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About Industry & Market Research

Researching your industry and market is integral to successful business plan research. Industry & market research reports found on commercial databases give insight into:

  • operating conditions
  • regulatory environment
  • distribution and supply chain
  • consumers
  • trends
  • new product or service innovations
  • financial outlook
  • competitors

Top sources for industry & market research are listed below. For more sources, consult the Industry & Market Research guide.

Why can't I access market research reports I found on the Internet?

When researching on Google, you may identify market research reports to which we do not have access. This may be because:

  • they are not part of our academic subscription, or

  • they are not part of a collection to which we currently subscribe.

Related Guides

For comprehensive, sector-specific industry & market research resources and strategies consult the following guides:

Top Sources for Industry & Market Research

Note: Industry Associations
Associations can provide directories, current industry trends and issues, as well as data and reports. However, not all associations provide information for free to non-members. Member lists can help you identify competitors. Try searching Google to find a relevant association.


Researching your competitors helps you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your idea. Use directories to identify competitors by industry, product line, etc. Find business environment risks and competitor strategies in corporate filings and annual reports and article databases. Explore patents to learn about competitors' products.

Top sources for company information are listed below. For more sources, consult the Company Research guide. 

Top Sources for Company Research


Knowing about your consumers is an important part of market research. You will want to research demographics (age, income, education), location, and behavioural information. You may use several kinds of sources, depending on your focus.

Top sources for Canadian and international consumer information are listed below. For more sources, refer to the Consumers page of the Industry & Market Research Guide.

Top Sources for Consumer Research

Industry Ratios & Benchmarking

Top sources for industry ratios and benchmarking are listed below. For more sources, refer to the Finance page of the Industry & Market Research Guide.

Top Sources for Industry Ratios & Benchmarking

Economic Environment

The larger economic environment has implications for business planning. Some of the resources that you have already used in your industry and competitor research, will have articulated the larger economic context. Also try:

Find latest data from the 2016 Census

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