When you investigate an industry that you're not familiar with, remember that industries often differ significantly from each other in some important aspects.
Do a quick comparison of the Australian retail and iron ore industries. Think in terms of concentration of ownership, workforce characteristics, cyclicality, import/export orientation, public acceptance, environmental concerns and government impact. They differ in every aspect.
Also bear in mind that industries often overlap and bleed into each other. For example, the coal industry is part of the mining industry, but it is also part of the energy and steel industries. So when you're looking for industry statistics, you may find yourself constrained and frustrated by the neat categories found in the major industry classification schemes.
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If you would like to discuss your information needs, or would like to arrange training programs in finding business information, please phone or email me.
This is a perpetual work in progress. If you detect errors, or if you could suggest additional information sources or approaches to the topic, please contact me.
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