When researching an industry, consider the following:
- Is your industry a segment of a larger industry? For example, men’s shoes may be part of the larger segment called apparel, which may be part of the larger industry of retail. You will want to look at your industry from the smallest segment to the larger industry.
- What kind of industry are you studying? Is it service, manufacturing, retail, etc.?
- Do you know the SIC and NAICS codes for your industry? These are classification codes assigned to industries, and some databases still use them for searching for industries. Information on searching SIC and NAICS codes are below in Descriptions and Overviews.
Starting with Google? Might be good for...
- Professional associations (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, American Bakers' Association, etc.)
- Web sites for companies within your industry
- Some articles, fact sheets, statistics
- Pricing, logos, images
Industry Descriptions and Overviews
- Great information on industries in the US and global economy. Each Industry Report includes overviews, data and statistics, market share, competitive landscape, major companies, outlooks and more!
Tips for IBISWorld:
US Industry Search:
Use a keyword or phrase for your US industry search. Start big: transportation.
Browse the list of results for useful reports.
Use other keywords for your topic to find additional reports. For example, for a taxi or shuttle service, search the word: taxi, and also try the word: shuttle, to see what other different industry reports come up. You can view the entire report or use the iExpert Summaries to get just the highlights.
China or Global Industry Search:
Click on either China Industry Reports or Global Industry Reports to see what industries are available. iExpert Summaries are not available for China or Global industries.
- Excellent for US and global industry statistics and market research.
Tips for Passport industry search:
In upper right corner of the screen, search a simple keyword like “snacks.”
On the next screen, you can choose from the Popular Statistics column, or the Analysis column.
For statistics, scroll down and select the item that interests you. For analysis, use the pull down menu at the top that says Filter Analysis to select either topics or geography.
- Easy to use statistics search engine with access to more than a million statistics and facts.
- You can use Business Source Complete to find industry profiles. When you are on the main search page, look to the right of the screen for Industry Profiles. Click there, then click on "By Title, Subject, & Description" under the search box to search for your industry by keyword.
- To find industry reports, first do a search in quotation marks on: "first research industry profiles." Once you are on the result page, click the Reports link under the Source type section on the left.
News and Trends
These are great for finding out what people in the profession or industry area are reading and thinking about, as well as current trends. For many associations, some of the content is freely available, while other content is available to members only. To find industry associations, try these tools:
This is a freely available web site that allows you to search for professional and industry associations by region, category, state, and more.
A quick search on a keyword for your industry (food service, finance, transportation, hospitality, etc.) plus the words association or organization will give you a list of web sites you can view.
Articles and News:
- A comprehensive business database containing millions of full-text items across scholarly and popular periodicals, newspapers, market research reports, dissertations, books, videos and more. Includes the full text of the Wall Street Journal. Formerly called ABI/INFORM Collection
- This is the world's definitive scholarly business database, providing the leading collection of bibliographic and full text content. As part of the comprehensive coverage offered by this database, indexing and abstracts for the most important scholarly business journals back as far as 1886 are included.
- Replaces LexisNexis Academic.
More than 15,000 news, business, and legal sources from LexisNexis—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.
- The database combines market research from the largest single research supplier to the industry, the National Sporting Goods Association; the U.S. Department of Commerce; various sports governing bodies; and full-text articles from 14 magazines and newsletters published by Miller Freeman, the world's largest sporting goods trade publisher, and newsletters provided by leading independent industry experts.
- Through nearly 7000 news sources, find diverse global, local, regional, and national perspectives on topics related to controversial issues, the environment, health, education, science, the arts, literature, business, economics, criminal justice, and more.
Statistics and Market Share
- A database of statistics and data on industries, companies, market share, consumers, and much, much more. Data is viewable in different graph forms, and there are industry reports for certain industries.
- Market Share ReporterProvides the market share for many companies within an industry, shown with pie charts and graphs. Each entry features a descriptive title; data and market description; a list of producers/products along with their market share. To search: Use the search box on the right that says, "Search within publication." You can search products, companies, brands, industries.
- Business Rankings AnnualSearch company, industry and product keywords. Contains lists of ranked companies, products, services, and activities compiled from a variety of published sources. To search, type in search words under Search Within Publication on the right side of the screen.
- Once you are on the main information screen for a particular company, the ratios will be under Company Financials > Analysis > Ratio Analysis
- To get to ratios, use the pull down menu at the top of the start page to select Company Dossiers. Type in your company name, and click on it in the search results. Once you are on the main information page for a company, the ratios will be under Financial Overview > Ratio Analysis
- Once you are on the information overview screen for an industry, the ratios will be under Key Statistics > Industry Financial Ratios. Find Key Statistics on the left side of the screen.
- MSN MoneyIn the middle of the screen, use the Quote Search to search for your company's name or ticker symbol. Then, click Analysis to view a number of ratios on financial health, growth, and other criteria. Also view your company's ratios with its industry ratios to compare your company to industry benchmarks.
- RMA Annual Statement Studies: Financial Ratio BenchmarksISBN: 1570703507Includes financial statistics and ratios, as well as comparative historical data and current data ranked by sales. Latest copy kept at the Reference Desk.
- Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios byLatest copy kept at the Reference Desk.
- Business Ratios and Formulas byISBN: 9781118169964This book lists and describes common business ratios and how to calculate them.
Porter's Five Forces and SWOT Analysis
- IBISWorld and Porter's Five ForcesThis short video shows how to use the IBISWorld industry database to find information for a Porter's Five Forces assignment.
Other Companies in Your Industry
- Create lists of businesses within industries by using city, state, zip code, and more! To start: Click on U.S. Businesses. Then click Custom Search. On the next screen, you can create your own search form to search for industry keywords, plus geographical terms like city, state, zip code, etc.
Citing Your Sources
Whenever you do research, you will need to cite the information sources that you use. Most business scholars use APA style. Here are some tools that can help you with this task:
Gleeson Library's guide to citations: How? Why? When?
- APA 7th Edition Citations for Business SourcesAn excellent guide to using APA 7th edition style for popular business sources. Scroll through the guide to find an example for the business source you are using in your research. Compiled by librarians Naomi Schemm, Marcia Dellenbach, Zachary Grisham, Marianne Hageman, Natalia Tingle, Matt Trowbridge, and Amanda Wheatley
- Citing Business Databases in APA: Michigan State University GuideThis guide was created to help with citing some common business databases
- Citing Business Databases from the University of North Carolina at GreensboroThis guide has some additional business database examples in APA style.
- MLA Business Citations: Youngstown State UniversityScroll down the page to see citations for specific business web sites, reports, and databases cited in MLA style.
- Purdue OWLOur favorite style guide web site is the OWL from Purdue University.
- RefWorks allows users to create personal databases to manage, store, and share the information citations/references. Users can automatically insert references from their database into their papers and generate formatted bibliographies and manuscripts in seconds. Create an account using your USF email address.
There are several ways to obtain assistance with your research. Read on!
The School of Management has a library liaison named Penny Scott, and you can contact her for help.
Her contact information is: email: email@example.com * phone: 415-422-5389
It is best to call or email ahead, or make an appointment, to make sure she is available!
If Penny is not available, or any time you need help, you can always get help, just Ask a Librarian!