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Company & Industry Research

Introduction to Market Research

There is something of an overlap between market and industry research. Market and industry research both examine the allocation of goods and services, but market research does so more from the perspective of the customer and industry research more from the perspective of the producer or vendor. Both types of research generally analyze market share, key competitors and peers in an industry, industry size and trends, business environment and risks. Market research also analyzes demographics and consumer behavior. While this section covers many of the same sources listed in the industry research guide, it emphasizes features of these resources that provide data and information on market demographics and consumer behavior.

Library resources for market research

U.S. Government and open access sources

U.S. Census Business Builder
The Census Business Builder (CBB) pulls together Census Bureau statistics on industry, economics, and demographics, all of which are needed for doing market research. There are two versions of this tool, one for small business and one for business analysts. The latter version is particularly useful for analysts who are studying business conditions in a particular region or area that can be as small as a census tract. It provides essential demographic data for market analysis, breaking down an area’s population by age, ethnicity, education level, income level, employment, disability, and home and car ownership. There is composite data for businesses, including gross sales, number of employees and spending on payrolls. The number of business establishments and employees in a region is also broken down by industrial sector. Because the Census requires anonymity with respect to respondents, there is no market share information or data for individual businesses.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
BLS provides industry reports on over 100 industries, organized by NAICS code or industry name. These reports focus on employment, labor, and trends. BLS also provides economic data, including both the consumer and producer price index.

International Market & Competitive Intelligence
An open access journal that explains methods and recommends tools for gathering market intelligence. While this resource will not provide actual research on markets, it will assist users in performing their own research using library databases such as Bloomberg and EIU.

Books on Market Research