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Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Industry Research

Information and resources to help aspiring entrepreneurs.


Sample Trade Association

NAICS Lookup

To begin researching an industry, you will want to identify its NAICs code. NAICS is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. The video below will walk you through the process of looking up a NAICs code using the official NAICs website.

Common Types of Industry Information

Industry information can be found in a variety of places.  Often you have to look in more than one place to find everything you need.  The important thing is knowing where to look.  So where can you begin?

Compiled Industry & Market Reports: These reports are available in library databases, from industry associations, and on the web. They often include industry financials and forecasts, major players in the industry, and market share. Look for detailed industry reports in both IBIS World and Mergent Online. 

Five Forces Analysis: These can be found in the industry profiles located in Business Source Premier. 

News & Trade Publications: You can use these resources to find current information about industries. They are especially useful for niche or emerging industries. These types of publications can be searched in ABI/INFORM or Business Source Premier. 

Industry Associations:  Many industry associations have statistics and other publications publicly available on their web sites.  

SEC Filings and Annual Reports:  Check out the 10-K forms for companies operating in your industry. Take a look at Item 1A (Risks) to get a feel for what may be affecting the industry. SEC filings can be found in their online database, EDGAR. 

Governmental Materials: Federal and state governments provide a wealth of industry information. Look for the regulatory agencies for your industry, as they may provide detailed statistics and figures on their websites. 

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