UK Data Sourcing

Where IBISWorld sources data for UK Industry Research Reports.

Updated over a week ago

Where does IBISWorld source its data?

We source our UK industry data from the catch-all, international trade and business location sources listed below.

Catch-all sources

Our two primary catch-all sources, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and The Annual Business Survey (ABS), are the foundation of our Industry Report data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The ONS provides information on almost every aspect of the UK economy, with data available for specific industries and economic indicators available for both the public and private sector. ONS data allows analysts to effectively detail the overall sector and specific SIC code up to the five-digit level. For instance, the ONS provides statistics for the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; within this, statistics are provided for the specific manufacturing of passenger and commercial vehicles and vehicle bodies.

Example: ONS data

This example below shows the ONS data for the Motor Vehicle Manufacturing in the United Kingdom in 2018.

Example ONS Data for Motor Vehicle Manufacturing in the UK 2018

With ONS data, analysts can calculate key ratios and gain a better insight into an industry. For example, the analyst can calculate wages as a share of revenue and revenue generated per enterprise and establishment.

The Annual Business Survey (ABS)

The ABS details industries ranging from those in agriculture to the service sectors. The ABS provides several pieces of information that allow analysts to build comprehensive data sets. These include:

  • Number of businesses

  • Total turnover

  • Industry value added

  • Employment and employment costs

  • Total purchases

  • Business expenditure

We also use data from organizations like the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility. While these aren’t industry-specific, they provide valuable and reputable insights into sector and market performance.

Our analysts use the data from these organizations to forecast industry turnover, company revenue, and other insights.

Industry and trade associations are important when sourcing information and the most up-to-date trends affecting an industry. Industry associations provide reports, statistics, and market and product segmentation. Information provided by trade associations complements available industry knowledge, while some provide a list of firms operating in a particular industry.

International trade sources

International trade data is sourced from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Through the UK Trade Info website, we are able to build data for specific industries. This source provides import and export volumes for each traded product, which is used to help determine an industry’s size and current trends. UK Trade Info also provides information on import sources and export destinations.

Business locations sourcing

UK business location data is sourced from the ONS's UK Business, Activity, Size and Location document, which provides data on an industry's number of establishments (branches) and employment per enterprise. This data gives insight into the size of businesses, with statistics on small businesses that employ less than 5 people and large firms that employ more than 250 people.

For any additional questions regarding UK data sources, please reach out to your Client Relationship Manager. If you’re not an IBISWorld member, please contact us to learn more about our membership options.

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