Buyer beware: Free sites on the web may offer brief views of an industry profile with intention of enticing the viewer to purchase a full report. Hoovers Industry Profiles, First Research are two examples you may come across on the web. For those needing brief summaries these may be adequate. Be in an informed consumer, your library collection has a subscription to the full reports. This guide will lead you to them.

Research Databases

These databases and electronic article indexes are recommended for a regular scan of industry, company, and competitor information.

Business Source Premier (Ebsco)
Contains industry profiles, company reports, and market research reports. View demo

Business Monitor Online
Recommended for international industry and emerging economics. Major industries and companies are represented: Auto, Chemical, Commercial Banking, Defense and Security, Food & Drink, Freight, IT, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Pharmaceuticals, Telecom, Tourism.

Covers news and business information, including Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and The Wall Street Journal, plus more than 8,000 other sources providing current news.

Mergent Online Industry Reports  Go to Report Search Tab

Hoovers In-depth Company Reports via Lexis/Nexis
Broad industry overviews

Lexis Nexis Academic
Provides access to a wide range of news, business, legal, and reference information.

ProQuest Direct
Includes complete ABI Inform (business) and Newsstand publications.

Mergent Online
A financial analysis database of over 10,000 publicly traded US and international companies. Search by SIC, long term debt, profit margin, total revenue, and more. Create custom financial comparison charts. Includes EDGAR (SEC) filings back to 1993.

Stat-USA (password available via Research Help Desk)
National and international trade and commerce resources including National Trade Data Bank.

Industry Overviews and Reports

Top picks to start:

Business Source Premier. Datamonitor Reports.  Contain industry profiles for topics world wide. Begin with a keyword and country and limit to "Industry Profile".
Recommended for GEL101 FYBL

Encyclopedia of American Industries. (Business Quick Reference HC102 .E53 2009 v. 2)
Recommended for GEL101 FYBL
Industry descriptions in 2-4 page essays, with suggested readings. Arranged by SIC (Standard Industry Classification).

Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. ( Business Quick Reference HD2324. E528 2007)
Recommended for GEL101 FYBL
Industry descriptions in 2-4 page essays, with suggested readings. Arranged by SIC (Standard Industry Classification).

Proquest Direct--Industry--Snapshots North America
Recommended for GEL101 FYBL

Reports on many U.S and North American industries (pasta, soft drink, magazine, accountancy, advertising etc.). The reports contain market size, market share and market revenues, leading companies and sources for further information.

Standard and Poor’s Industry Surveys. (Business Quick Reference HG 4915 .S652)
Recommended for GEL101 FYBL
Individual booklets on over 52 industries present outlook, market, and current trends with comparative financial data for industries and companies. Company statistics are also updated monthly in the "Earning Supplement." An index booklet lists the industries and companies covered in the surveys. The monthly "Trends and Projections" reports on major economic indicators and significant changes in industries.

Collection of industry statistics, profitability, rankings, sales etc. Sources are gathered from multiple government sources, trade associations and other reports.

Business Plans Index Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Looking for a sample business plan or a business profile? This extensive index will lead you to likely sources. Check the library catalog and the Circuit for local availability of book titles, some titles may not be held locally but would be available through interlibrary loan services.

Current Industrial Reports (CIR)
Provides monthly, quarterly, and annual industrial activity on production and shipments. Used by business and policy makers. All files in excel format.

Annual Survey of Manufacturers. US Census
1. Factinder --> DataSets --> Annual Economic Surveys -->Annual Survey of Manufacturers--> Filter Rows by NAIC
Contains detailed data for industry expenses and values by NAIC
Employees, payroll, benefits, wages. Cost of materials, containers & packaging, cost of resales, fuels, electricity costs and generation. Value of shipments, transfers, resales, inventories. Building expenses, transportation, computer data, machinery, depretiation, rents, hardward expenses, communication expenses, repair and maintenance expenses, hazardous waste removal expenses, advertizing expenses, and taxes.

Industry Classification Codes. Business Reference Sources. Library of Congress
This issue of the Business & Economics Research Advisor describes SIC, NAICS, ISIC, SITC, and other classification schemes. It suggests other sources to learn more about how the codes are used in U.S. and international industry research.

Gale's Business Rankings Annual (Reference HG4050 B88)
Compiled rankings tables from many trade publications and other sources.

Forbes January issue: "Annual Report of American Industry" (Periodicals HF5001.F6)

Encyclopedia of Small Business [Electronic Book] ed. Kevin Hillstrom
Essay length articles on a wide range of topics of interest to small business: Cost-benefit analysis, Ergonomics, IPO, Target Markets, Online Auctions, Biometrics, Tax-deductible Business Expenses.

Handbook of North American Industry. (Reference HF 1746 .H37)
Broad economic figures and projections for United States, Mexican, and Canadian industries. Short essays, and some projections.

Industry Series Schedule. U.S. Economic Census, 2002
Find the latest economic data on many industry segments, beverage consumption, scenic tours, visits to museums, vending machines, book and music stores among others.

Industry Studies by Larry L Duetsch. 2nd ed (4th floor HC106.8 I53 1998)
Automobiles, Beer, Pharmaceuticals, Broilers and Steel, airline, commercial banking and electric power. Chapters on how these industries operate and compete.

Investopedia's Industry Reports and Key Indicators and Ratios
Organized by major industry sector, Materials, Semiconductors, Retail etc. that link to a basic industry background essay, and a short description of the key industry indicators including P/E ratios, and how Porter's Five Forces affect each industry, and an industry analysis. For example the semiconductor industry is governed by "Moore's Law" and book-bill ratios among others. The Banking industry is sensitive to interest rates and capital adequacy.

Moody's Industry Review (Reference HG4961 M6616)
Especially useful for comparative financial data.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
The Federal government has classified industries and services and assigned each a NAICS code number in order to promote the comparability of statistics. These and their precursors the SIC code numbers are used widely by electronic databases to collect articles and data on industries and similar companies. U.S. Census NAIC/SIC Finder. Questions about SIC and NAIC? To learn more look at NAIC FAQs
Small Business Economic Trends This publication includes outlooks on earnings, sales, prices, employment and compensation among other topics of general interest to small independently owned businesses.
NFIB National Federation of Independent Business  Interest group for small business with useful resources. Look at Issues and Elections and Business Resources: Competition, Insurance, Employee compensation, regulation, cash flow etc.

Census of Service Industries Census of for-profit and non-profit service establishments to consumers, businesses, governments, and other organizations. Tracks number of establishments by NAIC and annual percent change.

Value Line. (CSUSM Library 3rd Floor  Business Quick Reference Shelf)
To locate publicly traded industry discussions check the industry listing in "Part 1: Summary & Index" and the quarterly index in the last issue of each quarter of "Part 2: Selection & Opinion." Includes short range forecasts.

Industry Financial Comparisons

Mergent Online
A financial analysis database of over 10,000 publicly traded US and international companies. Search by SIC, long term debt, profit margin, total revenue, and more. Create custom financial comparison charts. Includes EDGAR (SEC) filings back to 1993.

Composite Financial Statements and Ratios

You will need an NAIC from the US Census  to use these sources

Financial Ratios at CSUSM

Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios. Dun & Bradstreet Corp. HF5681.R25 I532 REFERENCE latest 3 years, earlier editions in book stacks.

RMA's Annual Statement Studies / Robert Morris Associate. HF5681.B2 R6 REFERENCE
Latest 5 years, earlier editions in book stacks. Provides 5 year historical trends. Includes a list of specialized sources of ratio data.

Financial Studies for Small Business. Financial Research Associates. HD2346.U5 F55a 2002

Trade and Professional Associations

Research TIP:  Trade associations cover industry statistics, trends and report the latest news. While their websites will offer some free information, the in-depth information is restricted to members only. The press will pick up regular industry reports and event news distributed by the Associations. First identify the Association name in directories or search engines such as Google or Yahoo's directory and then search news articles by the Association name the library subscription databases such as ABI Inform/Proquest or Factiva.

Trade and Professional Associations in California: A Directory. HD2428 .C3 T73

Encyclopedia of Associations AS22 .E5 REFERENCE

National Retail Federation   Trade association for the retail industry

Market Share

FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Industry Analysis
Bank Data & Statistics--Bank Data Guide for banking trends and local market share.

Selected Industry Types

San Diego's Industry Clusters according to the San Diego Workforce Partnership these studies provide "Information on the respective industry clusters, with an emphasis on occupational growth, supply and demand, wages and skill requirements."

Banking and Finance

    Data and reports on banks, banking industry and economic trends

  • Handbook of Modern Finance / D. E. Logue & J. K. Seward eds. New York: Warren Gorham & Lamont RIA. HG 173 .H34 REFERENCE

    Chapters on the financial system and markets, security analysis, pricing and portfolio management, short-term and long-term financial management, financial policy and international finance. Authoritative and highly regarded essays, updated yearly with new content, tables, and formulas.


    Construction publisher and information service provider to the industry. Some free news content, but reports and other services are fee based. Note that California Construction is their trade publication for this state, but to access it you are better off searching the source title California Construction Link in the Factiva Database to get the full text articles and all back issues.

    Enter commercial building type, sq.ft. and zipcode.


  • International Business Information : How to Find It, How to Use It. By Ruth A. Pagell and Michael Halperin. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Pub., 1999. Reference HF54.5 .P33 1999
  • Stat-USA / U.S. Dept. of Commerce (password available at Research Help Desk)

    National and international trade and commerce resources including National Trade Data Bank. Country and market reports written by experts in the field. Latest economic statistics.


Importers and Exporters

    Provides a collection of international trade web sites.

Tech Industry

  • GIGAOM Network Award winning blogs, publications and videos on the technology and information industry