What is market/ industry information?

Sometimes the terms market report and industry report are used interchangeably, yet each has a different focus.

Industry reports focus on:

  • who created a product or service
  • the companies that make up the supply chain and factors that influence the supply chain

Market reports focus on:

  • the end customer/consumer/user of the product or service being offered
  • the factors that influence customer/consumer/user demand and preferences

Some databases offer both types of reports/information, which then complement each other nicely from different perspectives. There are also reports that offer both types of information, but this is not standard practice.

Main tips

First, see if there are industry reports available on your topic (e.g. in the databases listed below). These reports give you overviews, statistics, and give you an idea of where the industry is going according to the analyst. Just keep in mind that there is not always something to be found about new, or niche industries. You can then supplement this found information with, for example, supply chain reports, or industry case studies.

Then look for available market reports. These focus on the customer and the factors surrounding the customer, e.g. consumer behaviour. Usually, these reports look at the customer from a zoomed-out perspective: which age group mainly uses the product or service? Which regions are most important?

Can't find industry or market reports on your topic? Or would you like to supplement the information found with examples, data or news reports? Then it's best to click through in the top menu on, for example, statistics, data and trends, or business news and try those sources.

Don't find suitable information there either? Then it's time to search creatively.... Here are three tips that might help you further:

  1. Industry or trade associations
    Industry associations clearly benefit from collecting data on their industry. Many industry associations collect industry statistics, maintain lists, publish white papers and research reports, and organise conferences and trade shows. Through these organisations, industry experts can be identified. Industry associations are also more likely to provide more detailed product and consumption information, even for niche markets. Do a Google search for industry association AND [your market/industry] to see what is available for your topic.
  2. Consultancy companies/ consultancies
    Consultancy firms' websites often contain useful information on markets and industries. Examples include McKinsey, KPMG and BCG, but check via Google for more by searching consultancy AND [your market or industry].
  3. Government sources
    The government also offers a lot of information on different industries. For example, see if you can find which regulatory body deals with your industry/market. This body often offers detailed statistics and other information.

Need more information?

At first, it may feel like looking for a needle in a haystack! Don't worry, here are a few more tips.

- To quickly search for information on your chosen market/industry, you can use the international classification systems. Read what that means in the box below.

- The databases listed below are a nice starting point to start looking for information. Not sure what to do? Then check the database help in the menu at the top, or click on support & contact to email/ make an appointment with an information specialist.

- To supplement information from market/industry reports, we recommend also using the tips under statistics, data and trends, or business news.


Industry classifications

Industry classifications are used to classify companies based on their economic activities. Classification can be done in several ways.


Based on Economic sectors

At the highest level, they are often classified according to the three-sector theory into economic sectors: primary (extraction and harvesting of natural resources), secondary (construction, manufacturing and processing) and tertiary (services). After this level, the classification splits into industries with similar functions, markets or products.


Based on Product

Industries can also be classified directly by product. For example: construction industry, chemical industry, petroleum industry, automotive industry, electronic industry, hospitality industry, food industry, entertainment industry, etc. 


Different systems

Famous classification systems are the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and the SIC (Standard Industrial Classification manual). In the REACH database, you can use the following systems to find all companies from one sector:   

An example is NAICS code 4422: it is internationally agreed that this includes all 'Home Furnishing' companies here, such as IKEA.  

Statistical classifications

Statistical classifications are used to produce reliable, comparable and methodologically sound statistics. 

You may come across these famous classifications:


HS-code (Harmonised commodity and coding System)

Harmonised system (HS) codes are commonly used throughout the commodity export process. The Harmonised System is a standardised numeric method of classifying traded products. It is used by customs authorities around the world to identify products when determining duties and taxes and for collecting statistics.


SBI code

The Dutch SBI code is a national statistical code used by, among others, Statistics Netherlands (database Statline), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the database CompanyInfo. 


Other national classification systems

Here you can find lists of national classification systems used elsewhere.


Websites to check out