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Ohio University

Industry Research Basics

Tips for finding industry analysis, industry financial ratios, market research, industry news for industry research.

Two men working on an automobile assembly lineThis 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.

For more specific industry suggestions, take a look at my guides on specific industries.

Use the links on the left of the page to navigate by topic.

Image used with Creative Commons Permission from Alden Jewell.

Factors to Consider When Researching an Industry

Type/Size of Industry

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:

  • How specialized is the industry?
  • How many companies make up the industry?
  • How large is the market for the industry?
Location 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.