Industry Research

Written by Yvette Dubel
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To begin your industry research, you must define the industry to be investigated. These industries can be categorized in several ways. This complicated process can be simplified when you determine the scope of trade activity you will explore.

Though your hard data needs may be narrow and include a single product, many resources define an industry based on a wide-ranging set of criteria. The most notable would include SIC or NAICS codes. Let's suppose you wanted market information on "low carb wheat crackers." You would use SIC code 2052, "Cookies and Crackers," to find relevant industry reports.

What do SIC and NAICS mean? SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification and is used to offer the instrument for classification and recognizing industry norms. Just as businesses can be engaged in more than one business activity, some may have more than one SIC code. NAICS represents North American Industry Classification System and these codes are being implemented to replace SIC codes. There are still many standard reference sources that use SIC codes. Therefore, additional resources have been created to convert these codes into NAICS codes.

Seek and Find

The next vital phase is identifying data resources. This data can include electronic databases, tables of summary statistical information, and detailed essays. Also of significant use are reviews revealing the state of an industry and making projections about its future.

Industry reviews can be collected from a range of credible sources. For the private sector, they range from trade associations to offices of government. These are valuable in the fact that they collectively provide a better bird's eye view of an industry and commerce in general.

Legal and regulatory information is also an important consideration. Making sense of projections more easily transpires when the legal context is grasped. Impending or recent regulatory changes can have huge impacts on an industry.


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