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SI 663Innovation Leadership in the Information Industry Assignment (Information Industry): Getting Started

Research Guide for SI 663 class assignment on entrepreneurship in the information industry.

Conducting Business Research

Here are resources that will help you with your Organizational Studies 310 assignment on the organizational structure and mission of companies, nonprofits and governmental agencies.

Here are some general hints and tips when conducting business research:

  • Search for company names – good for articles, especially press releases
  • Use generic terms – especially in full-text searches
  • Start with a few terms then add on - being too specific may find nothing
  • Use terms or subjects from a result that is a good match - ‘look for hooks’
  • Data is inconsistent – terms may not apply for multiple databases
  • Trust your instincts – if the data or information "smells" bad, it probably is
  • For private companies – question the data
  • For public companies – use analyst reports and SEC filings to learn more about specific elements of their business 
  • Case studies can be good for courses, but do not always help with learning about a company or an industry or a market.  They have a teaching objective and this can skew the data presented.

 Other guides to consult:

Be sure to go to the library catalogs:

Business Classification Resources

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

  • From the United States Census Bureau, this is one of the two standard industry classifications systems used world-wide
  • The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy (from the Census Website)
  • This was last updated in 2007, so it may have better coverage of recent developed industries

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) – OSHA


If you need assistance or you hit a roadblock, please feel free to contact Corey Seeman (

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Corey Seeman
Director, Kresge Library Services
Stephen M. Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
700 East University Avenue
Kresge Hall, 4th Floor East (or somewhere in Ypsi)
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1234