Frequently Asked Questions

Vertical IQ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Q: Who researches and writes Vertical IQ’s industry profiles?

A: Vertical IQ hires people with extensive, “real world” business experience to research and write profiles. Their researchers average over 25 years of experience in a variety of industries.

Q: What sources does Vertical IQ use for industry profiles?

A: Vertical IQ uses a variety of government sources for basic information on industries, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the Federal Reserve Bank. They use RMA's Annual Statement Studies for financial benchmark data on privately-held companies and review 10-K reports for public companies. They also use BVR’s DealStats private-company transaction database for benchmark information on sold companies. They license survey data from Barlow Research on banking products used by industries and license industry forecast data from the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, a research organization associated with the University of Maryland. They also review information from reliable trade associations, industry-specific magazines and news items, and the general business press. For selected high-impact profiles, they also conduct interviews with business owners and consultants in the industry.

Q: Where does Vertical IQ get industry news items?

A: Each week, Vertical IQ reviews hundreds of sources for news items relevant to those doing industry research. These sources range from general business publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, to industry specific journals, such as Modern Distribution Management and Senior Living News.

Q: How often is information in the industry profiles updated?

A: News items for each industry are updated every one to two weeks. The latest data on employment, wages, and imports/exports is updated monthly as new government figures are released. Vertical IQ also researches and adds a “Quarterly Insight” to each profile. Data from Barlow Research and financial benchmark data from RMA and DealStats are updated annually, while forecast data from the Interindustry Economic Research Fund are updated twice per year. They are constantly updating and improving content in the profiles as they gather news items, but also conduct an “annual audit” of each profile to make sure it is current and accurate.

Q: Where does Vertical IQ get the content for financial benchmarks in just the numbers?

A: Vertical IQ provides financial benchmark data for each for-profit industry from RMA. RMA's Annual Statement Studies is a source of comparative industry benchmark data that comes directly from the financial statements of small and medium-size business clients of RMA's member institutions. For industries in the nonprofit sector, Vertical IQ provides financial benchmark data from Candid, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that compiles financial benchmark data based on IRS filings by nonprofits.

Q: What is the difference between the full industry profiles and the specialty spotlights?

A: Full Industry Profiles focus at the higher two-to-three digit SIC level. Vertical IQ has 367  Full Industry Profiles. Specialty Spotlights are niche segments that fall under a Full Industry Profile. Vertical IQ currently has 177 Specialty Profiles. For example, for the law firm industry, the Full Industry Profile contains five Specialty Spotlights (i.e. patent lawyers, real estate lawyers, etc.). Specialty Spotlights are accessible within the Full Profile as a Chapter or you can click the (+) sign beside Full Industries listed on the page with all industries.

Q: Where do you get the bank product usage data for industries?

A: Vertical IQ licenses the bank product usage data for each industry from Barlow Research, Inc., a premier market research firm for the financial services industry. The data comes from a stratified random sample of small businesses ($100K to $10 million in revenue) or middle market businesses ($10 million to $500 million in revenue) that participate in a regular survey of over 100 questions, including their usage of various banking products.

Q: Where do you get the content for the local economic profiles?

A: The data on job growth, employment, unemployment, housing prices, housing permits and vacancy rates come from government sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. This data is updated monthly or quarterly as the government publishes new data. Home price forecasts are licensed from Local Market Monitor, Inc.

  1. Local business growth is updated every quarter.
  2. Job growth, unemployment, and employment by industry are updated every month.
  3. Home price change and vacancy rates are updated every quarter.
  4. Housing permits are updated every month.
  5. Vacancy rates are for residential properties and based on government surveys of specific  properties. These will not include college dormitories or military barracks, but can include privately-owned apartment buildings or single-family homes that rent to students.

Q: Is there any discussion or content on the global impact on a given industry?

A: Vertical IQ reports include a Global Perspectives chapter. This chapter includes:

  • List of major global companies impacting the industry
  • Insight into worldwide demand through import/export trends over the past several years
  • Breakdown of total imports and exports between the U.S. and other countries