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Read profiles in the following sources, keeping mind key questions described by Allen:
- What does the industry look like?
- Is the industry growing?
- Where are the opportunities?
- What is the status of any technology?
- How much do companies spend on research and development?
- Who are the opinion leaders in this industry?
- Are there young, successful firms in this industry?
- What does the future look like?
- Are there any threats to the industry?
- What are the typical margins in the industry?
Business & Company Resource Center.
Click on "Industry Search." Enter either SIC/NAICS codes or keywords.
Alternately, enter keywords in the "Quick Search" box at the top of the page.
Business Source Premier. Business Searching Interface.
Enter keywords for an industry. Click "industry profiles." Provides Datamonitor Profiles.
Global Market Information Database (GMID).
GMID accommodates both simple searches for industry overviews, and sophisticated retrieval of industry reports for particular countries and demographics.
Click the "Industries" tab at the top of the page.
Refine results with selections for industry sub-categories, countries, and type of report in the left frame.
IBISWorld provides medium length reports.
Click "Industry Market Research" at the top of the home page. Scroll to appropriate industry category or enter a NAICS code. Click, and again browse to choose from among options of specific reports.
Read a report online, or download the PDF.
Tip: Users see most complete lists of reports using keywords or browsing industry categories.
Standard & Poor's Net Advantage.
Click "Industries" at the top of the page. Choose an industry and/or sub-industry and region in the pull-down menus that appear.
S&P industry profiles provide industry trends, how the industry operates, key industry ratios and statistics, and tips on how to analyze companies within an industry.
US Government Sources
A portal to 100 government agencies. Search by keyword, within categories, or by agency name.
US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Industry Economic Accounts.
Presents a variety of economic statistics on industries: input-output accounts, the gross-domestic-product-by-industry accounts, and travel and tourism satellite accounts.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overview of BLS Statistics by Industry.
Data tables include:
Industries at a Glance
Employment, Hours, and Earnings - National, State, and Area
Safety and Health
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Employment Cost Trends
Labor Productivity and Multifactor Productivity
US Census Bureau. Business & Industry.
Gateway site for reports and data on all sectors, and following: Construction, Governments, International Trade, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Services, Wholesale Trade, and Other Sectors.
Also links to the Economic Census and Economic Indicators.
US Census Bureau. County Business Patterns.
Three components: County Business Patterns; Metro Business Patterns; and Zip Code Business Patterns. For these categories, gives number of employees, payroll, and total establishments. Breaks down data by NAICS code.
Use to determine the size of an industry at the local level, and industry growth.
US Census Bureau. Industry Snapshots.
Drill down to appropriate NAICS code. Provides aggregated sales, payroll, employees, establishments, sales per capita, sales per employee, in addition to industry ratios.
US Census Bureau. Services Annual Survey.
Data for the Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) and the Service Annual Survey (SAS).
US Census Bureau. Statistics of US Businesses.
"Statistics of U.S. Businesses (SUSB) is an annual series that provides national and subnational data on the distribution of economic data by enterprise size and industry... Covers most of the country's economic activity."
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook.
For specific positions within industries, describes the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, workers do on the job, and working conditions.