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Industry Research   Tags: accounting, business, economics  

Business guide to industry research
Last Updated: Feb 6, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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USC Industry Information Databases

  • IBISWorld  
    Detailed market research and analysis for U.S., China and Global markets
  • Academic  
    Detailed reports from multiple publishers.
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage  
    Click on the 'Industries' tab to find semi-annual reports on key U.S. industries going back over ten years.
  • Passport  
    Passport/GMID by Euromonitor. International industry, company and market information
  • Mint Global  
    Industry research includes reports from Datamonitor and MarketLine
  • Mintel  
    Mintel Oxygen provides detailed market research reports in the areas of Beauty & Personal Care, Drink, Food, Leisure & Entertainment, Lifestyles, and Retailing and Apparel. Users must create a personal account and reports can only be downloaded one section at a time.
  • ISI Emerging Markets  
    Coverage of emerging economies and BRICS with locally sourced industry information
  • Advertising Red Books  
  • Business Expert Press eBooks  
    Keyword search "industry" to find "profile" books on key industries such as Automobile, Toys, Farm Machinery, Steel, Furniture, Electric Power and Oil.
  • Business Insights: Essentials  
  • eMarketer  
  • EStatement Studies  
    Provides financial ratios and other information on many industries.
  • Forrester  
    Technology and market research from Forrester Research, Inc. focusing on the business implications of technology change.
  • Gartner  
    USC/netID/webmail password required for access. USC does not have full access to all reports.
  • Hoovers Online  
    Keyword search the 'Industries' tab to find profiles containing Growth Ratings, Trends & Opportunities, and Business Challenges.
  • RDS Business Suite  
    Tablebase provides business statistics and tables extracted from a wide variety of sources
  • SBRnet (Sports Business Research Network)  
  • SRDS - Standard Rate and Data Service  
    Standard Rate and Data Service compiles contact information and ad rates for a variety of media sources
  • Thomson One  
    Click on 'Screening & Analysis' in the dark blue menu bar for advanced search options, including access to Industry research.
  • WARC  
    Previously known as the World Advertising Research Center, WARC provides a wide range of information on advertising and marketing trends around the world including expenditure data, case studies, industry trends and consumer insight.
  • Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)  
    Compustat provides industry index information: Select Compustat - Monthly Updates - Select Region - Select Index Prices. Use 'Company Codes - Code Lookup to find industry specific codes

Financial Databases at USC

This is a list of the key business databases at USC.  Another list with the WRDS datasets broken out can be found here.

  • EStatement Studies  
    The online version of the Annual Statement Studies, produced by the Risk Management Association (RMA), includes financial ratios on over 760 industries, industry default probabilities and cash flow measures
  • Hoovers Online  
    Create a list of IPOs by price, offer, date, size, underwriters, industry, geography, etc. by using 'Build A List' tab. Begin at IPO Data
  • Mergent Horizon  
    Provides financial data and highlights the relationships between a company's major customers, suppliers, partners and competitors, details the hierarchies of company products and services, analyzes data for sector aggregates, generates M&A scenarios and much more..
  • Mergent Online  
    US and international company data, annual reports, and financial data.
  • Mergent WebReports  
    Online access to scanned images of the Moody's/Mergent manuals. These provide financials, corporate histories, business descriptions, and information on subsidiaries, officers, and municipal debt in some cases back to the early 1900's.
  • Mint Global  
    US and international company information from Bureau van Dijk including Datamonitor market research and company reports (same content as Orbis with a different interface).
  • Morningstar Direct  
    Global investment database and analytics. See library staff or Center for Investment Studies for access information. Available through Marshall network.
  • Orbis  
    US and international company information from Bureau van Dijk including Datamonitor market research and company reports (same content as Mint Global with a different interface).
  • OSIRIS  
    Web version of publicly listed company information from Bureau van Dijk
  • SDC Guide
    The vendor's step-by-step M&A Guide for SDC.
  • SDC Platinum  
    Find data on M&A's, IPO's, global new issues and venture capital funding. On-campus access on the USC Marshall network, see instructions. Off-campus access is available via Citrix on MyMarshall. See SDC M&A Guide above.
    This is the public website for company filings with US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) such as 10Ks and 10Q's, 8K's , Schedule 13Ds, tender offers, various Registration Statements and other documentation.
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage  
    Business, investment and financial information including industry surveys.
  • Thomson One  
    This only works with Internet Explorer. Find analyst reports on publicly traded companies and some industry analysis from key brokerage firms.
  • Value Line  
    Access to Value Line's publications covering industries, stocks, mutual funds.
  • Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)  
    Collection of databases designed for standardized quantitative analysis. Available datasets include Audit Analytics, Bank Regulatory, Blockholders, Bureau van Dijk & BvD Trial, CBOE Indexes, COMPUSTAT, CRSP, CUSIP, Corporate Library, DMEF Academic Data, Dow Jones, EVENTUS, FDIC, Fama French & Liquidity Factors, Federal Reserve Bank, First Call, GSIOnline, IBES IRI, MFLINKS, PHLX, Penn World Tables, SEC Order Execution, TAQ and Thomson Reuters.
  • Zephyr  
    International M&A, IPO and venture capital deals with links to company information from Bureau van Dijk.
    See Library staff for information on access
  • Bloomberg  
    Specialized workstation. See library staff or Center for Investment Studies for access information.
  • Datastream  
    A financial database available for Faculty and PhD research provided through a virtual lab system. Please contact the Marshall Help Desk for access and review the instructions found here.
  • Capital IQ  

Conferences and Conventions

These public sites can help find professional conferences and conventions for a wide range of industries:


Local Industry (1930)

Photograph of multiple factory workers completing a final inspection on tires, ca.1930 (Los Angeles). From the USC Digital Library.

Industry Research Tips

To understand a company an its competitors, you need to understand the industry of which it is a part, even if you are looking for information about a niche industry. 

Finding information about an industry includes the following steps:

  • Get an overview of the industry (market research, industry summaries)
  • Look for articles on trends and see if you can find forecasts
  • Gather statistics from government agencies and trade associations
  • Contact trade associations for additional information about an industry

Potential problems:

  • Each information tool uses its own industry groupings and covers different industries.  Data from one source may not match another resource, both in terms of data and definition of an industry. 
  • Small industries are often reported as part of larger industries in government data and other information sources.  Look for targeted market research to address these markets
  • Quality, availability and cost of association information varies widely.  Some of it is only available to members, and some data can be free.
  • Emerging industries can be difficult to research.  Data may not be available and trends may not have been established. 

    USC Articles Databases

    Financial Norms & Ratios

    The following databases have financial norms and ratios by industry.  Links to the databases can be found under USC Industry Information or Financial Information Databases in the left hand column

    • eStatement Studies: Search by NAICS code or keyword search the name of an industry
    • Factiva:  Search 'Companies/Markets' for a Company profile which will contain a "Ratio Comparison" report
    • Orbis:  Search different ratio variables by industry
    • ValueLine:  Industry snapshots contain select ratios, click on 'Standard Edition" then 'Industry Look-Up'
    • Hoovers:  Contains comparative ratios for companies that are benchmarked against their primary industry as a whole
    • Capital IQ (this is only accessible on a dedicated computer in Crocker Library):  Search 'Markets' and select a broad industry descriptor; on the industry's profile page, look for 'Key Stats & Ratios'

    See Crocker Library Industry Reference below for Reference materials


      Crocker Library Industry Reference Books

      Many resources use the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes that were developed to track data on American Industries.  The codes were updated by a new systems called NAICS:  the North American Industry Classification System, which includes the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  However, many resources still use SIC codes as well. Pubic websites for SIC and/or NAICS codes are listed in the box below

      Business Statistics of the United States - Strawser, Cornelia J.
      Call Number: HC101.A13122
      Business - Reference

      United States Industry & Market Outlook - C. Barnes & Co.
      Call Number: HC101.U55
      Business - Reference

      U.S. Industry & Market Outlook
      Call Number: HC101.U55
      Business - Reference

      North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - Federal Government
      Call Number: HF1042.N678 2012
      ISBN: 9781598880823
      Publication Date: 2012
      Business Library - Reference, Circulation Desk

      Market Share Reporter - Gale Research
      Call Number: Business Reference HF5410.M376
      Multiple volumes from 2002 - 2013.

      RMA Annual Statement Studies - Robert Morris Associates
      Call Number: HF5681.B2R6
      Electronic access via eStatement Studies database

      Industry Norms & Key Business Ratios - Dun & Bradstreet Credit Services
      Call Number: HF5681.R25I525
      Latest edition: Business Library Reference - Circulation Desk

      Almanac of Business & Industrial Financial Ratios - Troy, Leo
      Call Number: HF5681.R25T68
      Latest edition at Business Reference - Circulation Desk

      Public Links

      Head, Crocker Business Library and Accounting Library

      Profile Image
      John E. Juricek
      Contact Info
      Crocker Business Library
      USC Marshall School of Business
      Hoffman Hall 201
      (213) 740-7621
      Send Email

      Business Librarian

      Profile Image
      Eduardo Tinoco
      Logo - LinkedIn
      Contact Info
      Science & Engineering Library
      Seaver Science Center
      910 Bloom Walk, SSL 202
      Los Angeles, CA 90089-0481

      213 740 9167
      Send Email

      Business Librarian

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      Helga Haraldsson
      Contact Info
      Crocker Business Library
      USC Marshall School of Business
      701 Hoffman Hall, HOH 201E
      (213) 740-0050
      Send Email

      Business Information Specialist

      Profile Image
      Kimberly Esser
      Contact Info
      Crocker Business Library
      HOH 201F
      Send Email

      Government Industry Information including NAICS & SIC Codes

      Find an Association - BCRC

      Professional associations can be very helpful in learning more about an industry or profession.  Although full access is often reserved for paid members, associations often provide information to the public in the form of summary reports press releases.  Examples of professional associations include Advertising Professionals of Los Angeles, the American Society of Cinematographers, the American Medical Association and the California Solar Energy Industries Association to name just a few.

      Follow the steps below to locate a professional association. 

       1.  Go to the Business & Company Resource Center database

      2.  Select the button for "Advanced Search"

      3.  Go to the dropdown list for "Content Area" and select "Associations"

      4.  Enter your search terms based on the choices provided in the three dropdown lists.  Try searching for a word that is found in the industry description or in the name of the association.  Also, you may wish to specify "USA" in "Country" field or you will be searching for international associations as well.  Try different combinations of search terms and keywords to find the association you need. 



        Find an Association Search Box - BCRC


        Gale Directory Library

        To locate professional associations and other types of organizations, you can also search the Gale Directory Library available through the USC Libraries E-Resources.  This database contains the Encyclopedias of Associations (under "Organizations") as well as other reference works.

        * Asterisk in guide title indicates core subject guide

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