This guide is a collection of resources that will help you with your industry research. Some common terms used in the literature to refer to this type of document are industry profile, industry report, industry analysis, industry overview – they might differ slightly in structure, but irrespective of the name, they will help you get a better idea about how an industry is doing now, its evolution and what to expect in the future.
You can look for ready made industry profiles or you can create your own by compiling information from different sources.
Two common strategies are performing keyword searches or searching by industry code. Industry codes are numerical systems used to classify companies, organizations and traders into groupings based on how they operate.
The most popular classifications used in North America are NAICS and SIC codes. Some publishers may also create their own classification. Please note that not all resources allow searching by industry codes.
For more information on industry codes, please refer to the “Industry Codes” section of this guide.
When creating your own industry profile some of the things to look for are: market size, financial ratios, trends, main players, regulation, value chain analysis, international trade, various types of analyses such as Porter’s 5 Forces, SWOT, PESTLE, etc.
Primary vs secondary research
MaRS Market research for startups: Get to know your customers, target market and the competition – understand the difference between primary and secondary market research.
Is There an Industry Report for That? Market & Industry Research - In this webinar, Library of Congress Business Reference and Research Specialists highlight resources available at libraries and Government agencies and share their research strategies and tips for finding industry information. Presentation slides available.