1. Select an industry using IBISWorld or S&P Global NetAdvantage. Look for analysis of Political, Economic, Social, and Technological (PEST) factors in the industry reports. When analyzing a public company, check the company's 10-K report, especially the Risk Factor section.
2. Use SWOT analyses in D&B Hoovers, Mergent Online/Investext, or Business Source Premier to find strengths and weaknesses about a model company in your industry.
3. Find trends and competitive environment in IBISWorld, S&P Global NetAdvantage, and the industry reports in ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry, Business Source Premier, and Factiva.
4. Identify trade associations and mine their websites for regulatory issues, legal matters, and (sometimes) marketing data.
5. Research government information and the Economic Census data using NAICS codes.
Industry reports contain valuable analysis of an industry's operating conditions, driving forces, competitive landscapes, and more. Use these resources to help you identify and define an industry, locate industry surveys and reports, search for industry trends, identify leading companies, find market share data and rankings, get current and in-depth news about an industry, and much more. Be aware that many do not cover smaller niche industries and always check the date to see how current the information is. Supplement these reports with information found in newspapers and trade publications.
Trade and professional association websites often contain trends and forecasts, news, government regulations, regulatory concerns, and new technological developments. Some may provide market data and sales statistics; look for links called "research" or "data."
Use the Trade Associations tab on this guide, or use Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage and IBISWorld to identify trade associations.
1. Define the industry with a NAICS code. Manufacturing? Retail? Service? Agriculture? Construction?
2. Find industry and market research.
3. Learn about your target market and customers.
4. Investigate trade association data.
5. Research government economic statistics and more.
6. Read industry news (see Finding Articles tab)
Government agencies and business information providers use NAICS codes to organize industry information. In addition to the links below, you can search several business databases by NAICS and/or SIC codes for industry information.