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Industry Information  

This guide focuses on resources relevant to conducting industry research. Go to Business Research Page
Last Updated: Mar 23, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Industry Research

Industry research may be undertaken for a variety of reasons: to find the competitors for a specific company, to explore investment opportunities, to pursue a career within a specific sector of an industry, or to gather comprehensive data on an industry for business or academic purposes. Industry research can also help you understand a market, product or a company in the context of its environment. Whatever the goal, here are some steps to follow when conducting industry research:

  1. Identify the industry: Some diversified companies may fall under more than one industry. For example, 3M is a technology company that is involved with following businesses: industrial and transportation; health care; display and graphics; consumer and office; safety, security and protection services; and electro and communications. As a result, this company would have different competitors for its different business segments. To correctly identify the competitors for any of its business segments, make sure that you know the SIC and NAICS codes for that specific industry.

  3. Level of Detail : What level of detail are you seeking: an overview or an in-depth analysis? To learn about an industry and how it operates, consult industry profiles as they provide information on how an industry is organized, major players, and current trends and future projections. For current news and developments within a particular industry, consult trade journals, business periodicals, magazines, and newspaper sources.

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