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BA 2030: Business Communication: Industry Information

Part of a BA 2030 class? Start here!

Standard & Poor's Data

Because no company operates in a vacuum, gather info about what drives the industry for your situation analysis: how many competitors are there; who are the key players; how easy is it for a new company to enter this market; is demand growing or waning; what factors are critical to attracting customers and so on.

 NetAdvantage database: Enter a company name or ticker in the simple search box.


Use the left side link on the company report screen to pull up the industry report for that company (pdf or html format).

   Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys     Covers the structure of the industry, economic conditions, consumer behavior and other factors with a big impact (e.g. innovation); and it carries standard balance sheet data for industry leaders. Also tells how to use such data to identify companies in that industry that are doing well (e.g. what's a healthy amount of debt to carry).

  This database can't be beat for smaller industries like like astro-turf, craft beers, online flower shops and the like. It indicates the supply chain for that segment of the market, about 10 years of financials for industry leaders, and more.

Online Industry Encyclopedias

     Encyclopedia of American Industries.  Online access via this link. Detailed information on industries, organized by SIC code.



  • Vol. 1 – Manufacturing
  • Vol. 2 – Service and Non-manufacturing

   Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. Online access via this link.


     Encyclopedia of Global Industries.  Online access (2007) via this link.  2011 available in the Jerome Library at REF HD2324 .E528 2011




Industry Reports

 Business Source Complete has both global and individual country reports for lots of industries. Enter an industry name. On the next screen click on the left navigation bar link for industry profiles. Click on the pdf icon to see the full report. Sample industry profile. 


 Lexis Nexis Academic: . To see an industry snapshot, choose Find at the upper right of the landing page.


Key in Hoover's and select Hoover's Industry Snapshots from the list . On the home page enter a company (e.g. Harley) if unsure of the industry or enter an industry name (e.g. beverages) and press SEARCH.

Browse results list or sort by relevance.


   Click on the Search tab and do a text search for the industry and country e.g. Beverages and China. Comprehensive and timely info about demand, prices, consumer preferences, and much more. See also links in right navigation bar to Country Factfile, Consumer Lifestyles, and profiles of companies that are industry leaders.

 NOTE: The box below this one links to a step-by-step video for two of these database.

See the tab for References Sources on this class web page or the Industry LibGuide for more electronic sources.

Search Steps Demo

Watch a demo about finding industry profiles in  Business Source Complete.  

Or watch this demo to find country-specific industry information in  .

Market Share

    Market Share Reporter. Now available from 2009 to present in digital form.


  • Check various years for company or product market share information. 

Custom Company Comparisons

In the  Lexis Nexis research database, ratios for any group of publicly traded companies can be compared by searching in the Company Dossier portion of the site.

Search strategy:

  • COMPANY LIST: Choose the link to Company Dossier (box on lower right of home screen as in this screen image).  Choose a publicly traded company and look at its snapshot (image). Notice the NAICS number in the middle of the screen and choose the company tab from the top toolbar. Next click on the create a company list tab to begin identifying those doing a similar type of business (image). Fill in boxes for NAICS code or other parameters (screen shot).  Create the list. On the Preview screen, click on the next customize list button (image). On the next screen, check off financial and other info desired for your list (image). Click the update company list button again and see ratios (image).
  • RATIOS: From the company snapshot, choose the Compare Companies tab from the top toolbar.  After entering the tickers or company names for your set up to 5  companies (image), you will retrieve a Company Financial Comparison giving balance sheet and income statement items, followed by the header Ratio Analysis. Here you'll find a long list of ratios.  Click here to see an example .


NOTE: This will work best with companies who are direct competitors in the industry (i.e. they have the same primary NAICS code that your company has). Comparing two companies with diversified operations may be of limited value.

For example, Apple and Motorola are competing for mobile phone business; but each one competes in a good many other product markets as well. So ratios for the whole company do not give a very clear or complete picture of how they fare in the cell phone market.