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This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

Business Research

"No one is born knowing how to do business research." (Ross, 2020) Use the guide menu to begin exploring the "core four" types of business information: company, industry, financial, and consumer.


It can be helpful to determine the six-digit NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code and name for the industry or company you are researching. This code can be used to search databases and limit results.

Note: NAICS is a sector based, classification system developed by the federal government for reporting purposes. NAICS is preferred over the previous SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code.

Library Databases

Industry reports or profiles can be found in a number of library databases.

Financial ratios are usually industry-specific and will be found with industry reports. You can often refine ratios according to company size.

Best Bet

Other Options

Help Guides

IBISWorld: Help on Industry Research Reports and Help on Financial Ratios

Dun & Bradstreet First Research: FAQ on Industry Profiles

Dun & Bradstreet Key Business Ratios: Quick Reference Guide

ProQuest One Business: Help on Industry Reports

Reference Book

Government Source