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Marketing Research MKT 2110-05: Industry Data

Make a list of companies within an industry

Once I know the name of a company within an industry I can then research that industry. The Department of Labor maintains a list of industries names and if I know these I can then list all of the companies within that industry. Can you think of some reasons why this would be useful? I can think of three:

  • I am researching this industry and having a list of the companies is useful 
  • I want to sell something to these companies and having their contact information is very useful. 
  • I want to start a similar company and I am interested in the market. Think about it? If we were going to start a coffee shop I would look to see how Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts succeed in the market place. 

Great, so my industry of interest is surgical manufacturers. I asked one of my professors and he suggests Becton Dickinson as a good example of a company within that industry. Remember - using company data is an efficient way to learn more about an industry as a whole. 

Note: The following video helps demonstrates the concepts found in the narrative located on this page. 

Watch the video on the page or use this link - Industry Data and making a Company List .

Industry Data video guide


In ReferenceUSA you can search for a company by name, by industry code or by its location. Company listings within this resource include links to the job and internship listings. When you view a company record you can see open positions within the company. 

The results that the search generates can be made into a list. Notice the description of the company includes the industry codes, company information, data about the company, competitors and so on.  

Follow these images to see how to build a list of companies within an industry. 

Start by clicking on the database link and then U.S. Businesses. 

1. The following search is for the company Becton Dickinson. 

2. Here are the search results for Becton Dickinson. I found 25 companies and they all look like they are a part of the parent company. To sort click the blue arrow to the right. It should display the link to the company headquarters. Click on the company name to view. The company headquarters are where the hiring and other corporate decisions are made. 

3. On the Becton Dickinson page you can read about the company and look to see what kind of jobs they advertise. To find competitors of Becton Dickinson you should scroll down to the industry codes. We will use the primary NAICS code (33911203) to find all of the competitors in the US that are in the market of Surgical & Medical Instrument Manufacturing.  I can use this code to search since it was created and is maintained by the Department of Labor. It will work here, in other business sources or just a web search. 

See the other codes? Check to see if there is an area of interest. 

4. OK - let's do the search to find all the companies within this industry. Go to top of the page and click on new search and then chose advanced search. Here we can search by business type.

Use the check boxes on the left and search by the primary NAICS code that we just collected. 

  • Click Keyword/SIC/NAICS under Business Type and type in the code.
  • Click the code and description then click update count.   
    • The results before performing the search are 14,830,317 companies
    • Click update count and the number will drop to about 3400


5. Next I want to see a list of only headquarters for these companies. That will narrow the search down to only the company's home office. Chose Headquarter and then update the count. You should have a list of about 120 companies. 

The count is lowered by selecting headquarters. Click on View Results and I will be able to see a list of companies within this industry. I can then click on and view each company record and look for open jobs or other market data. 

6. Here are all of the competitors in the US that are in the market. The results can be sorted by size, address, city, etc. To further refine your results, simply select more search criteria. For instance, you might want all of the companies that have over a billion in sales, all of the companies that are headquarter in New Jersey or just the companies that have more 500 employees. 

Notice the download link at the top of the list?

You can download this list and then keep it as an excel file to use later for job searching. business contacts or market research. In fact, I did some quick analysis and of these 123 companies there are 41,000 employees working in this sector, 16 of the companies are headed by a female executive, collectively they saw 140 billion in corporate sales volume and exactly half the companies are publicly traded.