NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) describes the system by which the government assigns companies to various industries.
For example, a day spa is classified under the NAICS code 812199, which describes the category for 'Other Personal Care Services.' It is this category to which all day spas in North America will be assigned for data analysis.
To find data on a particular type of company, know its NAICS (or SIC) code.
Use the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) for newer industries. NAICS was developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide comparability in statistics about businesses across North America.
One of the most common ways to compare companies within industries to each other and to the industry benchmark is to look at the financial ratios available. RMA, listed below, will give you industry financial ratios for a wide variety of industries. Use Mergent or another source to get company ratios (public companies only!).
RMA Annual Statement Studies - Financial Ratio Benchmarks
Use the following databases to gather data about an industry for research projects.