Industry classification or industry taxonomy is a type of economic taxonomy that organizes companies into industrial groupings based on similar production processes, similar products, or similar behavior in financial markets.
Many are used by national and international statistical agencies to summarize economic conditions. They are also used by securities analysts to understand common forces acting on groups of companies, to compare companies' performance to their peers', and to construct either specialized or diversified portfolios.
Sectors and industries
Industries can be classified in a variety of ways. At the top level, industry is often classified according to the three-sector theory into sectors: primary (extractive), secondary (manufacturing), and tertiary (services). Some authors add quaternary (knowledge) or even quinary (culture and research) sectors. Over time, the fraction of a society's industry within each sector changes.
Below the economic sectors are more detailed classifications. They commonly divide industries according to similar functions and markets and identify businesses producing related products.
Industries can also be identified by product, such as: construction industry, chemical industry, petroleum industry, automotive industry, electronic industry, power engineering and power manufacturing (such as gas or wind turbines), meatpacking industry, hospitality industry, food industry, fish industry, software industry, paper industry, entertainment industry, semiconductor industry, cultural industry, and poverty industry.
List of classifications
|Node count by level||Issued|
|ISIC||International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities||United Nations Statistics Division||production/
|1948–present (Rev. 4, 2008)|
|NAICS||North American Industry Classification System||Governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico||production/
|1997, 2002, 2012|
|NACE||Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community||European Community||production/
|6 digits||1970, 1990, 2006|
|ANZSIC||Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification||Governments of Australia and New Zealand||1993, 2006|
|SIC||Standard Industrial Classification||Government of the United States||production/
|1937–1987 (superseded by NAICS, but still used in some applications)|
|ICB||Industry Classification Benchmark||FTSE||market/
|GICS||Global Industry Classification Standard||Standard & Poor's, Morgan Stanley Capital International||market/
|UKSIC||United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities||Government of the United Kingdom||1948-present (2007)|
|TRBC||Thomson Reuters Business Classification||Thomson Reuters||market/
|SNI||Swedish Standard Industrial Classification||Government of Sweden|
|UNSPSC||United Nations Standard Products and Services Code||United Nations||Product||8 digits (optional 9th) (four levels)||1998 - present
|BICS||Bloomberg Industrial Classification System||Bloomberg L.P.||10/.../2294|
|MGECS||Morningstar Global Equity Classification System||Morningstar, Inc.||Securities behavior||3/14/69/148|
|RBICS||FactSet Revere Business Industry Classification System||FactSet, acquired in 2013||line of business||11000|
|HSICS||Hang Seng Industry Classification System||Hang Seng Indexes||Revenue source||11/31/89|
|IBBICS||Industry Building Blocks||Industry Building Blocks||Market line of business||19/130/550/3000/20200|
1The NAICS Index File lists 19745 rubrics beyond the 6 digits which are not assigned codes.
Besides the widely used taxonomies above, there are also more specialized proprietary systems:
- First Research taxonomy, used by Hoover's
- WAND, Inc.'s Product and Service Taxonomy
- Sustainable Industry Classification System (SICS) 12/38/77 
- MSCI Barra, "Frequently Asked Questions about GICS" 
- Standard & Poor's, "What's an Industry" pdf
- Riccardo Di Clemente et al., "Supplementary Information" for "Diversification versus specialization in complex ecosystems" 
- "Morningstar Global Equity Classification Structure", May 24, 2011
- First Research taxonomy at Hoover's
- Michael E. Porter (1980). Competitive Strategy. Free Press, New York. ISBN 978-0743260886.
- Michael E. Porter (1985). Competitive Advantage. Free Press, New York. ISBN 978-0743260879.
- Bernard Guibert, Jean Laganier, and Michel Volle, "An Essay on Industrial Classifications", Économie et statistique 20 (February 1971) full text