How to find Industry Information


Industry Norms and Business Ratios

When starting a business or comparing a company's performance to competitors in its industry, you will need sample financial statements, also known as “industry norms” or “operating ratios”. Data for typical operating items such as assets, debt, sales, profit, labor, advertising, rent, and insurance expense, as well as other financial ratios may be found in the sources listed below. These figures are published by industry groups, banks, and trade associations for use as benchmarks. They are compiled by analyzing the financial statements of companies in that particular industry and calculating the mean or average figure for selected categories.

gold triange Industry Ratios

gold triangeCalculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Books

gold triangeCalculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Websites


Industry Ratios


  • Only for Baker students ABI/Inform Complete
      1. Scroll to the top of the page
      2. Click on the "Browse" button
      3. Under "Industry and Market Research" select: FirstResearch
      4. Scroll down and select: your industry
      5. Select one of the "View documents" by the industry of your interest 
      6. Find a report that looks interesting by title and date.
      7. Click on the "Full Text - PDF" (right underneath the title) 
      8. Ater you open the PDF file, you can get to a section called "Financial Ratios" for this industry that appears in the middle of this PDF document.

  • Only for Baker students Lexis Nexis
    This is the section of Lexis/Nexis known as Company Dossier
      1. From the tabs at the top, select: Industry
      2. Enter an industry name or SIC code in the search boxes and select: Find
      3. From the Industry list, select your industry.
      4. For a series of charts, select:Integra Industry Reports
      5. For a text based report, from the navigation column on the left, under Reports, select: Industry Reports


  • Free web
      BizStats is an online source for small business statistics. Provides instant access to useful financial ratios, business statistics and benchmarks.
  • Free web sitesBusiness
      Based on information from the Economic Census.
  • Free web sitesEconomic Census: Concentration Ratios
      All of these reports classify industries by the percent of output accounted for by the largest 4, 8, 20 and 50 companies.
  • Free web sitesGoogle Finance
      Features a nicely displayed wide array of industry ratios. Look up a particular company, then the data for the company and the industry are posted side by side.


Calculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Books


The sources listed below give definitions or explain how ratios are calculated and how they can be used to analyze the financial health of a business or industry. Slide your mouse over the book jacket for more info. Click on it to see the catalog entry.

If we don't own it, you'll have to request it on Interlibrary Loan, which you'll be able to do directly from the catalog site. If it is an electronic book, using your Baker ID, you'll be able to log in directly into the book.

For books that are not available electronically, if you'd prefer to see the books at a library near your home, you can do the following:
1. Select the link,
Worldwide Libraries Own this Item

WMS worldwide libraries
2. Once the screen opens, enter you zip code to find a library near your home that owns the title.

Building Financial ModelsBusiness Ratios and FormulasEdgar Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements
Lender's ToolkitSmart Financial Management


Calculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Websites


  • Free web sitesbiz/ed
    If you only check out one site, this is the ONE!
      These ratio analysis materials were prepared for Biz/ed by Duncan Williamson, a teacher, a freelance author and business consultant who prepares teaching/learning materials for accountants and students of accounting.
  • Free web sitesFinancial Accounting Standards Board
      The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports that are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Free web sitesInvestopedia
      A Forbes Media company that provides clear definitions and tutorials for calculating a variety of financial ratios.
  • Free web sitesMotley Fool
      A privately-held multi-media company that is a top provider of investment advice and financial information.
  • Free web sitesPlanware
      PlanWare is one of many software packages for business and financial planning applications. Even though it is a fee based program, the site offers some helpful charts and information.
  • Free web sitesStudy Finance is the web site for students of introductory finance at The University of Arizona. It is designed to serve as a starting point to learn about what finance majors do, how to get started in a finance career, and the finance curriculum at The U of A.