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Business Research: Finding Industry Information

This guide provides an overview of how to conduct detailed Industry research

Overview | Finding Industry Information

This guide will highlight resources available to APUS students, faculty, and staff.

Use the tabs to the left to navigate throughout the guide.

Identify your industry.
  •  When searching try related terms for keyword searches, like "apparel" vs. "clothing." Databases may have different terms for the same or similar industry.  Also, Try multiple databases. Each covers different industries, with some overlap.
  • Industry code designations, like NAICS or SIC codes, are NOT uniform across databases. You may have to adjust your search as you use different databases.
  • Check for Industry reports, surveys, market share, demographics, industry statistics, or financial ratios.
  • Search for industry news articles, newspaper stories, or trade resources.  Also, professional associations are useful since they will often produce and publish helpful reports and data.
  • Porter's Five Competitive Forces:  buyer power, supplier power, threats of new entrants, threats of substitute products or services, and rivalry among existing firms, see also SWOT, PEST/PESTLE


Finding Industry Information using Library Databases

Access ABI/INFORM Collection (use your credentials to login)
  • Click on the Browse link in the menu bar at the top of the database's home page.
  • Select:  Industry and Market Research:
    • Business Monitor International (BMI) Industry Reports - browse by industry, topic, or by country.
    • First Research - browse by industry
  • Note that your search results will be sorted alphabetically by title by default, so you might want to re-sort them so that the most recent results are listed first.
Access Business Source Complete (use your credentials to login)
  • Enter an industry's name into a search box.  Or, you can enter the industry's NAICS code into a search box and then use the drop-down menu next to the search box to change the selection from the default entry of "Select a Field (optional)" to "IC NAICS Code or Description."
  • Next, scroll down the page to the Search Options section. In the "Document Type" area, select Industry Overview.
    • Note that the default search results will be sorted by relevance, to change sort order, click on the "Relevance" link above search results to "Date Newest" and this will resort to list the most recent overviews of your industry.

                           TIP:  You can also use the search box on the library home page to search for: 

                                 [industry name] AND (trend* OR projection* OR forecast*)


Access Nexis Uni (use your credentials to login)   LINK:

  •  From the menu, select Business
  •  Enter search terms:  healthcare AND industry
  • Change content type = Companies, and select check boxes to limit to specific content. 
  •  Select search icon: 

Click to view a larger image

Nexis Uni search:  Business and Content = Companies


TIP:   On the results page, use the filters along the right side.   Example:  Industry would be useful to narrow to Health Care


Access Library Search (use your credentials to login)
  • Enter search term :  retail AND industry
  • On the results page, use filters on the left for Resource Types:  Market Research; Reports
  • And Subjects:  Retailing Industry; Retail Trade

Click to view a larger image


Using library search to find industy information

Finding Industry News

Finding up-to date industry information and news can be really important when working on research projects, networking, and job hunting.

Trade association websites often contain industry news & information, although some data may be available to members only. Look for news, research, resources, library, data, or other tabs on the association's website.

These are often great sources of information, so don't overlook them!

How to find relevant industry associations and organizations

1. Do an advanced Google Search, structured like the following: industry description + association

Example: fiber optics + association

Example: automobile + association

Tip: Adding the command to a Google search will limit all the results to those with domains ending in .org.

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