After reading the post “Social Media Report 2012” (Academic Trend & Innovations blog, Doriot Library, INSEAD Business School), and the Nielsen report it highlights, I have been thinking about social media and research. There are at least three aspects:
- Research into the impact of social media on businesses and the world of work in general
- The use of social media by academic researchers and research communities
- Social media as part of the online presence of academic libraries
The Nielsen report provides a useful overview – but so general that it made me want to find something more specific. Manchester eScholar identified some University of Manchester research:
- Hughes, D. H., Rowe, M. Batey, M. & Lee, A (2012) “A tale of two sites: Twitter vs. Facebook and the personality predictors of social media usage” Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2) pp. 561-569. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2011.11.001 - Manchester eScholar. (For full-text use FindIt@UML for Computers in Human Behavior)
- Demetriou, G. (2012) Organisational Social Media Platforms: exploring user participation behaviours in software and technology firms. PhD Thesis, The University of Manchester, Manchester eScholarID:157374
- Zhu, Y, and Proctor, R. (2012) “Use of blogs, Twitter and Facebook by PhD Students for Scholarly Communication: A UK study”. In: 2012 China New Media Communication Association Annual Conference, Macao International Conference ; 06 Dec 2012-08 Dec 2012; Macao, Manchester eScholarID:187789
- Tuten, T. and Solomon, M. (2012) Social Media Marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ USA: Pearson Education. eScholarID:157026 (UoM Library catalogue entry)
The Nielsen report did mention that an increasing number of people are using social media as their medium of choice for contacting companies. So far I have not been able to find any research on this topic.
Please leave details if there is research you recommend on any of the three aspects above.
A query this morning uncovered a situation where some care is needed when searching in Thomson Reuters Datastream.
We were looking for the “book to market” value for a company. It turns out that Datastream does not have this datatype. It does have Market To Book Value (MTBV), but even this can be difficult to find.
- If you search for name contains “book” you get 618 results – rather a lot to scroll through
- If you search for name contains “market” you get 205 results – still a lot to scroll through
- If you search for name contains “book market” you get 0 (zero) results -
- Using both search boxes for name contains “book” AND name contains “market” will give you Market To Book Value (MTBV)
After finding Market To Book Value (MTBV) you can get “book to market”:
- the inverse – book to market = 1/MTBV
- use constituents and calculate – book to market = WC03501/MV (ordinary (common) equity / market value)
- use constituents and Datastream expression
Datastream, Worldscope and Units (August 2011, updated April 2013)
Worldscope accounting data – finding data tips (July 2011)
Worldscope is the global company accounts “database” from Thomson Reuters and thus a key research resource for company information. It is accessed using either Datastream (active and inactive companies) or Thomson One Banker (active companies only).
Worldscope is designed to allow comparison of companies that report under different accounting rules worldwide. In addition, it records company information using four templates: banks, industrial companies, insurance companies and other financial companies. This means that many of Worldscope’s datatypes only have values for a subset of the companies covered (e.g. US companies).
For full details of the Worldscope methodology and the definitions of the datatypes you can consult the Worldscope Data Definitions Guide (Issue 14) available from the Datastream Extranet.
The Worldscope Coverage Report, also available from the Datastream Extranet, for 28th Feb 2013 includes the following coverage information:
- Argentina – total companies 144, active 105, inactive 39
- Australia – total companies 2903, active 1957, inactive 946
- United Kingdom – total companies 5093, active 1890, inactive 3203
- United States – total companies 21130, active 9175, inactive 11955
- All countries – total companies 74757, active 46704, inactive 28053
The Worldscope Data Definitions Guide (Issue 14) and Worldscope Coverage Report are also available in the folder Database Manuals\Worldscope when using the database PCs in the Eddie Davies Library
Related Worldscope posts:
- Worldscope – company accounts data definitions (April 2011)
- Datastream, Worldscope and Units (August 2011)
- Worldscope accounting data – finding data tips (July 2011)
Worldscope is not the only database for company accounts (financials) – for example Compustat, available through WRDS, is very popular with researchers studying US companies and Bloomberg’s Financial Analysis (FA) function gives company account information.
The term “company financials” is often used rather than “company accounts”.
Visiting the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight I realised that this was an early example of corporate social responsibilty (CSR). The gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever and dedicated to the memory of his wife Elizabeth. Lever believed in the ability of art to enrich the lives of individuals and communities, especially his workers in the purpose-built Port Sunlight village.
Lever was also conscious of his company brand and no doubt aware that the gallery was excellent for his image as a model victorian employer. He is also famous for choosing some of the paintings be bought because they were suitable for his Sunlight Soap adverts. The famous image on the right comes from the painting The New Frock by William Powell Frith and as a famous sunight soap advert it can be see in the post “So Clean” on Karen Lee’s blog.
For definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility:
- Dahlsrud, A. (2008), “How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions”, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 15(1), pp. 1–13 , Available at: doi: 10.1002/csr.132 (Accessed: 7 April 2013).
- University of Manchester Library catalogue corporate social responsibility electronic resources
For current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) talking points:
For MBS/University of Manchester research try Manchester eScholar corporate AND social AND responsibility
The image above right is the cover of – Lewis, B. (2008) So Clean: Lord Leverhulme, soap and civilisation. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [University of Manchester Library catalogue link for Lewis 2008 "So Clean..." ]
PS. Lord Leverhulme’s soap company, Lever Brothers Limited, joined with a Dutch company, Naamlooze Vennootschap Margarine Uniein, in 1930 to become Unilever – a company better known by its brands than by its own name. For details see Understanding [Unilever] NV & PLC shares.
The default for Datastream is to give data, price (P), market value (MV), total assets (WC02999) etc., in local currency. However, when doing regional or global comparisons it can often be useful to convert to a standard currency, such as US dollars.
You can convert a Datastream datatype to a different currency by using the “$” button on the request, or selecting the target currency from the drop-down list.
P is the datatype for adjusted price
X(P)~U$ is the adjusted price converted to US dollars
X(P)~E is the adjusted price converted to Euros
This currency conversion is using one of the simplest expressions available in Datastream. For further examples see:
- Functions and Expressions in Datastream and Extranet (Databaser blog 15 Mar 2010)
- Total shareholder return (posted 29 July 2011)
- Beta values – for companies (posted 5 March 2010)
Next week we are hosting new Bloomberg Professional training events, presented by specialists from Bloomberg.
Technical Analysis: Basic Theory & Application in Bloomberg
Wednesday 20th March 2pm-4pm
MBS East B3
Fixed Income & Interest Rate Derivatives
Thursday 21st March 1.30pm-3pm
MBS West 3.101
No booking necessary, open to all current students and members of staff.
Hope to see you there.
Bloomberg Professional is such a large finanical information system that you can always learn something from other users.
The Lippincott Library Datapoints blog has recently included a selection of posts on Bloomberg highlights to “show off some of Bloomberg’s most interesting features”:
Bloomberg’s Mapping Module (BMAP), Supply Chain Analysis (SPLC), World Market Capitalization (WCAP)
Industry Analysis (BI), Bloomberg Career Center (JOBS), World Stock Exchanges (EPR)
Bloomberg Social Media Alert, Private Company Information, Analyst Reports (BRC)
[The FTSE 350 is the 100 largest (most highly capitalised) companies (FTSE 100) plus the 250 next largest companies (FTSE 250) on the London stock exchange.]
- Katherine Lucy Garrett-Cox - ALLIANCE TRUST PLC
- Cynthia Caroll - ANGLO AMERICAN PLC
- Angela Jean Ahrendts - BURBERRY GROUP PLC
- Doctor Louise Makin - BTG PLC (British Technology Group International PLC prior to 03/1995)
- Dorothy Carrington Thompson - DRAX GROUP PLC
- Carolyn Julia McCall - EASYJET PLC
- Alison J Cooper - IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUP PLC
- Ruby McGregor-Smith - MITIE GROUP PLC
- Lynn Rosanne Fordham - SVG CAPITAL PLC (Schroder Ventures International Investment Trust PLC prior to 05/2004)
- The Hon. Diana (Dido) Mary Harding - TALKTALK TELECOM GROUP PLC
- Kathryn (Kate) Elizabeth Swann - WH SMITH PLC
BoardEx turned out to be the easiest database to find this information. In others (e.g. Thomson One Banker, Orbis) it is possible to go from a company to director information but not to search for a company based on directors’ characteristics.
Even BoardEx has limitations since its search capabilities only covers current executives. The list above is current information – it doesn’t include Dame Marjorie Morris Scardino who was CEO of PEARSON PLC (owners of the Financial Times) until 31 December 2012.
[Image above is Google's logo for International Women's Day 2013]
Angela Ahrendts (CEO of Burberry) appears at no 45 in the Forbes list The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
There are times when the database query doesn’t match the data that you are trying to obtain. For example, you have a list of X companies and for each company the date of an event E (e.g. a merger) but the database query has to be in terms of a list of X companies and a date range Ya-Yb.
WRDS is a typical example – you have a list of 100 gvkey – year pairs where you want some accounting data from Compustat NA (North America). The company identifier gvkey is used to identify companies in Compustat so you can use it in WRDS Compustat queries.
Option 1 – Multiple WRDS requests
Sort your list by the year and create a company list for each year, say N lists. You then make N WRDS-Compustat requests using the relevant company list and year. Finally you combine the N results.
This option is good if you have to make a few requests (i.e N is small)
Option 2 – One WRDS request and select the results you want
Calculate the range of years that you need. You then make one WRDS-Compustat request covering all these years.
If you have 1990-2010 you could now have a result set with 2100 observations (21 years times 100 companies) and you need to select the 100 relevant ones.
You can do this selection using the Merge command in a Statistics package (the following uses Stata as an example)
- Decide on the variable names in your WRDS results that are going to identify the observations of interest (for example gvkey and fyear)
- If necessary, Convert the WRDS results into a Stata dataset and save this.
- Create a Stata dataset of your 100 gvkey-year pairs using the same variable names as in your WRDS results dataset (e.g. gvkey and fyear).
(If necessary you may need to note and eliminate duplicates from this dataset – Stata commands duplicates list and drop duplicates)
- Merge your gvkey-year dataset with your WRDS results:
merge gvkey fyear using “P:\Projects\BMAN70162\acqwrds.dta”, unique sort
(Note ”P:\Projects\BMAN70162\acqwrds.dta” is the file saved at step 2)
- You should have one match for each observation in your gvkey-year dataset. This is indicated by the new Stata variable _merge = 3.
Observations with _merge = 1 indicate there was no matching entry in the WRDS result dataset – this might require further investigation.
- Observations with _merge = 2 are all the extra results you want to eliminate.
This technique does not depend on Stata – other Statistics packages provide similar merge functions but the detail of the commands will vary. (Indeed, it is probably possible to do this in Excel.)
The decision of the credit rating agency Moody’s to downgrade the United Kingdom from AAA to Aa1 has been widely reported in the news recently.
- UK loses top AAA credit rating for the first time since 1978 (BBC News 23 Feb 2013)
- Rating Action: Moody’s downgrades UK’s government bond rating to Aa1 from Aaa (Moody’s 22 Feb 2013) – Moody’s ratings definitions
- UK Becomes Next Major Economy to have Credit Rating Downgraded (Euromonitor blog 25 Feb 2013)
Bankscope gives access to the current sovereign debt ratings from Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch.
At the Bankscope home page, select Help and Country ratings list:
Bloomberg Professional also has sovereign debt ratings – use function CSDR (Sovereign Ratings)
Selecting a country will launch CRPR (Credit Rating Profile) for more detail.
Selecting a rating will give the historical changes in a pop-up window.
Global Insight (from IHS) provides its own Sovereign Risk Ratings and how these compare with Fitch, S&P, and Moody’s.
For example on 27 Feb 2013:
- France is among the top rating “0 AAA Highest Quality” but given a “Higher Risk” by Fitch, S&P and Moody’s.
- Australia is among the rating “5 AA Very High Quality” but given a ”Lower Risk” by Fitch, S&P and Moody’s.
IHS Global Insight covers 204 countries including many that are not covered by Fitch, S&P and Moody’s. For example, Zimbabwe “85 C Poorest Quality” and Somalia “95 D Poorest Quality“.