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Researching an industry gives you a big-picture view of a company and its competition. A great starting point is an industry report, which includes data and analysis to help answer questions about emerging trends, growth opportunities, and operating conditions. 

Access IBISWorld below to search for industry reports and company profiles:

Finding an Industry Report in IBISWorld

1. Begin searching with broad terms

  • If you don't know the exact industry title, try to identify the general category in which your company operates
    • For example, Chevrolet is a car/automobile manufacturer, while Marriott is a hospitality/hotel company.
  • Use those general industry terms to begin your search
  • In the example below, searching for "car manufacturing" found a report titled "Car & Automobile Manufacturing in the U.S."

Screenshot of the IBISWorld database, searching for car manufacturing as an example of how to find an industry report


2. Search for a specific product or service produced or offered by your industry

  • If you can't find a report using general industry terms, try searching for the main product or service from your industry
  • For example, searching for "bike" or "bicycle" will display several related industries you may want to check out

screenshot of the IBISWorld database, searching for bicycle to show how to find industry reports by a product or service


3. Search for a company

  • If the two previous strategies aren't working, try searching for a specific company instead
    • Remember, the companies in these reports tend to be larger and publicly traded. If you are researching a smaller or local company, try searching for a larger competitor that you could use as a comparison
  • In the example below, note how Tesla operates in several different industries (i.e. batteries and electric cars). In cases like this, determine which industries best match what you're looking for. 
  • IBISWorld also includes company profiles, which include financials, key ratios, and more information about the industries in which they operate

How to Use an Industry Report

1. Each report's landing page offers background information on the industry

  • On this page, you'll find brief, general information about the industry, including:
    • A short overview of the industry, such as what products or services it offers 
    • Recent developments in the news that impact the industry
    • An illustration of the industry's supply chain
    • The major players/companies operating in the industry

Screenshot of an industry report in IBISWorld


2. Use the tabs on the left side to view different pages within the report

  • Each page focuses on different topics, including:
    • Industry at a Glance -- a quick snapshot of the industry
    • Industry Performance -- analysis of the key external drivers impacting the industry
    • Industry Outlook -- future expectations for the industry based on trends
    • Products and Markets -- deeper look at the industry's products and services and its supply chain
    • Competitive Landscape -- look at the external environment, including barriers to entry and key success factors
    • Major Companies -- analysis of the largest companies in the industry by market share
    • Operating Conditions -- external factors that impact operations, including technological innovations and regulations

Screenshot of an industry report in IBISWorld, highlighting the tabs on the left side used to naviaget the report


3. Use the search box on the top left to find information within the report

  • A great way to quickly locate specific information within a report, particularly if you're looking for information on a certain type of product or specific company
  • Click on any of the section titles within the results to link directly to the location within the report.

Screenshot of an industry report in IBISWorld, highlighting the search box used to search throughout the report for specific terms


4. Find a list of Key External Drivers in the "Industry Performance" section

  • Key External Drivers are economic and social factors that have a direct impact on industry performance
  • Each report includes analysis explaining how each driver impacts the industry
  • Clicking each driver title also links to a larger report with more information on that specific driver

Screenshot of an IBISWorld industry report highlighting the key external drivers for the industry


5. See which companies have the largest market share in the industry

  • Under the "Major Companies" page, see which companies have the largest presence in the industry by market share
  • This is a great place to see where a specific company fits within the larger context of the industry and identify similarly positioned competitors

Screenshot of an industry report in IBISWorld, highlighting the Major Companies section

Screenshot of an industry report in IBISWorld, highlighting the Major Companies section

What to Do When You Can't Find a Report on Your Industry

Sometimes you may not find an industry report that directly relates to your chosen product or company. This is often the case for newer or more niche industries that haven't made as deep an impact on the consumer landscape. Consider the following tips to find the information you need:

1. Broaden your search to larger industries

  • Take a step back and generalize the product or service offered by the industry
    • For example, you may not find a report on electric bikes or e-bikes, but you can find useful information from the larger Bicycle Manufacturing in the U.S. industry report.

Screenshot of an IBISWorld search for e-bike


2. Find several adjacent reports to help create a fuller picture

  • If you can't find a broader industry report, consider looking laterally to find similar or adjacent industries
    • You can combine the analysis and data from the adjacent industries to help answer questions about the other industry
  • For example, say you'd like to open a meadery to produce mead (or honey wine) from fermented honey.
    • Using some of the techniques from the "Finding an Industry Report in IBISWorld" section above, IBISWorld does not include a report on the small but growing meadery industry
    • Consider that information from other industries that produce fermented or alcoholic beverages -- such as beer, wine, and spirits -- might also be helpful
    • Searching in IBISWorld, you can find industry reports on Breweries in the U.S., Wineries in the U.S., and Distilleries in the U.S.
    • Identify connections between the three industries and determine what members of the Mead industry should know.  

Screenshot of an IBISWorld industry report, highlighting the similar industries section