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MGT 492: Management Analysis and Consulting: Industry Research

Management Analysis and Consulting [Originally created by Marty Branch, Business Librarian]


To complete a thorough analysis of an industry, you will need to compile data from a variety of sources from reference books, governmental websites, industry articles and analysis from the library's electronic databases as well as magazines and newspapers. 

Many of our information tools use the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes that were developed to track data on American industries.  SIC codes have now been replaced by a new classification system, the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System); however, many information tools continue to use SIC codes.

To understand a company and its competition, you will need to understand the industry of which the company is a part.  This page contains recommendations for those resources that will assist you in gathering industry information.  There is another page titled "Databases" that will contain those databases that USA subscribes to and will further your research.


Your first database to use for newspapers should be ProQuest. In ProQuest, you want to go review the first page and select what options you need and then select "Continue". 

It is on this second page, you will want to review the tabs across the top and select "Advanced Search".  In the first search box, use the pull-down menu and select "Company/Org" and enter a company name.  In the remaining search boxes, use "Citation and Abstract" and enter any additional keywords that will help you narrow your results such as marketing, human resources, strategy, etc. 

If you decide you only want articles from a specific publication such as Wall Street Journal or Barron's, enter the publication title in the form under "More Search Options". 

After the search is complete, review the results and click on "Refine Search" to modify any search terms or click on any of the "Suggested Topic" Links.


These are a few database recommendations for industry reports.

U.S. Government Resources

The University of South Alabama's Library System is designated as a regional depository for government information.  The Government Document Collection is housed at the Main Library on the second floor across from reference.  Every business student and business person should be fully aware of what the government offers to us at no charge.  I would estimate that 50% of needed data for industry research comes from this source.

This department has created a guide for business people on what sources to use.  Here is a link to that guide:

Trade Associations

Library Industry Reference Resources

Here is a listing of recommended reference materials to research industry information that are in the MCOB Library:

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios  (MCOB Ref HF 5681 .R25 T68)

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS Handbook)  (MCOB Ref HF 1042 .N67 2012)

Standard Industry Code Classification [SIC]  (MCOB Ref HF 1042 .A55 1987)

Annual Statement Studies:  Financial Ratio Benchmarks [Robert Morris Association]  (MCOB Ref HF 5681.B2 R6) - this title is organized according to the North American Classification Systems (NAICS) and contains composite financial data.  Financial Statements on each industry are shown in common size, acccompanied by widely used ratios.  Balance Sheets and Income Statements are shown in common size, with each item a percentage of total assets and sales (or revenues) respectively.

Hoover's Handbook of Industry Profiles:  Analysis and Trends for 300 Industries  (MCOB Ref HD 2328 .H363 2010)

OECD Factbook   (MCOB Ref HC 10 .O425 2010)

Handbook of Industry Profiles [Hoover's]   (MCOB Ref HD 2328 .H363 2010)

Industry Research Using The Economic Census  (MCOB Ref HC 101 .B594 2004)

Inside U.S. Business  (MCOB Ref HC 106.8 .M337 1991)

World Consumer Income and Expenditure Patterns  (MCOB Ref HB 522 .W67 2013)