Before you can start your company, you'll need to understand the industry within which you will be operating. Different industries have different threats and opportunities you'll need to consider: Pending legislation or a difficult regulatory environment? High/low barriers to entry? Major competitors and market concentration? Standard cost structure? All of these are issues you will address via your industry research.
Often industry data is organized by classification system codes established by the U.S. government: NAICS or SIC codes. Knowing the code(s) for your industry can be extremely useful in your research. For more information on NAICS, visit the Census Bureau NAICS page. For more information on SIC codes, visit the Department of Labor SIC page. Or ask one of the librarians for help.
The best resources for analyzing industries are industry reports and industry news. The first section of this page lists databases where you can find industry reports. These reports are filled with data and expert insights. The second section of this page lists databases where you can search for industry news. Within these databases, you can find news and opinions from places like the Economist, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, and more.
Specialized Databases for Industry Overviews, Reports, and Analysis: The following databases include expert industry analysis. Each database covers different industries. If you can't find what you're looking for in one database, try another:
Use Statista to find Industry Reports and statistics, and Consumer Reports. The Industry Reports contain key figures on finance, companies, employees, R&D, etc. Furthermore, they include forecasts for the development of a given industry. The exact content depends on the individual industry and country. View this Digital Media Report 2020 on Video Games from Statista.
Look for sections like Industry Performance (esp. the Key External Drivers), Industry Outlook, Products & Markets, and Operating Conditions.
Use Business Source Premier to find MarketLine Industry Profiles (including five forces Analysis). Each MarketLine Industry Profile includes the following: Market Value, Market Value Forcast, Catagory Segmentation, Geography Segmentation, Market Rivalry, and Competitive Landscape.
Use Fitch Connect to find Industry Analysis and Reports, including Market Overviews, Industry Forcast Reports, Regional Reports, Industry Trend Analysis, Industry Risk Analysis, Political Risk Analysis, and SWOT Analysis. Fitch Solutions also frequently publishes Special Reports, which cover important industry updates.
Use MarketResearch.com to find Industry Market Research Reports. The contents of each report vary depending on the publisher. However, generally, they all include Market Overviews, Market Opportunities, Market Segmentation, and Key Companies.
Use Mergent Online to find ICB (Industry Classification Benchmark) Industry Reports, ICB Supersector Reports, and Mergent Industry Reports. The ICB Reports include bottom up calculated fundamentals, comparative data, and top member characteristics displayed through a variety of tables and charts. The Mergent Industry Reports content include the following: Current Environment, Industry Profile, Key Points, Key References, Market Trends & Outlook.
Look for "Value Line Featured Lists" in the middle of the screen and choose an industry from the drop-down menu under "Industry Screens". Click on "Industry Analysis" PDF for a chosen Industry.
Specialized Databases for Industry News and In-Depth Analysis: A good way to research industry history, external drivers, and emerging trends is to read news and in-depth articles. The contents of the following databases are updated daily and include thousands of articles from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and scholarly journals:
Find articles from the Economist, Journal of Business Ethics, American Economic Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and more.
Find articles from Black Enterprise, Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Adweek, and more.
Find articles from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Barron's, and more.