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BGSU University Libraries

MBA: Industry Information

Research sources and tips for on-campus MBA's and Executive MBA's.

Reference Sources

   NetAdvantage Database:    Standard and Poor's Industry Surveys:   Click on the Industry link from a Company Report. Or  use the pulldown menu within the Publication search box to choose an industry. Read about the current issues surrounding your industry, find the key companies in the industry, and compare the financials of the companies within the industry.Although you can definitely find some very useful industry information on the Internet, much industry information (such as industry ratios) is most readily, reliably, and sometimes only found in print sources (books and articles) and in research databases available through the library. 


·    Encyclopedia of American Industries. Contains detailed information arranged by broad industry sector and then by industry subdivisions: vol. 1 manufacturing industries; vol. 2 service and non-manufacturing industries. Online access via this link. (Current hard copy ed. at the Jerome Library research & information desk)  

·    Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. Online access via this link. (Current hard copy ed. at the Jerome Library research & information desk)  

·    Encyclopedia of Global Industries.  Online access via this link. (Current hard copy ed. at the Jerome Library research & information desk)

The  Market Share Reporter, now available in digital format, is a grab bag of whatever has been published recently about market share for products. Click here to see an excerpt. (Latest hardcopy volume 2011) is at the Research and Information Desk.


·    BOOK    Hoover's Handbook of Industry Profiles.   (current ed. at reference desk)  



Provides stock price information on companies and industries at no charge, and offers interactive charting tools.

County Business Patterns
This annual series includes a separate report for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and a U.S. summary. The divisions of the economy covered are agricultural services, forestry, and fisheries; mining; contract construction; manufacturing; transportation and other public utilities; wholesale trade; retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; and services.  Print volumes and CD-ROMs located in the library. Do a title search in the BGSU Libraries Catalog for details.

Industry Series Reports, 2002 Economic Census
Comprehensive industry reports that include a lot of statistical data.  Some statistical sections included are: by sub-sector, by employment size, and by type of operation.  Also include sections on methodology used to gather the data, an explanation of terms and geographic notes.

Internet Intelligence Index
See the Industry-Internet section at the center of this page for links to trusted websites on industries such as apparel, publishing/media, technology/telecommunications, and many more.

Manufacturing, Mining and Construction Statistics (U.S. Census Bureau)
Current data and press releases on construction, manufacturing, and mining.

U.S. Census Bureau: 2002 Economic Census Information
Statistical profiles of American businesses from the national to the local level.  Comparative statistics, industry and series statistics and data, survey of business owners, business expenditures, and much more.  2007 data should be coming soon.


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  .

Trade Associations

Try the following to see what information may be available from trade associations:  

·    Look at the Yahoo! Trade Associations directory to see if the industry that you're researching has a web site.

·   BOOK   Look in the Encyclopedia of Associations (Annual) at the Jerome Library Research & Information Desk for names and addresses of trade associations.


Sources listed below give standard financial ratios (e.g. debt to equity, return on investment, and more) used for centuries as benchmarks for comparisons of company performance to the rest of the industry.  See the Financial Ratios LibGuide for more information.

The database  (access only in the College of Business Administration 2nd floor Trading Room) is a fabulous source for company ratios, top news stories, company news,  supply chain structures upstream and downstream from your chosen company, and much more. BGSU validation information lets you log into the campus network. Then you must create a account and password to use the database. Have a cell phone handy as the password will appear as a text message on your phone in about 30 seconds after supplying information to create an account.

Library-sponsored databases containing company reports and financials like  Lexis Nexis Academic have an extensive ratio section. Most also permit comparison of your chosen company's ratios with the industry or another type of benchmark such as a custom list of closest competitors.