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Company & Industry Research Tutorial

This tutorial will take you through the steps to researching a company or industry.

Step 4 - Industry Statistics

Figures and statistics
Photo by Joffley

This section provides resources that contain composite or aggregate statistics. These are statistics that reflect numbers for an entire industry and not individual companies. For example, if you are interested in the computer hardware industry, you might want to find statistics such as the following:

  • Number of computers should last year
  • Dollar sales volume of computers for the last five years
  • Number of people employed in the manufacture computers

Another important statistic is that for industry operating and financial ratios.SEE BELOW for information on industry ratios and norms and a list of resources containing industry norms and ratios.

Three groups of statistical resources will be covered in this section:

Directories and Services (for composite statistics):

What are financial ratios and why should I know about them?

A ratio is calculated by dividing one number by another number. Information you find on a company's financial statement can be used to calculate financial ratios that can be compared to industry norms. These ratios can also be used to compare a company with its competitors.

There are many different kinds of financial ratios. Ratios are traditionally grouped to represent five different aspects of business: asset turnoverleverageliquiditymarket value and profitability. The most common liquidity ratio is the current ratio. This can be calculated by dividing the company's current assets by its current liabilities.

For more information on calculating financial ratios and their use, see the following books in the Baylor Library:

Where can I find industry ratios and norms?

The following resources are the most common sources of industry norms and ratios:

University Libraries

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