Useful links before you get started
This guide is a starting point for researching industry information using both print and electronic resources Many more resources are available than are covered here. More business-related resources are available which may contain useful information about industries. To get a complete list of databases available through the Neil Hellman Library, use the "Databases A-Z" link to the left or if you are looking for only Business related databases you can return to the Business Main Page. If you would like more assistance, please use the "Ask a Librarian" link to the left of the page.
Define the Industry
Industries are classified in many ways, and it will simplify your research if you first determine the scope of the business activity you wish to examine. Often, your need for data may include only a single product or a small range of products. However, many standard resources for industry information may define an industry based on broader criteria, such as SIC or NAICS codes. For example, you may wish to locate market information about apples the most relevant industry reports may be based on SIC code 0175, " Deciduous Tree Fruits," which which would include the apple orchard industry.
Finding the Appropriate SIC and NAICS Codes
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes provide a mechanism for classifying like businesses together. They can be used to determine industry financial norms. Because companies are often involved in more than one line of business, they may have more than one SIC or NAICS code. Search the OSHA SIC manual (link to the right)
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are being phased in to replace SIC codes, but many standard reference works still use the SIC codes. You can look up NAICS codes and convert SIC codes using the link to the right.