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Industry Research

Resources and strategies to assist in researching industries

How to use this guide

This research guide gives places to start for industry research.

If you want to research companies, go to the Company Research Guide.

For more help, contact the business librarian.

What are NAICS/industry codes?

Industry codes are numbers used to describe a company's line of business. You'll see the option to search by industry codes in many business databases, as well as U.S. Economic Census. The current standard for industry codes is the 6-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code. 

NAICS Codes Lookup

Researching emerging or niche industries

If you are researching an emerging industry or a very specialized industry it may be more difficult to locate industry overviews and other industry analysis. Some strategies you can consider using to find information:

  • Look for articles in popular and trade journals (magazines and newspapers) that discuss this industry
  • Consider what other industries are related to your industry. Are there industries that have a similar target market or supply chain?
  • Consider researching the industries of your suppliers and your customers (if your customer is a business).
  • Use frameworks such as Porter's Five Forces or PEST Analysis to guide you in researching your industry.

Please don't hesitate to contact your business librarian if you need assistance locating information.