First, you'll want information on the industry and its major corporate players. You may also want information on financial "norms" for a company operating within your industry.
Articles in the business press are likely to give you insights into a industry's current outlook, trends, major players and factors such as legislation that might impact industry operations. The library subscribes to several databases in which you'll find articles from newspapers, magazines and journals that cover business topics.
Many industries have one or more trade or professional association devoted to promoting the interests of its members. They are often excellent sources of data about the industry, although of course you must consider the possibility of bias in the way information is presented. Major industry associations will also be mentioned in articles.
The US government collects and publishes statistics about many aspects of business. For example, the Bureau of Economic Analysis measures GDP by industry and the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes information about employment and wages by industry.
Selected subscription (SLU-only) databases with significant industry content:
Available in Pius Library. Click each title for current location information.
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) are classification systems used to group similar companies together for the purpose of analyzing data. SIC uses a four-digit system, and NAICS uses a six-digit system. Use these websites to find SIC or NAICS codes, or to compare the two systems.