Welcome to Business Research Plus

July 27, 2011 1 comment

Bloomberg Suite

From specialist databases to business literature, Business Research Plus provides advice and tips based on the MBS library service resources and expertise.  See our About page for more details.

Exploring our resources - try the Business and Management Resources page (LibGuides),  scroll down to category or tag cloud in the right-hand column, search this blog (top right) or search Manchester Business Answers 24/7 (FAQ). For latest news see @MBSLibrary 

In 2013 we had 64 new posts, just over 110,000 views, and All UK listed companies (part 1) was the most commented post. Of the top 5 posts Journal Ranking – marketing was from 2012, three were from 2011, and one from 2010. Please read Reflecting on Business Research Plus and comment with your suggestions for improvement. [22 January 2014]

(MBS Library Service is part of The University of Manchester Library. )

CEO compensation – which database is best?

A couple of queries recently have been about where to get “CEO compensation” data, and this turns out to be a good example where the answer depends on refining the initial question.

At the University of Manchester we have two specialist financial databases that cover executive pay, and therefore CEO (Chief Executive Officer) compensation.

  • BoardEx - this is good for searching current board memberships, but one query was looking for 10 years of historical CEO compensation data for a list of companies
  • Execucomp (Compustat Execucomp) – this is available on WRDS, would cope with historical data and a list of companies, but only if they are US companies.

Next I re-read the May 2012 post Executive Pay – this gives Thomson One Banker and Bloomberg as options. 

Thomson ONE.com is similar to Thomson One Banker – you need to look up the executives, find the CEO on the list and then select to get the detailed information. (It is even harder if you want a previous CEO)

Bloomberg has a function MGMT that allows also allows you to browse company executives. However, it also has two variables for the total salary and the total compensation of the company CEO (or the executive Bloomberg judge as equivalent to the CEO). I used these in the Bloomberg Excel add-in after loading list of companies.

Bloomberg - CEO compensation (click to expand)

Bloomberg – CEO compensation (click to expand)

A little more skill with the Bloomberg Excel add-in and these results could have been presented in a neater fashion.

Datastream is usually good if you want historical numerical data, but searching using “compensation”, “pay”, “salary”, “CEO” all yield no evidence of a suitable time-series datatype.

So as I am looking for historical CEO compensation, including non-US companies, and can get to the library Bloomberg looks to be the best option.

All UK companies over $10million, 2000 to 2013

A recent comment asked about creating a list on UK companies listed between 2000 and 2013 and with a market capitalisation of more that $10 million using Datastream. The basic technique is to use a Datastream static request to get data about UK companies, and filter to create the required list.

There are a number of key Datastream datatypes that commonly used

  • DSCD – Datastream code
  • EXDSCD – Exchange Datastream code (as a check)
  • BDATE – Base date
  • TIME – latest/final data of price data
  • MV – market value (market cap), MV~U$ will give this is US dollars.

If you want companies listed between 2000 and 2013, is this companies that are listed continually from 01 Jan 2000 to 31 Dec 2013, or as is more common companies that are listed for some time between 01 Jan 2000 and 31 Dec 2013.

If you are looking for companies with a market capitalisation of more than say £100 million, is that companies whose market cap is always over £100 million, or those whose market cap is over £100 million at some time. The spreadsheet below illustrates one approach.

Datastream static request including market cap

Datastream static request including market cap (click to expand)

The spreadsheet above shows the results of a static request for BDATE and TIME and the market value in US dollars (MV~U$) on the 31 December for each year 2000 to 2013.

For the market value, an alternative is to make a time series request for the market value in US dollars, for example for each quarter 2000 to 2013, and combine this with the static request.

If we take the maximum of all the MV~U$ values in the spreadsheet above then we have the maximum market value at each year end. The maximum of the MV~U$ values for the quarterly time series gives the maximum at each quarter end for the relevant time period.

The Datastream predefined list WSCOPEUK is a reasonable choice for an initial list. (See earlier post All UK listed companies (part 2) for details) We can use Excel to sort and filter to give the required set of companies.

  • 5189 – WSCOPEUK – UK companies
  • 4535 of these – have a market cap in US dollars over 10 for at least 1 quarter end 2000 – 2013
  • 3848 of these – have TIME > 01 Jan 2000, so were listed for at least part of the relevant time period
  • These 3848 do include 8 companies that were only listed in December 2013 (BDATE > 30/11/2013) and 12 companies that were delisted in January 2000 (TIME < 01/02/2000)

Happy with this list of 3848 UK companies, then select the column of Datastream codes (DSCD) and use the Create List(from Range) option in the Datastream tab to create your list that can be used in future Datastream queries.





Categories: company information Tags:

Beta values on Thomson ONE.com

Betas represent the volatility of a company with respect to a market index.

Beta. The sensitivity of the share to market moves. A share with a beta of 1.0 tends to perform in line with the index; one with a beta of 1.2 tends to change by 1.2 percent for each 1 percent move in the index. (London Business School, 2012)

Beta values are used in many financial market models and therefore researchers often ask about which databases include betas. Thomson ONE.com has a relatively easy way of getting historical betas (and current betas if yesterday is current enough).

  1. Goto Thomson ONE.com - remembering to use IE (Internet explorer) – select the Company Views tab
  2. Lookup your company in the usual way and select Price Chart
  3. Select Beta Coefficient in one of the LOWER PANE SERIES drop down boxes (screenshot below)
Thomson ONE price chart with beta (click to expand)

Thomson ONE price chart with beta (click to expand)

You can use the View Data button to see the data values that have been charted, or the Excel icon to export the results.

Other sources of beta values include Bloomberg, Datastream, and LSPD for UK companies. There is a Betas Guide on the business and management guides page.

FAQ-iconRelated questions on Manchester Business Answers 24/7 (FAQ):

The basic formula for calculating a beta value is fixed but the details can vary so that different sources may give slightly different values. For example, for a UK company Bloomberg uses the FTSE 100 as the default market index and weekly data while Datastream uses the FTSE All Share index and monthly data.


London Business School (2012) “Guide to Company Tables”, Risk Measurement Service, 34(7), p. 9.

Importing data into SPSS Statistics (part 1)

April 4, 2014 Leave a comment

SPSS logoThere are many ways to bring your data into IBM SPSS Statistics, for whatever manner of analysis or reorganisation you wish to perform. Here are a few approaches to consider, with some of their relative merits and shortcomings. This post is split over three parts.

Before you proceed, you should be at least slightly familiar with the main window in SPSS Statistics, the Data Editor. Specifically, there are two views as identified by the orange tab at the bottom-left of the screen: Data View and Variable View. The former has the variables in columns with observations/readings in rows; the latter has the variables in rows with their meta-data in columns.

SPSS Data Editor showing labels SPSS Data Editor tabs  SPSS Data Editor with Variables View

Best-case scenario: Open an existing data source in SPSS Statistics format

You might be fortunate enough to already have data in the native format to SPSS Statistics (*.sav). This is the format to choose when saving your data while working in SPSS.

Each variable has a Name, and that name cannot contain spaces, punctuation (except dots or underscores) and cannot begin with a number. In older versions of SPSS, variable names could only be 8 characters long. It is good practice to use more explanatory Labels with your variables as well as short-hand Names. This will help you if you come back to your data in the future and cannot remember it as well as you thought (it happens to everyone!) or if you pass on your data to somebody else.

Approach 1: Type in data, or copy and paste

You may create a new, blank document and save it in SPSS Statistics default format. Set up your variables carefully, including the variable type (e.g. Number) and number of decimal places, before you type any data in. This is especially important if you choose to copy and paste your data in from another source such as a spreadsheet, or you risk your data being rounded down to integers.

SPSS Data Editor showing valuesRemember to use a numerical variable type wherever possible, even if your data appears to be in labelled categories such as Yes/No or UK/Europe/World. SPSS works best with numbers, so record your categories as integers (e.g. 0/1 for No/Yes) then assign value labels once it is in SPSS (that’s the Values column in the Variable View).

To toggle the display of the data category labels and the numbers behind them, go to View -> Value Labels when in the Data View tab.

This post will continue soon with Part 2.


IBM SPSS Statistics version 20 was used in this blog post, but the methods should apply to older and newer versions too. The data in the screenshots come from a British Crime Survey, 2010, and were prepared by The Cathy Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research.

Categories: General Business Tags: , , ,

Social Science sites recommended by LSE Library

March 31, 2014 1 comment

LSElibraryblogJust added the LSE Library Blog to the blogroll widget on the right side.

The LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) Library Blog does a regular feature that highlights online resources of interest. The most recent Social Science sites of the week from LSE library (28 March 2014)  includes sections on women on boards, engaging with massive online courses, research ethics guide book, and the Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA).

The blog also has an excellent post about the recent UK budget with lots of links to additional online resources – UK Budget: get the facts with LSE Library’s recommended academic resources (19 March 2014)

In addition, you have to like a blog that includes a post on the economics of chocolate - Celebrate Valentines day with our economics of chocolate special (14 February 2014)

If you are interested in the UK budget, there is a “TweetMap” and commentary from Anita Greenhill of Manchester Business School - The social media reaction to #Budget2014

For more on women on boards try the Corporate Law and Governance blog board diversity posts.


Categories: Business Libraries

Bloomberg help changes

Bloomberg help screen (click to expand)

Bloomberg help screen (click to expand)

<HELP> X 2 – press the help key twice – to start a live instant message (IM)  session with the Bloomberg helpdesk. This has been such a core part of the help available on Bloomberg Professional that it is a surprise to see it change.

<HELP> X 2 – now gives a screen that describes various ways of exploring Bloomberg’s online help and, at the foot, a link to “submit a question to the Bloomberg Help Desk and receive a response in one business day”

A number of academic Bloomberg subscribers have reported this change. However, there is no mention of it as a recent update so may not apply to all Bloomberg users. (Further evidence for this is that there are frequent references to the live help on Bloomberg.)

Bloomberg email help form (click to expand)

Bloomberg email help form (click to expand)

Following the Bloomberg Help Desk link you get a form that is very similar to the old IM form for live help. The differences include the email address field and the clear statement that the email response will be “by the next business day”.

When you submit you get a reference number.

The email query facility works. I submitted a question around 10:00am and got a response about 3 hours later.

The email reply does contain a paragraph that suggests this new procedure for contacting the Bloomberg help desk has not been thought through.

This response from the Bloomberg Help Desk has been forwarded to your external email address at your request. Please do not respond to this email. For a full log of this and other inquiries please login to the Bloomberg and run HDSK<GO> or for further assistance press the <HELP> key twice and reference H#47…

To get clarification of the reply to my question I follow this – as described above when I press the <HELP> key twice I have to email my query to the Bloomberg Help Desk (and get another reference number).

Posts in praise of the old live help service:

Help! Help Help! and CHEAT: Getting Assistance on Bloomberg (datapoints blog, October 2013)

Bloomberg… real time information on just about everything (Judge Business School Library blog, March 2014)


WRDS – available databases update

March 21, 2014 1 comment

WRDS-iconUniversity of Manchester researchers now have access to additional databases on WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) following a recent review of the data needed to support current and planned research. These changes are not always easy to see in the menu of “Current Subscriptions” on the left side when you login with a WRDS username and password.

University of Manchester (UoM) main WRDS subscriptions (we don’t subscribe to everything) are:

WRDS University of Manchester subscriptions (click to expand)

WRDS University of Manchester subscriptions (click to expand)

  • Bureau van Dijk – Amadeus (European companies) and Bankscope (banks worldwide)
  • COMPUSTAT (North America) – “S&P Capital IQ’s Compustat North America is a database of U.S. and Canadian fundamental and market information on active and inactive publicly held companies”.
  • COMPUSTAT Execucomp – Executive Compensation for North American companies
  • CRSP – US Stocks and Indices (annual update) – “The Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) maintains the most comprehensive collection of security price, return, and volume data for the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ stock markets.”
  • CRSP/Compustat MergedCCM – “The gold standard in academic research, The CRSP/COMPUSTAT Merged Database allows for concurrent database access to CRSP’s stock data and Compustat’s fundamental data.”
  • CSMAR – “The China Stock Market & Accounting Research Database is designed and developed by GTA Information Technology – one of major providers of China data. The CSMAR Databases offer data on the China stock markets and the financial statements of China’s listed companies. “
  • EVENTUS – “Eventus performs event studies using data read directly from CRSP stock databases or pre-extracted from any source.”
  • IBES - I/B/E/S from Thomson Reuters – “I/B/E/S International Inc. created their Academic Research Program over 30 years ago to provide both summary and individual analyst forecasts of company earnings, cash flows, and other important financial items, as well as buy-sell-hold recommendations.”
WRDS Not in UoM subscription (click to expand)

WRDS Not in UoM subscription (click to expand)

  • LSPD –  “The London Share Price Database (LSPD) is a unique, comprehensive database of UK stock returns covering over 9,000 UK shares from 1955 to date.”
  • Mergent FISD - The Mergent Fixed Income Securities Database (FISD) is a comprehensive database of publicly-offered U.S. bonds.
  • Option Metrics  - “Ivy DB OptionMetrics is a comprehensive source of historical price and implied volatility data for the US equity and index options markets”
  • Risk Metrics – “RiskMetrics (through ISS Governance Services) is a leader in corporate governance data. IRRC was initially the data provider for WRDS. IRRC, however, was acquired by ISS in 2005.”
  • TAQ -”The Trade and Quote (TAQ) database contains intraday transactions data (trades and quotes) for all securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and American Stock Exchange (AMEX), as well as Nasdaq National Market System (NMS) and SmallCap issues.”
  • Thomson Reuters ownership ( 13F, Insiders, Mutual Funds ) – “Thomson-Reuters Institutional Holdings (13F) Database provides Institutional Common Stock Holdings and Transactions, as reported on Form 13F filed with the SEC.”


The WRDS current subscriptions list also include databases that are free to all WRDS subscribers. A list of these is available on the “What is WRDS?” page. More detailed information on WRDS datasets is available to all on their Our Datasets page (no subscription required)

Most of our WRDS subscriptions are US (North America) only – exceptions include Amadeus (European companies), Bankscope (banks worldwide), CSMAR (China), LSPD (UK) and IBES. (IBES is split into a US file (the default) and an International file.)

WRDS subscriptions are complicated as many providers have multiple databases and the University of Manchester may only subscribe to some. For example, for CRSP we subscribe to US stocks and indices, CRSP/Compustat merged, treasuries and mutual funds, but not to the CRSP Ziman REIT database.

  • CRSP Treasuries – “The CRSP US Treasury and Inflation Series contain returns and index levels on the US Government Bond Fixed Term Index Series, and the Risk Free Rates File.”
  • CRSP Mutual Funds – “As the provider of the only complete database of both active and inactive mutual funds, CRSP leads the way in mutual fund research.”

WRDS does provide some online help for selecting appropriate databases for different types of data, but this help does not take account of our subscriptions. An alternative view of UoM subscriptions is given on the MyWRDS tab and Products page.

Related Posts

US company data on WRDS (posted March 2012)

S&P 500 (Standard and Poor’s 500 Index) (posted December 2011)

WRDS – Wharton Research Data Services (posted March 2011)




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