Worthington Libraries provides a great deal of information for people interested in conducting business and industry research. Both Northwest Library and Old Worthington Library maintain a "Business Table" near their information desks. Many of the most popular and useful items on this list can be found there. If you're looking for business books, check the following call numbers:
- 332 (financial economics, personal finance, investing),
- 338 (production and industries),
- 670 (manufacturing),
- 658 (marketing).
Keep in mind, the nature of this information is such that not all companies and industries are represented equally. It is possible that in certain instances very little information will be available on a particular company.
In most cases, the following general rules apply. It is easier to find information on larger companies than smaller ones. Likewise, it is easier to find information on publicly owned companies than privately held ones. Companies that are subsidiaries of larger entities pose special problems. Often, information about subsidiaries is "absorbed" into the records of the parent companies. With all these factors to consider, it is a good idea to begin any company research by determining such things as size, location, ownership and hierarchy.
General business directories
These sources typically provide company addresses, phone numbers, sales and employment estimates and contact information. They are often a good place to begin researching a company, as they answer many of the basic questions that will help guide subsequent searching.
- D & B Million Dollar Directory. Updated annually. [R 338.74 (OWL)]
A five-volume national directory that provides basic information about approximately 160,000 public and private companies. Indexes organize companies by industry and location.
- LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations. Revised annually. [R 338.74 DIR]
This eight-volume directory provides basic information on both private and public companies, including divisions, subsidiaries and affiliations.
- Reference USA (database)
Available from home with a valid library card Reference USA is a national business directory with fully customizable searching.
- Standard and Poor's Register. Updated annually. [R 332.672 STA (OWL)]
A three-volume national directory that has basic information for approximately 75,000 companies. Volume 2, a listing of executives with contact information, is especially helpful.
ThomasNet provides online access to the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. The database is searchable by product or service, company name or brand name. Information includes a brief company profile, web address and a contact form.
Regional business directories
These directories focus on companies at the state and local level. Entries typically include address, phone number, company size and type of business. In some cases, officers and contact persons are listed.
- Book of Lists. Revised annually. [R 338.74 BOO]
Sometimes called the business First: top 25, this business First publication features rankings of top central Ohio companies by industry and service.
- Dun's Regional Business Directory. Revised annually. [R 338.7 DUN]
This three-volume directory covers the central Ohio area, as well as parts of KY, MI and WV.
- Harris Ohio Industrial Directory. Revised annually. [R 670 HAR]
- Ohio Manufacturers Directory. Revised annually. [R 670 OHI]
Many business directories focus on one particular industry. Some of the most popular are listed below.
- American Wholesalers and Distributors Directory. [R 381.2025 AME]
- Best's Insurance Reports. Property-Casualty, United States [R 368.1 BES]
- Best's Insurance Reports. Life-Health, United States [R 368.32 BES]
Best's Insurance Reports list and rate insurers based on financial strength and ability to meet their obligations to policyholders. This function makes it ideal both as a directory and a consumer guide.
- McFadden American Financial Directory. Revised annually. [R 332.1 MCF (OWL)]
- National Minority and Women-owned Business Directory. Revised annually. [R 338.0025 NAT]
Detailed company information, annual reports and SEC filings
In many cases, the information available from directories is just a starting point. If you need in-depth financial information, company histories or investment reports, Worthington Libraries has resources that can help. In general, the following sources cover fewer companies than the directories listed above, but they do so in much more detail. A number of these resources provide links to news stories, press releases and industry information.
- Hoovers Online Corporate Information (database)
Hoovers Online contains a tremendous amount of information, but they restrict access to much of their site to paying subscribers. Since Worthington Libraries subscribe to their service, access to these restricted areas is always available if you use the computers in the libraries. Check out their section “IPO Central” for a listing of the most recent companies to go public.
- U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) web site allows users to search for reports filed with the SEC by qualifying public companies. This includes annual reports, quarterly filings and more.
Newspaper and magazine articles are a good place to find information about companies and industries. In addition to print subscriptions for the wall street Journal, the Columbus Dispatch, business First and others, Worthington Libraries offers the following sources to help you locate business news. Additionally, many search engines host news pages with a focus on business news. Check the Google, Yahoo! and CNN web sites for examples.
- Business First
The current issue of business First, plus a searchable archive, is available through the business First web site.
- The Columbus Dispatch Archive (database)
This database makes it possible to search for locally produced Dispatch articles from 1985 on. It is often a great source for information on local business developments. This is a subscription-only database; access is limited to computer workstations in the library.
Market research and demographics
- The Community Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics [R 317.3 COM]
The Community sourcebook of ZiP Code Demographics provides detailed demographic information as well as potential spending indices, home values and more.
- Best Customers: Demographics of Consumer Demand [R 658.834 BES]
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, best Customers reveals the biggest and best customers for hundreds of individual products and services.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a myriad of statistics, from employment trends to salary surveys to consumer spending.
- Household Spending: Who Spends How Much on What [R 658.8343 LIF]
Using unpublished data culled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, household spending reports how American households allocate their spending.
- Lifestyle Market Analyst [R 658.834 LIF]
The lifestyle Market analyst combines useful demographic information with details about lifestyle choices and leisure activities.
- Melissa Data
A genuine treasure trove of geographic, demographic and statistical information, this free service from MelissaData includes lookups for ZIP codes, phone numbers, street names, school district maps, congressional maps and more.
- The United States Census Bureau
The Census Bureau provides a wide range of statistics. In addition to the traditional demographic profiles, they also provide a wealth of economic data.
Hoovers (see above) provides industry overviews and rankings. The following directories may include major companies in various sectors and their market share.
- Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios. Revised annually. [R 338.74 ALM]
A variety of ratios are provided for industries arranged by SIC code.
- Business Rankings Annual. Revised annually. [R 338.7 BUS (NWL)]
- CRB Commodity Yearbook. Revised annually. [R 338 COM]
Each alphabetically-arranged entry contains an overview of a particular commodity's market and statistical tables. Coverage is international with emphasis on the U. S.
- Manufacturing & Distribution U. S. A. Revised annually. [R 338.4767]
- Market Share Reporter. Revised annually. [R 380.1 MAR]
- Moody's/Mergent creates a variety of resources that cover specific industries and markets. They are all available at Old Worthington Library on the Business Table and include Mergent industry review, published semi-monthly [R 332.6 MER (OWL)]; Mergent bond record, published monthly; Mergent bank & Finance Manual, published monthly [R 332.6 MER (OWL)]; Mergent international Manual, published monthly [R 332.6MER (OWL)]; and Mergent otC Unlisted Manual, published monthly [R 332 MER (OWL)]. The monthly updates for many of these publications are not published separately but can be found together in the Mergent Corporate news reports [R 332.6 MER (OWL)].
- RMA Annual Statement Studies. Revised annually. [R 338.0973 RMA]
Financial profiles of industries organized by SIC code. Includes ratios.
- Standard & Poor's Industry Survey. Revised quarterly. [R 332.67 STA]
S & P's industry survey provides in-depth profiles of the top industry sectors in the U. S.