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Industry classification systems are created to promote data comparability. NAICS (current version) and SIC (older version) are the most widely used in the United States. You can search by classification codes to find information on industries or sectors in many books, databases, and government websites. However, NAICS and SIC focus on broader industry activities and may not have a specific code for niche/emerging industries. Many databases also have their own classification systems.
NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)
Standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. NAICS codes are assigned by different research firms and therefore each company may have different codes in different databases.
SIC (Standard Industrial Classification)
Older system (doesn't cover industries that emerged after 1987). However, a company must declare its primary SIC in Form S-1
when filing to go public.
Industry Profiles & Market Research Reports
In-depth reports on US industries.
Maintains market research reports and consumer demographic/lifestyle profiles covering U.S. and international marketplaces.
Contains extensive statistics and analyses on countries, industries, companies, and consumers.
Business Insights: Global
Provides company and industry profiles, including SWOT reports, market share reports, investment reports, articles, financials, and case studies.
Business Source Premier
Provides full text and citations to articles in various business publications; also includes company profiles, industry profiles, and country information.
Provides statistics from over 18,000 free and proprietary sources on a wide range of topics such as business, media, and demographics.
An industry association is established to advocate for the industry and associated companies. They collect and provide unique data/articles/reports. Sometimes these sources are on their websites for free.
To find the industry association websites:
- Do a Google search with keywords followed by "association".
- Industry profiles in library databases may have a section for related associations. For example, in the IBISWorld report, look under "About this Industry", then "Additional Resources".