This guide lists the most essential resources to use when conducting industry research. It is designed to get the novice business researcher started in the right direction.
Use this guide to
For more specific industry suggestions, take a look at my guides on specific industries.
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Check out the Industry & Market Research Basics Tutorial. The 60-minute tutorial will give you a foundation in using library databases to conduct industry and consumer market research. The skills you learn will be extremely useful throughout your business student career.
The type and size of the industry will determine how much information you will be able to find about a particular industry. For example, it will be much easier to find information about larger industries such as computer hardware or automobile industries, as opposed to finding information about a smaller industry such as candle making. Questions to consider when determining the size of an industry:
The location of the industry will also play a part in finding information. As a general rule, it will be easier to find information about an American Industry as opposed to industries in other countries. This is basically a result of the fact that most of our business resources come from U.S. content providers. However, due to the global nature of business, more international industry information is becoming more available.
Also note that even within the United States, industry information for specific locations may be difficult to find. Information about national industry trends is more available than information about the same industry in a particular state or region.