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Company & Industry Information: Industry Information

This guide will help you compile a company or industry profile, including locating SEC financial materials and demographic information.

Guide Contents

What is an Industry Profile?

What is an industry profile?

Industry profiles can include a wide range of information, such as general industry information, major companies within an industry, industry performance and outlook, products and markets, and key statistics.  What's specifically in an industry profile depends on what your purpose is in creating one. 

Why create an industry profile?

You can use industry profiles and the information contained within them for a variety of purposes.  Some of the main urposes include marketing, competitive intelligence, social awareness, investment and entrepreneurship.

Industry Classification Codes

Every industry is organized into one or more classifications.  There are two main industry classification codes.  Knowing these codes comes in handy when you want to perform industry-wide research.

The four digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code has, for the most part, been replaced by the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).

SIC codes are still used by some government departments, including the SEC.  You can find SIC codes here.

The NAICS code is more detailed than the SIC system and it is used throughout North America.  You can find NAICS codes here.   

Industry Reports

These databases provide compiled industry reports for a variety of national and international industries.

Other Resources


See the Articles tab above for more information.  The business databases listed there will help you find industry-specific information. 

Current News

Keep up-to-date with specific industry information by subscribing to trade magazines and other association publications and websites (see below).

National & Local Associations/Trade Groups

There are many national or local industry associations, which may disseminate a lot of information, including industry reports.  Many times, you can access industry information from these associations' websites.  Associations may also disseminate trade magazines and other publications with valuable industry information.

You can locate a trade group specific to the industry you are interested in with a Google search.  Just type in the characteristics of the industry (e.g. paper, dairy, plastics, etc.) and "association" or "national association."

You can also search the Encyclopedia of Associations Online to locate a relevant trade group.