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Industry and Market Research

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

Industry Ratios

Current Olin students, faculty and staff have access to restricted library internet resources. View Remote Access for more information.

Research Tip: The best industry ratios are available only in print.

Industry Norms & Key Business Ratios (REF HF 5681 R25 I53) Click here to view this item in the catalog. Published annually by Dun & Bradstreet this is the most widely used of our books in this area. Arrangement is 4 digit SIC number. There are various ways to locate SIC numbers but one of the easiest is to use the Standard Industrial Classification Manual (the latest edition is kept at the Circulation/Reserve Desk).

Annual Statement Studies (REF HF 5681 B2 R63) Click here to view this item in the catalog.
Less comprehensive than Industry Norms but still a major source for industry ratios. Use the 4 digit SIC numbers as well as the 6 digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The NAICS is now used by the U.S. government as the replacement for the Standard Industrial Classification system. A guide to this system is kept in Reference. The tile of the book is NAICS/SIC CODE(REF HF 1042 N677).

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios (REF HF 5681 R 25 A45) Click here to view this item in the catalog.Uses data from IRS filings. For this reason, the numbers are generally three years older than from the other two titles described above.

Ad Age DataCenter
Welcome to the Ad Age DataCenter.’s DataCenter features premium content, including profiles of top advertisers, media, agencies and more. Click plus signs for more detail. “Read more” links in each section give a brief history of primary research reports.

Ad$pender provides a fast, top-level summary of the multi-media advertising marketplace. This web-based tool spans five years of national summary spending trends, accessible by industry, parent company, and brand. Data is available via customizable reports with easy data exporting abilities to popular spreadsheet and flowchart programs. Limited number of concurrent users; logoff when done


This site provides "free statistics and financial ratios" for broad industry categories. This data is offered for Corporations, S-Corps, and Sole Proprietorships. You can also use it to "customize an industry Profit & Loss statement" based on sales.

Business Expenses Survey

This database from the Census provides operating expenses for selected industries in the U.S. The most current data is for 2012.

DemographicsNow has been developed by SRC, LLC to bring you the data you need to make sound business decisions. With DemographicsNow you can analyze the demographic and market potential of any geography in the U.S.

International Financial Statistics (International Monetary Fund)
Approximately 32,000 time series covering more than 200 countries starting in 1948. Includes exchange rates, fund accounts and the main global and country economic indicators.

Access: Danforth Campus

Survey of Current Business
A U.S. Department of Commerce monthly publication that provides data on U.S. business on the regional, national, and international levels. Among statistical series covered are personal income, inventories and sales, national income and product accounts, foreign direct investment in the United States, U.S. direct investment abroad, international transactions, and gross state product.