


Mergent Online
A financial analysis database of over 10,000 publicly traded US and international companies. Search by SIC, long term debt, profit margin, total revenue, and more. Create custom financial comparison charts. Includes EDGAR (SEC) filings back to 1993.

Stat-USA (password available via Research Help Desk)
National and international trade and commerce resources including National Trade Data Bank.

Industry Overviews and Reports

Top picks to start:

Business Source Premier.  Datamonitor Reports.  GEL101 FYBL Contain industry profiles for topics world wide. Begin with a keyword and country and limit to "Industry Profile". 

Encyclopedia of American Industries.  HC102 .E53 2009  2 v. BUSINESS QUICK REF GEL101 FYBL
Industry descriptions in 2-4 page essays, with suggested readings. Arranged by SIC (Standard Industry Classification).

Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. HD2324. E528 2007 BUSINESS QUICK REF GEL101 FYBL
Industry descriptions in 2-4 page essays, with suggested readings. Arranged by SIC (Standard Industry Classification).

Proquest Direct--Industry--Snapshots North America  GEL101 FYBL
Reports on many U.S and North American industries (pasta, soft drink, magazine, accountancy, advertising etc.).  The reports contain market size, market share and market revenues, leading companies and sources for further information.

Standard and Poor’s Industry Surveys. (Business Quick Reference HG 4915 .S652) GEL101 FYBL
Individual booklets on over 52 industries present outlook, market, and current trends with comparative financial data for industries and companies. Company statistics are also updated monthly in the "Earning Supplement." An index booklet lists the industries and companies covered in the surveys. The monthly "Trends and Projections" reports on major economic indicators and significant changes in industries.

Collection of industry statistics, profitability, rankings, sales etc.  Sources are gathered from multiple government sources, trade associations and other reports.

Business Plans Index  Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Looking for a sample business plan or a business profile? This extensive index will lead you to likely sources. Check the library catalog and the Circuit for local availability of book titles, some titles may not be held locally but would be available through interlibrary loan services.

Current Industrial Reports (CIR)
Provides monthly, quarterly, and annual industrial activity on production and shipments. Used by business and policy makers. All files in excel format.

Annual Survey of Manufacturers.  US Census
1. Factinder --> DataSets --> Annual Economic Surveys -->Annual  Survey of Manufacturers--> Filter Rows by NAIC
Contains detailed data for industry expenses and values by NAIC
Employees, payroll, benefits, wages. Cost of materials, containers & packaging, cost of resales, fuels, electricity costs and generation. Value of shipments, transfers, resales, inventories.  Building expenses, transportation, computer data, machinery, depretiation, rents, hardward expenses, communication expenses, repair and maintenance expenses, hazardous waste removal expenses, advertizing expenses, and taxes.

Industry Classification Codes.  Business Reference Sources.  Library of Congress
This issue of the Business & Economics Research Advisor describes SIC, NAICS, ISIC, SITC, and other classification schemes.  It suggests other sources to learn more about how the codes are used in U.S. and international industry research.

Gale's Business Rankings Annual Reference (HG4050 B88)
Compiled rankings tables from many trade publications and other sources.

Forbes January issue: "Annual Report of American Industry" (Periodicals HF5001.F6)

Encyclopedia of Small Business  [Electronic Book] ed. Kevin Hillstrom
Essay length articles on a wide range of topics of interest to small business:  Cost-benefit analysis, Ergonomics, IPO, Target Markets, Online Auctions, Biometrics, Tax-deductible Business Expenses.

Handbook of North American Industry. (Reference HF 1746 .H37)
Broad economic figures and projections for United States, Mexican, and Canadian industries. Short essays, and some projections.

Industry Series Schedule.  U.S. Economic Census, 2002
Find the latest economic data on many industry segments, beverage consumption, scenic tours, visits to museums, vending machines, book and music stores among others.

Industry Studies by Larry L Duetsch. 2nd ed (HC106.8 I53 1998)
Automobiles, Beer,  Pharmaceuticals, Broilers and Steel, airline, commercial banking and electric power. Chapters on how these industries operate and compete.

Investopedia's Industry Reports and Key Indicators and Ratios

Organized by major industry sector, Materials, Semiconductors, Retail etc. that link to a basic industry background essay, and a short description of the key industry indicators including P/E ratios, and how Porter's Five Forces affect each industry, and an industry analysis. For example the semiconductor industry is governed by "Moore's Law" and book-bill ratios among others.  The Banking industry is sensitive to interest rates and capital adequacy.

Moody's Industry Review (Reference HG4961 M6616)
Especially useful for comparative financial data.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
The Federal government has classified industries and services and assigned each a NAICS code number in order to promote the comparability of statistics. These and their precursors the SIC code numbers are used widely by electronic databases to collect articles and data on industries and similar companies.   U.S. Census NAIC/SIC Finder.  Questions about SIC and NAIC?  To learn more look at Ask Dr. NAIC

National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Small Business Economic Trends  This publication includes outlooks on earnings, sales, prices, employment and compensation among other topics of general interest to small independently owned  businesses. 
NFIB National Small Business Poll  Essays and survey results for a wide range of topics of interest to small businesses.  Competition, Insurance, Employee compensation, regulation, cash flow etc.

Census of Service Industries Census of for-profit and non-profit service establishments to consumers, businesses, governments, and other organizations. Tracks number of establishments by NAIC and annual percent change.

Value Line. (Business Quick Reference)
To locate publicly traded industry discussions check the industry listing in "Part 1: Summary & Index" and the quarterly index in the last issue of each quarter of "Part 2: Selection & Opinion."  Includes short range forecasts.

Industry Financial Comparisons

Mergent Online
A financial analysis database of over 10,000 publicly traded US and international companies. Search by SIC, long term debt, profit margin, total revenue, and more. Create custom financial comparison charts. Includes EDGAR (SEC) filings back to 1993.

Composite Financial Statements and Ratios

First get your NAIC from the US Census if you want to use these sources

Financial Ratios at CSUSM

Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios.  Dun & Bradstreet Corp. HF5681.R25 I532 REFERENCE latest 3 years, earlier editions in book stacks.

RMA's Annual Statement Studies / Robert Morris Associate. HF5681.B2 R6 REFERENCE
Latest 5 years, earlier editions in book stacks. Provides 5 year historical trends. Includes a list of specialized sources of ratio data.

Financial Studies for Small Business. Financial Research Associates. HD2346.U5 F55a 2002

Trade and Professional Associations

Trade associations cover industry statistics, trends and report the latest news.  While their websites will offer some free information, the in-depth information is restricted to members only.  The press will pick up regular industry reports and event news distributed by the Associations.  First identify the Association name in directories or search engines such as Yahoo's directory and then search news articles by the Association name the library subscription databases such as ABI Inform/Proquest or Factiva.

Trade and Professional Associations in California: A Directory. HD2428 .C3 T73

Encyclopedia of Associations AS22 .E5 REFERENCE

National Retail Federation

Market Share

FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Industry Analysis
Bank Data & Statistics--Bank Data Guide for banking trends and local market share.

Selected Industry Types

San Diego's Industry Clusters according to the San Diego Workforce Partnership these studies provide "Information on the respective industry clusters, with an emphasis on occupational growth, supply and demand, wages and skill requirements."

Banking and Finance

FDIC Industry Analysis
Data and reports on banks, banking industry and economic trends

Handbook of Modern Finance / D. E. Logue & J. K. Seward eds. New York: Warren Gorham & Lamont RIA.  HG 173 .H34 REFERENCE
Chapters on the financial system and markets, security analysis, pricing and portfolio management, short-term and long-term financial management, financial policy and international finance. Authoritative and highly regarded essays, updated yearly with new content, tables, and formulas. 


Construction WebLinks. A searchable collections of links for the construction industry and related fields, including architecture and engineering.

McGraw-Hill Construction
Construction publisher and information service provider to the industry.  Some free news content, but reports and other services are fee based.  Note that California Construction is their trade publication for this state, but to access it you are better off searching the source title California Construction Link in the Factiva Database to get the full text articles and all back issues.

RSMeans QuickCost Estimator
Enter commercial building type, sq.ft. and zipcode.

Toy Industry

Toy Industry Association, Inc. Library  Trade Association Resources, Research, Libraries or publications sections can provide industry trends, statistics, and reports.


International Business Information : How to Find It, How to Use It. By Ruth A. Pagell and Michael Halperin. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Pub., 1999. Reference HF54.5 .P33 1999

Stat-USA / U.S. Dept. of Commerce (password available at Research Help Desk)
National and international trade and commerce resources including National Trade Data Bank.  Country and market reports written by experts in the field.  Latest economic statistics.

USA Trade Online / Stat-USA Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.
USA Trade Online provides specific U.S. export and import information on more than 18,000 commodities world wide.

Importers and Exporters

San Diego World Trade Center
Provides a collection of international trade web sites.

Tech Industry

    GIGAOM Network Award winning blogs, publications and videos on the technology and information industry