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I-CORE Research Guide

Researching Private Companies

If your project's company is a smaller, local company it may not be in some of the larger business databases. Here are strategies you can use to find information:

Strategy #1: Search for a company website.

Strategy #2: Search databases that contain some private company information. Suggested databases:

Strategy #3: Consider using a similar public company as a proxy.

By researching a company that is similar to your own you may be able find analysis that explain key issues that could be affecting your project's company including opportunities and threats, consumer trends, and issues affecting the supply chain.

Strategy #4: Look for news articles in local newspapers and periodicals. Three databases that may help you find articles mentioning your company are:

Industry Research Resources

Industry Research Tips

Identify the NAICS Codes of the industries you are researching!

Industry codes are numbers used to describe a company's line of business. Many business databases including the US Economic Census are searchable by NAICS codes. The current standard for industry codes is the 6-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code.

NAICS Code Lookup

Researching Niche/Emerging Industries

If you are researching an emerging industry or a very specialized industry it may be more difficult to locate industry overviews and other industry analysis. Some strategies you can consider using to find information:

Look for articles in popular and trade journals (magazines and newspapers) that discuss this industry

  • Consider what other industries are related to your industry. Are there industries that have a similar target market or supply chain?
  • Consider researching the industries of your suppliers and your customers (if your customer is a business).
  • Use frameworks such as Porter's Five Forces or PEST Analysis to guide you in researching your industry.

B2B Market Research Resources

Consumer Research

Using Simmons to Research Demographics of B2B Buyers

Market Research Tips

How to find demographic information (business/consumers) for local geography?

Help I can only find national data and I need data for Indiana...(or Carmel...or the midwest)

When you can only find national data for your market size but you want to narrow it down to a smaller geographic area, you may need to back into this information often by making an assumption that the proportion of the market that Indiana (or whatever market you are considering) provides will be similar to the proportion that that market contributes to another economic indicator such as GDP,  new residential construction starts, business establishments, etc.

Example: You are trying to determine the market size for Indiana but only have national market size numbers for your industry. You decide GDP would be a good economic indicator to use. If you use GDP you need to locate the total US GDP and Indiana GDP. Calculate % that Indiana contributes to national GDP and multiple by the national industry market size your found to estimate the Indiana market size.

Don't always use GDP. When discussing your analysis for your forecast in the second deliverable you may need to explain your assumption. Source for economic indicators: 

US Bureau of Economic Analysis