When investigating a company, it is usually helpful to also research the industry it operates in to gain a better understanding of the bigger picture, and the kinds of opportunities or threats that exist within that particular industry’s environment that may impact your business.
Alternatively, your research may be focused on an industry, rather than a particular company. Either way, there are many parallels between searching for company and searching for industry information. As with company information, there are differences in the amount of information you can expect to discover, impacted by the type of industry and the country in which it is based. You are more likely to find information on large industries operating in countries that value transparency, than small industries operating in more secretive societies.
Read on for some ideas of where to start your search.
IBISWorld is a good place to start your industry research as it provides access to Australian, US, UK, Chinese and global industry reports. You also have access to 200 Australian Specialised Industry Reports (focusing on smaller niche industries) and Australian Risk Rating Reports, which determine how much risk an industry will likely face in the next 18 months.
IBISWorld is relatively easy to search. You can either enter a keyword, like mining, into the search box, or you can browse report listings via the links on the database’s homepage. Curtin doesn’t subscribe to all of the report categories listed.
In the Orbis database you can find industry reports produced by Marketline, which usually focus on an industry’s operations within a particular industry. To access them, navigate to the ‘Industry Research’ tab on the Orbis homepage and select the documents library.
In the documents library, ensure that you select the option to search on industry profiles. You can then search by a number of criteria to locate useful industry reports, including:
ProQuest provides access to industry reports across wide-range of industries and geographical areas. To access them, select the Browse link from the ProQuest menu and then expand the options for “Industry and Market Research” or “Commodity Reports.”
Within the Industry and Market Research Collection, there are four choices, but only two are regularly updated - Business Monitor International and First Research:
The Commodity Reports Collection focuses on data relating to raw materials or agricultural products. These reports, in both the Economist Intelligence Unit Collections and the Oxford Economics Commodity Price Forecasts are produced by date.
You will not find detailed information about each commodity, but you will find figures regarding past performance as well as future forecasts. Some information is also provided regarding upcoming events which may influence commodity prices (such as the impact of climate change, or supply and demand issues).
Business Source Ultimate is a scholarly business database covering all aspects of business, commerce, finance, accounting, marketing, management and economics. In addition to essential peer-reviewed journals, business students can access case studies, country economic reports, SWOT analyses, market research reports, industry and company profiles, and interviews with executives and analysts.
There are several ways of searching for industry profiles on Business Source Ultimate and there are a number of industry reports available that are produced by different publishers.