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Market and industry research

This extensive guide covers numerous aspects of business research, including tools and strategies for researching industries, consumers, and companies.

Looking for benchmarks or financial ratios?

Financial performance benchmarks: industry averages from Canadian public and private companies

The freely accessible Canadian government tool, Financial Performance Data enables you to build custom reports showing how companies in a given industry are performing financially.  Reports provide figures for industries as a whole but also break that performance into quartiles.  And you can download results into Excel.

It may be helpful to know the NAICS code for your industry before starting.

Screenshot of a custom-build report:

screenshot of a custom-built report from Financial Performance Data

Looking for industry performance?

The Industry Canada website from 'Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada', provides you with intelligence on Canada's industry sectors. The Canadian industry statistics page will give you a snapshot of your industry. Enter your NAICS code or browse to the industry category you want to get information about:

  • number of Canadian businesses in that industry, broken down by province if you prefer
  • the financial performance of these companies, divided into quartiles according to their profitability
  • average expenditures on salary

You might also want to check out these pages:

Ratios from Statistics Canada

There are a couple more resources for finding ratios, too, available through Statistics Canada's website.

Note that you can customize your tabular results by clicking on the 'Add/Remove Data' button and you can view all the possible values in a category by clicking on the 'Expand' link on the right side of the search page. The two options are:

Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises is available from Statistics Canada
Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements is also available from Statistics Canada 33-10-0007-01 and 33-10-0008-01