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Key sources for market and industry research

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Doing the background work to begin an industry profile should include a look at the industry’s Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) codes or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. 

These codes reveal how the industry is classified and compared with other industries.  The SIC codes were created by the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget to provide “the statistical classification standard underlying all establishment-based Federal economic statistics classified by industry.” 

Many business and industry online databases include the SIC field in their index for precise searching by industry.

In 1997 the Office of Management and Budget published the newly developed NAICS codes. 

Developed in cooperation with Mexico and Canada, the NAICS codes “provide a consistent framework for the collection, analysis and dissemination of industrial statistics used by government policy analysts, by academics and researchers, by the business community, and by the public.” 

These codes give special attention to new and emerging industries, service industries in general, and industries engaged in the production of advanced technologies. 

Many database creators add indexed fields for both SIC and NAICS codes, so searchers can use them to narrow or target search results.

For industry research, general sources include industry overviews from government sources such as the U.S.

International Trade Administration.  Following the leads from an industry overview will direct your research to the appropriate subject-specific media, statistical, organization, and business sources for the next level of detail. 

As a follow-up to general sources, you can move to a more specific source, such as the subject-related government agency (e.g., the U.S. Department of Energy or Transportation). 

For market research, begin with an aggregator such as and move to the more specific firm that focuses on your industry. The following lists contain some key general sources for market and industry research

Guides to industry resources
• Baker Library Industry Guides ( lead researchers to excellent resources in thirteen industry sectors.

• Cole Library Rensselaer at Hartford ( points researchers to sources of information on twenty-three industries.

• Industry Information ( from the U.S. International Trade Administration provides industry statistics and data and also offers a guide to resources such as key trade associations, market research companies, and trade publications for selected industries.

• Valuation Resources ( has created a guide to industry resources and reports, covering information available from trade associations, industry publications, and research firms.

Portals to industry overviews
• Current Industrial Reports ( offers data on production and shipment of selected products, focusing on manufacturing of commodities such as textiles, chemicals, primary metals, computer and electronic components, industrial equipment aerospace equipment, and consumer goods.

• First Research Industry Profiles ( offers more than 140 industry profiles, updated quarterly.  The profiles cover recent developments and changes, business and credit risks, trends, opportunities, and financial benchmarking information.

• Hoover’s ( provides company information arranged by industry.

• Trade Association Research (http://research, offers industry-specific statistics, economic indicators, analysis, trends, and forecasts from 202 trade associations worldwide, covering every major industry.

• Standard & Poor’s Industry Surveys ( cover fifty-two major U.S. industries and include data, forecasts, and trends.

• U.S. business Reporter ( is a private company that prepares and sells business information reports, including industry overviews.

• U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook is an annual publication from the U.S. International Trade Administration (Department of Commerce) and McGraw Hill. 

It contains industry overviews and descriptions and includes trends, forecasts, and references for further research.  Efforts are under way to bring the latest edition to the Web.

Guide to market research on the web
• ( is a “marketing virtual library” edited by Paul Christ, Ph.D., associate professor in the Marketing Department of West Chester University of Pennsylvania. 

This site offers a directory of topic-specific marketing resources carefully chosen from the vast realm of the World Wide Web.

Portals to market research reports
• Alacra ( provides access to market research reports from publishers such as Datamonitor, Freedonia, Multex Research, and Thomson Financial MarkIntel.

• ECNext Knowledge Center ( has compiled 250,000 sources from five hundred publishers into a searchable and browseable collection of market intelligence.

• Findex 2002 is an 850-page directory to global market research reports available in print from

• ( has gathered more than fifty thousand publications from more than 350 market research companies, including Aberdeen Group, Datamonitor, Economist Intelligence Unit, Frost & Sullivan, Jupiter-media Corporation, Kalorama, and The Wall Street Transcript.

• MindBranch ( provides research in more than 130 industry segments from leading publishers such as Dun & Bradstreet, eBrain, Freedonia, Frost & Sullivan, Grey house, Parexel International, Sage Research, and The Yankee Group.

• OneSource ( provides industry and market information from sources including the Financial Times, ProQuest, Phillips, Thomson Gale’s Business & industry database, Freedonia, and U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook.

• Profound ( provides global market research, company information, country data, and analysts’ reports.

• Thomson Research ( is very strong for company information but also provides access to market research from MarkIntel, Datamonitor, IDC, Gartner, Espicom, and TowerGroup.

Databases containing market information
• ABI/Inform from ProQuest (
• Business & Industry from Thomson’s Gale Group (
• PROMT from Thomson’s Gale Group (
• Trade & Industry from Thomson’s Gale Group (
• Wilson Business Abstracts from the H.W. Wilson Company (


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