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Find Industry Profiles

What are industry profiles?

Industry profiles (sometimes called industry reports) include trends and outlooks, industry performance and financials, forecasts, and lists of major companies. The profiles will generally focus on major industries at the country or global level. Industry profiles are useful when you need an overview of an industry. Key insights include:

  • Current conditions and history
  • Organization (vertical or not)
  • Opportunities and threats
  • Key companies in the industry

Industry versus Market Analysis

What's an industry?

An industry is a group of businesses that make or sell similar products and services. The easiest way to think about your industry is to think about who your competitors are. Industry analyses review trends, growth, and competitors.

What's a market?

A market is a group of potential customers. Markets can be defined by geography, demographics (like age or gender), or psychographics (like hobbies and interests). Markets can also be defined as any combination of these things.

Why does it matter?

The industry exists to serve the market, and investors use industry analysis to determine potential profits. Overlap between industry analysis and market analysis is common. An industry analysis may include customer information, and a market analysis may consider competition. In general, a market analysis will focus more on customers than competition.

Because there can be an overlap between industry and market research reports, we've included both types of resources.

Industry profiles and market research reports can be found in many of the library's databases. However, not all industries are represented in all databases, and the amount of information available in a profile or report varies depending on the industry and the database. For that reason, you will want to search multiple databases for your industry. Some databases place their industry profiles front and center. Others require a little digging. Here are some tips on mining these resources.

Consulting firms

Consulting firms offer insight into the trends, technologies, and issues impacting various industries. You may have to maneuver around sales pitches, but they often post free and current reports on their websites. Look for the Industries or Markets sections on the following sites.

Trade & industry associations

Trade and industry associations advocate for their industry and affiliated companies. They collect and provide information specific to that industry.

Some resources are free on their websites, although some data may only be available to members. If this research is for an assignment, you may also want to contact the association directly and explain that you are a student researching the industry. They may be willing to provide the data you need.

To find industry associations:

International Industry Research Tips

Many library databases include data on international industries, but may require a little more digging. Look for regional or country filters in the databases. Add the phrase AND [Country Name] when searching for articles and reports (i.e., "computer software" AND Spain).

Reports on business conditions that can influence industries in different countries: