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A guide for business databases, books, web resources, and more.

Industry Databases

Useful Places to Search for Industry Profiles

Useful Places to Search for Industry Articles and News

Useful Places to Search for Industry Competitors

Census Data on Industries

What are NAICS codes?

NAICS is the North American Industrial Classification System:

  • NAICS 2017 Codes
  • Pronounced "nakes," NAICS codes are numbers that classify industries (i.e. business activities, like types of manufacturing and services).
  • NAICS codes are hierarchical -- the longer the number, the more detailed the industry. NAICS codes are up to six digits long.
  • NAICS is the modern version of the old SIC structure.
  • NAICS is more detailed than SIC, does a much better job of covering service and technology industries, and covers all three NAFTA economies.

Examples of NAICS codes: 

51 Information
513 Broadcasting and telecommunications
5133 Telecommunications
51332 Wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite)
513322 Cell phones and cell phone service

So what? NAICS make it easy to:

  • Find competitors and customers;
  • Find industry reports;
  • Benchmark finances (ex. financial ratios and the Economic Census);
  • Analyze trade data, employment trends, etc.