Skip to Main Content

MBA 504 : Customers & Supply Chains: Starting Industry Research

This guide will help students identify quality sources of information for researching industries and customers.


This guide is to assist students enrolled in MBA 504: Customers & Supply Chains with the research resources available (whether for free or through the University Libraries) to complete various assignments as outlined in the course syllabus.

Industry Codes

When researching industries and gathering data, you need to know NAICS Codes.  This stands for the North American Industrial Classification System.  The government uses these codes to gather and report data on industries.  A lot of business databases also use these codes.    

2022 NAICS

The following table provides detailed information on the structure of NAICS.

This table lists NAICS sectors with their definition. Selecting sector number will display all related associated results for the selected sector. Source:
Sector Definition
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade
Transportation and Warehousing
Finance and Insurance
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
Educational Services
Health Care and Social Assistance
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Accommodation and Food Services
Other Services (except Public Administration)
Public Administration

United States Data

The U.S. Census Bureau collects more data than just the population census every ten years. They also collect a lot of business data. When researching an industry, you might first try just seeing what types of information are available through the Census website at You can select the variables you want to search. I recommend searching for the NAICS Code to see all the surveys that include data on that industry (like the Annual Survey of Business, or County Business Patterns, or the Annual Survey of Manufacturers). Note: some surveys may include data at the 2-3 digit level while others will use the full 6 digit code.  


Economic Census at - This is the most detailed information we have on the U.S. economy from any source and it is free for anyone to use. The Economic Census is taken every 5 years in years that end in 2 and 7.  The most recent census with some data available is from 2022. However, not all of the data has been released yet. As of Spring 2024, first-level data is available for U.S. industries at the very broad 2-3 digit sector level. However, the Census Bureau is still analyzing all the geographic data that will eventually allow viewing the economic data by State, Metro area, County, and Place. To see what has been released and the calendar for future releases, go to If more detailed information is needed, you may refer back to the 2017 Economic Census data or search for data in the other survey sources.    

To get data for all sectors of industries in the United States (including Service Sectors)

  • Go to
  • Type "Economic Census" in the search box. 
  • Look at the second Table- All Sectors: Summary Statistics for the U.S., States and Selected Geographies: 2022.  This will give you the number of establishments, the value of sales, annual payroll, and number of employees for broad sectors of the U.S. economy, including the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sectors.  
  • Note that several of the columns report data in $1,000 of dollars, so you'll need to add 3 zeroes to the end of the number to get the actual dollar value.  

Bureau of Labor Statistics