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Management: Market Research

A guide for students seeking Management resources in Kettering Library.

What is Market Research?


Market research involves gathering data and statistics on the many aspects that affect (or have the potential to affect) a new or existing business.

This typically includes defining: Who will your customers be?  How will you recruit and retain them?  How does your business and your potential product or service fit into the local market and the industry at large?  Who is your competition? What makes your business, product, or service unique?  

Market research is an essential part to any business plan, and the soundness of your market research is something your potential investors will look at as they consider funding your business venture.


Market research can usually be divided into three areas:

  1. Understanding your target market (aka potential customers)
  2. Analyzing the current state of the market or industry you are in or wish to enter.  This includes identifying where your potential products or services would fit in with the local market.
  3. Viewing the competitive landscape of the industry you will be entering, including local competition.



The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) are numerical classification systems created by the United States government.  These systems are used to group/classify similar companies into industries for the purposes of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. The SIC system was originally developed in the 1930s and was last updated in 1987. The NAICS system was first released in 2002, and is in current use. 

While NAICS has "officially" replaced SIC, many business directories and databases still use one or both of the systems.  Therefore, it is important to know about both SIC and NAICS.

  • The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) consists of four digit numbers that apply to a company based on the type of products or services it produces.
    • An example of an SIC Code is: 5812 = Eating Places
  • The newer North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) employs six digits to allow for a more detailed system of industry classification. 
    • An example of a NAICS Code is: 722110 = Full Service Restaurants

Some library databases, books, and web sites allow you to search using SIC and/or NAICS codes. It is very helpful to know what your industry code is before starting your research in Library and government resources. 

Web Links

Market Research Using Statista

Statista provides statistical data on many topics including media, business, politics, society, technology and education. Sources include market reports, trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases. 

If looking for a specific industry, click the Reports dropdown menu, and choose Industry Reports.

From here, you will have access to Statista's Dossier feature, which is a fancy word for market reports.

Statista Dossiers: Market Reports on Specific Subject Matters — From Apple and e-commerce to social networking in China -- our dossiers give an insight into a diverse range of subjects and topic areas.

Further Reports and Outlooks information can be found from the top dropdown menu.

If you need a bit of help searching Statista, watch a tutorial here.

Market Research using ProQuest

ProQuest Central is our most popular business database. It includes a sub-collection called Business Market Research:

Business Market Research Collection (1986 - current): contains company, industry, economic and geopolitical market research Hoover's Company Profiles, OxResearch, and Snapshots.

If you are researching marketing or market shares, there are a few options in Advanced Search that might help you find what you are looking for. 

Document Type allows you to limit your results to specific types of documents. We suggest checking these options for market research:

  • Annual Report
  • Business Plan
  • Company Profile
  • Industry Report
  • Market Report
  • Market Research

You can also search by company or NAICS code.

Market Research using Business Source Premier

Business Source Premier is our newest business database. It is a mostly full-text, major business resource which includes access to market research reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses and Harvard Business Review.

The advanced search page allows limiting by Publication Type, and for market research we suggest using the Industry Profile type.

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