Answered By: Coleen Neary
Last Updated: Oct 07, 2022     Views: 952

Common Issues and Research Strategies

Issue #1: Information availability depends on the specific industry. Not every industry is covered in all databases. There may not be a report on an emerging or niche industry in any database. Reports found via Google may not be available through the Library. 

  • Broaden your search (e.g., instead of the "buttons industry", find information on "clothing accessories") or look up information in related/competing industries. Think about your target customers and what else they may like to do and research that market (you will need to make some educated assumptions). Do an article/Web search. Look up Form S-1 or 10K of a public company in the same industry.


Issue #2: Different databases may call the same industry differently. Even NAICS codes can be different as they are assigned by the research firms that produced the reports/data. 

  • Brainstorm synonyms, be flexible in your search, or search by company name (main players) or prominent brand names.


Issue #3: Even in the same industry, numbers from different databases may not be the same, due to differences in scope, time period, source, or methodology. 

  • Make sure you understand how a particular report defines the industry, and what the numbers mean (e.g., production vs. retail sales). Get information from a few different sources and come up with your own estimate. 


Issue #4: Most databases provide industry/market information on the national level rather than local.  

  • Make educated assumptions, consult Census industry data by state, and do an article/Web search for info on local markets. 


FromIndustry & Market Research: Industry Profiles/Data (Portland State University)  |


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