Industry Resources

This guide provides an overview of how to conduct detailed industry researchers

Your Librarian

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Pamela Contakos


Thank you to Alice Kalinowski for her permission to adapt her Industry Research guide

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Getting Started

There are many resources available from Freel that will allow you to perform industry research. Use the information presented on this page to find information on industry codes, industry financials, market reports and much more.

Search tips:

  • Identify your industry. In order to perform more efficient research, you'll want a clearly defined industry to start with.
  • Try related terms for keyword searches, like "apparel" vs. "clothing." Databases may have different terms for the same or similar industry.
  • Try multiple databases. Each covers different industries, with some overlap.
  • Industry code designations, like NAICS or SIC codes, are NOT uniform across databases. You may have to adjust your search as you use different databases.
  • Use trade or professional associations as they often produce and publish helpful reports and data.

Contact the Business Librarian with any questions or to set up an appointment.

Researching from Home?

Questions to Ask: Industry Research

  • Is there more than one way to describe the industry? Different resources may describe industries in different manners. While some resources may discuss an industry in broad terms, others may focus on more specific portions of that industry. For example, you may need to retrieve information on the retail industry, department stores, variety stores, or discount department stores depending upon the source used.
  • What Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code(s) identify the industry? SIC/NAICS Codes are used in many directories and industry resources to provide a more consistent manner of identifying industries.

To look up codes by keyword, use the following sites.

  • NAICS website
    Use this site to search for NAICS codes.
    Note: It can be tricky to find the right wording. Try variants- cell phone vs. mobile phone vs. wireless communications, etc.
  • SIC Lookup
    Use this U.S. Department of Labor site to search for an industry code by keyword, or look up an SIC code.

What level of detail is needed regarding the industry? Do you need a brief overview or a more in-depth analysis of the industy? Different databases will delve into greater specificity than others, be on the lookout for detailed industry profiles.