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Last Updated: Aug 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

You Have An Industry, Now What? Print Page

Industry Research

To develop an understanding of an industry, you must understand its structure. For a large industry, information is easy to find.  For smaller industries, which may be fairly new or filled with "mom-n-pop" and private businesses, a different approach is needed.  Examples of where you may find industry information include:

  • Analyst reports
  • Market research reports
  • News articles
  • Industry experts
  • Trade or professional association

Using these sources enables you to find out what information already exists, see the opinions and ideas of experts, and reach your own conclusions based on facts and analysis.


Database: First Research

If you only have time for one industry database, use First Research. Search by industry or company name (if it is a large player.)

First Research has:

  • Call Prep Sheets: Highlights industry analysts' concerns.
  • Industry overviews and challenges
  • Trends and Opportunities
  • Executive insights

In the unlikely event that your industry is not there, find a related industry.

  • EXAMPLE: If you are interested in Pixar, look at "Motion Picture Production and Distribution" and also "Graphic Design."

Note: use the Web Links to find leading organizations with an interest in this sector for more industry information


    Database: IBISWorld

    IBISWorld: Global industry market research reports include insight on the business environment. Search by industry name, NAICS code or company name.

    Industry reports include:

    • Industry Performance
    • Industry Outlook
    • Industry Life Cycle
    • Products & Markets
    • Competitive Landscape
    • Major Companies
    • Operating Conditions
    • Key Statistics
    • Jargon & Glossary

    Database: OneSource

    OneSource Example of OneSource

    Contains company profiles, analyst and market reports, SWOTs, and SEC filings.

    Example of SWOT analysis from OneSource:

    Example of SWOT from OneSource


    Database: S&P NetAdvantage

    S&P NetAdvantage: You can search either by Company Name or Industry to see what S&P's analysts are saying. 

    Industry Surveys include:

    • Industry Trends, Ratios & Statistics
    • Comparative Company Analysis
    • Insight into how the industry operates

    Niche and Fragmented Industries

    For niche or fragmented industries, think about who cares about the industry. It might not be gathered all nicely and packaged for you. You may need to rely on industry experts using First Research’s web links described above. Business news and articles will also help by looking for similar products, competitors, ideas, etc.

    • Business Insights: Essentials
      Company chronologies, company histories, journals, market research reports, market share reports, rankings, recent news, SWOT reports, videos, industry information. Comparison chart tool.
    • Business Source Premier  
      Covers most subject areas related to business: management, marketing, economics, finance, accounting, & international business. Includes company reports, SWOT analyses, working papers, country reports, industry reports, case studies, etc.
    • Factiva  
      Full-text of business magazines, trade publications, & newspapers including the Wall Street Journal. Use the submenus to refine your search by source, company, subject, industry, region and/or language.
    • ProQuest Central  
      A multi-disciplinary database with full text availability for nearly 2,000 journals in all academic fields. It includes same-day, full-text coverage of the Wall Street Journal.

    Walker Management Library

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    Walker Management Library
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    Walker Management Library
    Owen Graduate School of Management
    401 21st. Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 322-2970
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