This guide provides a list of resources used for industry research. You can find different types of information sources on the blue list of links to the left, each of which provides links to those sources through library subscription databases and web sites. Gather information from a variety of information sources and then synthesize the information to gain a complete view of the industry you are researching.
An industry report or analyst report will analyze, in great detail, key market indicators, such as: market composition, projected market growth, top companies and brands, competitive situation, consumers and much more. Examples include: Industry Reports, Company Reports, Emerging Markets, and Global Retail Reports. If an industry report is not available, look for a report on a leading company in the industry.
A white paper is a document which provides a concise explanation of a complex issue and which presents the views about that issue of whatever individual or organization published the white paper. In the world of business, white papers are produced about products, technologies, and policies by companies, organizations, and government agencies.
A conference proceeding is any publication containing papers presented at a formal meeting of professionals, issued in conjunction with that meeting as its official expression in publication form. A conference article is any paper presented at a conference, whether published in a conference proceedings or elsewhere.
Popular magazines that aim to serve the broad public sometimes include articles about business and industries.
Key Temple subscription database: Academic Search Complete.
Business magazines and financial newspapers specialize in only business news, which include both stories and statistics like key indicators and stock market prices.
Key Temple subscription database: Proquest Newsstand. Proquest Newsstand includes the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Trade journals are like business periodicals but are more in-depth, and are written about a particular field or industry, by and largely for professionals in it. Most offer not only news stories and statistics, but industry reports as well.
Key Temple subscription databases: Business Source Complete. Business Source Complete includes the Harvard Business Review.
Scholarly and professional journals are even more serious in addressing an industry than popular business publications or trade journals. They're written and checked by experts and address major questions in a methodical and scientific way. They may include statistics, but only to support their individual inquiries-- not on a regular basis.
Key Temple subscription database: ABI/INFORM Complete.
BUSINESS CASE STUDIES
The case study method is when a real or fictitious business or organizational problem is presented to allow for intensive investigation of the relevant issues and explore potential solutions. It is intended to develop problem-solving skills. Many fields use the case study method and therefore different types of case studies can be found.
NOTE: Due to licensing restrictions Temple Libraries DO NOT have access to Harvard Business School Case Studies.
GOVERNMENT & NGO SOURCES
Large amounts of information useful to those studying particular industries are produced by and for government organizations and are distributed by them. This data are particularly useful for marketing research, gathering economic indicators, locating new laws that may impact industries, etc.
NGOs vary a great deal, but collect and offer data on many issues having potential relevance to industries, including economic, trade, technological, political and cultural issues.
Professional associations and organizations can also provide information on an industry.
Key Temple subscription databases for locating associations/organizations: Encyclopedia of associations. National organizations of the U.S., International organizations, and Regional, state, and local organizations.
FINANCIAL RATIOS & STATISTICAL INFORMATION
Many financial ratios, such as the price-to-earnings ratio, the debt-to-equity ratio and the gross and net margins are invaluable in surveying the state of a particular industry.
Books are a good source of detailed information about a subject - such as an industry. Also subject focused reference books (encyclopedias, directories, handbooks, etc) are a reliable source of historical and factual information.