Depending on the particular industry you are researching on, information availability can vary greatly. You will probably need to use a range of information sources and include both quantitative (statistics) and qualitative information (descriptive). A few tips:
- Identify the relevant North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Many library resources and government websites provide industry information based on the NAICS code.
- For industry reports, start with IBISWorld, Business Source Premier, and Business Insights.
- To get more consumer-related information on an industry, use Mintel or Passport.
- It can be challenging to find readily available information on niche or emerging industries. In that case, try researching the broader (e.g., buttons industry -> clothing accessories) or related/competing industry.
- Most of the industry information in library databases is based on a country (e.g., Sportswear in the US), rather than a state or city. For regional/local information, check local newspapers (e.g., Portland Business Journal) or government websites (e.g., economic development agency).
- Trade associations and trade journals can sometimes provide information not found elsewhere.