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Finding Business Information Online: Industry Analysis

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects


Knowing the 4-digit SIC and 6-digit NAICS code for your industry will help you find information.  The U.S. Bureau of the Census has a website that will help you identify the best number for your business.  If you need to convert SIC to NAICS or vice versa, the bureau provides a concordance.

Researching an Industry

Trade associations collect information on their industry.  Sometimes they will provide free data, but other times you may have to contact the association directly to see what they have.  Check out the website and look for links labeled "Research," "Media," or "Statistics."  IBISWorld (listed above) will provides names of trade groups.

Trade journals can provide valuable data for the entrepreneur.  Trade associations often publish them and may provide access via their website.  You'll also find trade magazines listed in the "Industry References" section of Industry Surveys (NetAdvantage).  Use the "Discover@MU" search box at our homepage,, to see if the Libraries provide access.