Skip to Main Content

Industry Information

Research Guide for Industry Information resources

Industry Profiles

An industry profile will typically include a summary of the industry, with trends identified, and an outlook. Key financial statistics and companies will be discussed., along with competition in the industry.  Also, the external environment can impact an industry - profiles briefly note these. Profiles are especially useful for industries that include several industry codes (biotechnology, soft drinks, etc.).  While IBISWord is the most comprehensive, it has brief information. Business Source Complete has the most profiles; S&P Global NetAdvantage has the most in-depth "surveys" for 60 industry categories. For consumer products and goods, Passport has detailed profiles, with brand statistics.

Industry Analysis and Research

These sources, while similar to profiles, offer more granular information on niche industries. BCC Research has by far the most in-depth information for the selected industries.  Analyses from consumer surveys can be found in Mintel Academic.

Industry Ratios

Financial information expressed as a ratio (revenue per employee, price to earnings, etc.) can be a useful tool in your research. And, knowing the key ratios (quick ratio ; current ratio) and their differences is useful in researching companies and industries.

The following 3 sources list the most ratio information. The most comprehensive is D&B's Key Business Ratios. Yet, it is pdfs of reports. S&P Global NetAdvantage has ratios you can download for the 60 broad industry names (not organized by industry codes) . If you want ratios for industries with many public companies, and especially worldwide, then Mergent Online is ideal. It too has download options.

US Government sources

Selected federal agencies have data on industries useful for research on the American economy.

from Bureau of Labor Statistics: Industries at a Glance [focus is on employment]

from the Census Bureau -  Economic Census - uses NAICS; several key statistics are tabulated including number of establishments, number of employees, payroll, and measure of output (sales, value of shipments, or revenue). Conducted every 5 years