Marymount California University Library

Business Research Guide

Business Search Engines

Industry Information

A large portion of the information available on U.S. industries and businesses is organized by two major industry classification systems: the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Standard Industry Classification System (SIC).  Both are hierarchical, numerical classification systems.  Internationally-focused sources often apply other industry classification systems.

Companies involved in a wide range of activities may have multiple industry classifications, although usually one industry is considered primary.

The classification systems themselves do not provide direct links to industry information but many online databases and print directories enable searching by these codes. These systems also provide useful descriptions of industries and sub-industries as well as inspiration for search terms.

Get the Basics

For fundamental information about a public company such as it's history, major products and services, and financial and employee data, try the resources listed below.  Start by finding out the company's stock ticker symbol and use that symbol in your search for better accuracy.

Industry Research

Company research often also involves doing research on the industries in which the companies you are interested in are associated.

Analyst Reports

Analyst reports take much of the research data you are gathering and use it to take a snapshot of where the company stands and what the author of the report believes are the company's future prospects.

Business Source Elite (see link below) has thousands of in-depth analyst reports.  From the homepage, click on the More link at the top of the page and select Company Profiles.  Then search by company name.

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