MGMT 759 Competitive Strategy: Where can I find...

Where Can I Find.....




A nice overview of a product/service/industry?

Occasionally I get the question: What is the difference between a sector and industry?

From IBISWorld via an email exchange in Dec 2021: A sector can then be designated as either primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary.

  • Companies classified in the primary sector primarily extract and harvest resources from the earth, like agriculture, mining or forestry.
  • The secondary sector comprises businesses that are involved in processing, manufacturing and construction.
  • Businesses in the tertiary sector provide services, such as retailers or financial companies.
  • Lastly, the quaternary sector is composed of knowledge-oriented businesses, such as educational institutions.

With each additional digit added to a NAICS code, the scope of the group of businesses narrows, leaving the most similar companies classified into industries with the longest codes. At the four-digit NAICS code level, companies receive the designation of industry group, which is subsequently further broken down into specific industries as additional fifth and sixth digits are added. An industry is the narrowest classification in NAICS and comprises companies operating in the same business sphere of the economy, with the most similar attributes.

There are also many specialized terms used in IBISWorld. One term not defined in the glossary but heavily used in reports is sector. Take a look at the definition of sector from Investopedia.

If you are unfamiliar with NAICS and SIC codes take a look at these sites. They are classification numbers the US government uses to group like industries it has categorized. Not every industry is represented and not every information product uses these groupings.

The SIC system pre-dates NAICS and therefore does not account for industries which emerged after SIC was established. Some databases like Data Axle and Hoovers try to accommodate for this by adding extra digits beyond the 4 digit SIC code. These are not the same as NAICS.

The demographics of people in the United States in general?

Demographics of people in the United States who might buy a specific product/service?

Company Profiles

Competitors for a specific company?

Companies within an industry?

Market share?


The latest news about a company, industry, product or service?

Basic news about the United States economy?

Financials, profit/loss, income statements and balance sheets for companies?

Ratios and financials for industries to help build an income statement and balance sheet?

Pre-Made analyses like Porter's Five Forces, SWOT, TOWS and SMART.

Typically in class projects students are looking for information resources to conduct their own analyses of these types for a graded project. The library information resources contain a number of well-regarded business resources that contain the information you need to do your own original analyses in these frameworks for companies and industries. Towards that goal look at the SWOT section above for examples of SWOTS. Review the other sections above for gathering various information about companies and industries. For a very basic start I recommend starting with IBISWorld and then Mintel and Passport. The two latter products are consumer products only. Then for company info move to Hoovers but also look to see if there is a market report for the broad industry you sit in. Next look at ProQuest for news to see what the company and competitors are up to but also what is happening now in the industry. News will be very piecemeal and not as compact as a market or industry report which shows a more holistic picture.

Video on Business Resources

Edit this Guide

Log into Dashboard

Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

Facebook icon  Twitter icon  Instagram icon  YouTube icon