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Find Industry Information

Industries are commonly classified by one of two systems:

  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - Expressed as a 2-6 digit numeric code: The first two digits designate the largest business sector, the third digit designates the subsector, the fourth digit designates the industry group, the fifth digit designates the NAICS industries, and the sixth digit designates the national industries.

    Sector 21: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
    Subsector 211: Oil and Gas Extraction
    Subsector 212: Mining (Except Oil and Gas)
    Industry Group  2121: Coal Mining 
    Industry Group 2122: Metal Ore Mining
    NAICS Industry 21221: Iron Ore Mining
    NAICS Industry 21222:  Gold Ore and Silver Ore Mining
    National Industry 212221: Gold Ore Mining
    National Industry 212222: Silver Ore Mining

  • Standard Industrial Classiciation (SIC) - Expressed as a 4 digit numeric code: organized by division, the first two digits refer to a Major Group, the third digit refers to an Industry Group, and the fourth digit refers to a specific industry sector.


              Major Group 10: Metal Mining

              Major Group 35: Industrial and Commercial Machinery and
              Computer Equipment
              Industry Group 356: General Industrial Machinery And Equipment
              Industry Group 357: Computer and Office Equipment
              Specific Industry Sector 3571: Electronic Computers
              Specific Industry Sector 3572: Computer Storage Devices

When looking for sources on an industry, a good place to start would be by determining some keywords associated with the industry and by determining the codes for which NAICS and SIC classifications your business, company, or product could fall under.  You can then use these keywords and codes to search business databases and reference materials for information on your industry.  For industries that may not fit precisely under an industry described by a NAICS or SIC code, you can use the classification system to find industries similar to one you may have trouble classifying.

Be aware that while the codes themselves are centrally defined and standardized, the assignment by publishers of NAICS and SIC codes is not standardized. One publisher's interpretation of a company's primary industries may differ from another's, so be sure to check multiple sources and be aware of similar codes.

Industry Reference Materials

Industry Profiles

Industry reports can contain a wide variety of information, including but not limited to:

  • Current Operating Conditions
  • Industry Leaders
  • Market Data
  • Products
  • Supply Chain Information

The following resources are likely places to find industry reports.  Note that different sources cover different industries, though there is some overlap.  If you can't find an industry report using one source, try the following.

  • Consider changing your keywords to other synonyms that could represent that area (for example: "candy" or "confections").
  • If searching by an NAICS or SIC code, try different codes within that same industry, or truncate your code search to just a sector or sub-sector (for example, searching for 51*.  Then browse the results.
  • Try a different resource (an industry encyclopedia or another database).  
  • Consult a librarian for assistance. 

Industry Ratios

Some of this information is also available in print in Industry Norms & Key Financial Ratios, located on the 1st floor in the reference section of the Research Services room.

Call Number - HF5681.R25 I53.

Industry Association Websites