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Industry and Market Research

This guide lists database and internet resources for industry and market research.

Research Tips

Industry and market are often used interchangeably – e.g., the cellphone industry and the market for cellphones. Industry usually refers to the key companies that are providing goods and services to consumers. Market usually refers to that range of consumers who consume these goods and services.

Define the Industry

  1. Clarify the definition of the industry in question
  2. Consider synonyms (e.g., oil or petroleum) as well as related broader and narrower terms (e.g., gasoline or energy)
  3. The industry you are dealing with can be made up with numerous small and private companies or the major players operate in multiple industries or the industry is a subset of a larger industry or a combination of these factors.
  4. Ask “Who Cares?” about this information:
    1. Industry or consumer groups
    2. Conferences
    3. Databases that cover the industry or types of companies
    4. Government agencies or local municipal groups that collect data
    5. Subject related research guides
    6. Known expert or other go-to resources in this field
  5. Profile databases that contain packaged industry reports will not cover smaller niche industries, nor will they be as up to date in terms of market size and major players data as what you might find in an article search. So you will want to supplement a packaged report with an article search.
  6. Within articles you will find statistical information that is footnoted with the source for that information. Articles will often help provide keywords for additional searches or point to an association, industry source or trade group.