When researching industry information, it is helpful to find the NAICS or SIC code for that industry, though all the industry databases also allow a keyword search. The federal government assigns these codes to business segments for data collection and reporting purposes. NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes were adopted in 1997 to replace the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. Many research resources, such as databases, utilize NAICS and/or SIC codes for searching purposes. You can search many of the library databases by NAICS and/or SIC code to get industry information.
Example 1: if you want to study the ice cream manufacturing industry, you would look up the 2007 NAICS code from the link, below, and note that it is 311520
These resources give solid overviews of industries, with current trends and analysis. These resources will help you answer the questions: What is the current value of the industry? Is the industry growing? What are the major companies/competitors in the industry and what is their market share? What are some barriers to entry or threats to the industry? Market size, share and segmentation data plus detailed analysis and company information are included.