Archive for the ‘News & Feedback’ Category

Bloomberg for Education Symposium 2019 highlights

14 June 2019 Leave a comment
Bloomberg cup

Bloomberg cup and flyer

On 14 June 2019 I went to the annual Bloomberg for Education Symposium in London. It was a good way to keep up with developments in this highly regarded and utilised finance tool, plus a chance to network with other business librarians and academics.

I made extensive notes, too many topics to cover here, but I have summarised the highlights most relevant to our Business Data Service colleagues at The University of Manchester Library.

  1. Bloomberg Market Concepts has been updated
  2. BQL is set to improve Excel download efficiency
  3. A few other things

1. Bloomberg Market Concepts has been updated

  • The online certification course Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) has a new module course titled ‘Portfolio Management’. This module covers the role of a portfolio manager, creating a portfolio, analysing historical performance, and evaluating future risk. It brings the total approximate duration of BMC to 12 hours, across five content modules plus the ‘Getting Started’ module.
  • The content across all the modules has been updated (56% of questions) to reflect changes in the sector.

2. BQL is set to improve Excel download efficiency

  • The traditional Excel commands to download Bloomberg data (such as BDP) often require users to download many data points to perform calculations. Such downloads commonly trip an institution’s daily or monthly download limits.
  • An extensive new query language BQL has been launched which allows for powerful expression building; you can run commands that are executed on the Bloomberg servers and download just the results you need. It will also help with creating historical constituent lists.
  • “BQL is the future for delivering data” says Gareth Jones, Regional Head of Application Specialists. So we (well, mostly me) should spend some time learning it and delivering it to students and academics.

3. A few other things

  • Case studies have been rebranded ‘Bloomberg Businessweek’ and individual titles can be assigned to different students in a class by their professor.
  • Python is the most useful programming language for data analysts working in Bloomberg, it is highly desirable for employability.
  • We looked at many news functions, including sentiment analysis from social media, natural language processing, and a weekly news quiz to play across your institution.

2014 in review

5 January 2015 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: News & Feedback Tags:

Profit warnings (business news)

30 September 2014 1 comment

Tesco features heavily in the current business news following a recent profit warning. The library’s business databases are very valuable if you want to research this in more detail.

Dow Jones Factiva is a business news database that covers a wide range of newspapers and trade journals. The news articles are indexed to make it easier to locate the information you need.

The screenshot below shows results for the following search criteria:

  • Company – Tesco PLC
  • Subject – Profit Warnings
  • Date – In the last 3 months

Note that you can scroll down the left hand column to get useful summaries of the results.

Factiva - Tesco news (click to expand)

Factiva – Tesco news (click to expand)

This search does not give the Tesco profit warning. It gives all the news articles about a profit warning that also mention Tesco PLC within the article. There have been several articles about the profit warning in the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, …

Selecting an specific source, for example Financial Times, is a useful way of restricting your search results to a more manageable number from the original 471 (193 eliminating duplicates). In this example it is then easy to identify that Tesco PLC issued its profit warning on Friday 29 August 2014.

We now expect trading profit for 2014/15 to be in the range of £2.4bn to £2.5bn. Trading profit for the six months ending 23 August 2014 is expected to be in the region of £1.1bn. (Tesco PLC, 2014)

This “Trading Statement” – note that Tesco does not issue a statement that uses the term “profit warning” – is available on official RNS news from the London Stock Exchange (see LSE – News and Events – RNS). It is also available from the  PI Navigator database.

PI Navigator is a specialist database covering global company filings (e.g. annual reports, IPO propectuses, news announcements, mergers and acquistions)

The following screenshot shows results for the search criteria:

  • Company – Tesco PLC
  • Classification – Trading and Operating Updates
  • Issue Date – After 30 June 2104 (3 months)
PI Navigator - Tesco trading updates (click to expand)

PI Navigator – Tesco trading updates (click to expand)

Note that in PI Navigator it is not possible to search for profit warnings – you have to search for all the market sensitive trading updates that have been released by the company. On the plus side it is quick and easy to find the Tesco PLC Trading Statement of 29 August 2014, and the later trading update about profits for the six months to August 2014 being overstated by an estimates £250m.


Tesco PLC (2014) “Tesco PLC – TSCO Trading Statement Released 07:00 29-Aug-2014”, Available at, (Accessed 30 September 2014).

FTSE 100 Index at 30

7 January 2014 2 comments

A newspaper article mentioned that the FTSE 100 index recently celebrated its 30th birthday (Stevenson, 2014).

It is relatively easy to produce a graph of the FTSE 100 over the last 30 years, but more difficult to identify how the constituents have changed over the years.

The screenshot below is from Thomson Reuters Datastream (2014)  and Datastream also includes FTSE 100 constituent lists from January 1996. (See Historical Index constituents (e.g. FTSE 100) posted June 2011) It is easy to do a similar graph with Bloomberg but it only records the constituents from 2 January 2001.

FTSE 100 (PI - Price Index)  (click to enlarge)

FTSE 100 (PI – Price Index) (click to enlarge)

Rebecca Clancy (2014) identifies 30 current FTSE 100 companies that were there at the start and 19 of these have always been included in the index. A Financial Times article from February 14 1984 suggests that the new FTSE 100 index did not immediately replace the existing FT 30. It also records the first index change. “The only change so far has been the removal of Eagle Star on its takeover by BAT Industries, and its replacement by the next on the list, which happened to be Charterhouse J Rothschild.”  (Riley, 1984).

I have a file FTSE 100 original constituents that is consistent with the FT article (Riley, 1984) including Eagle Star and BAT Industries but not Charterhouse J Rothschild. Unfortunately I have no record of the provenance of this file, but I think it was related to the University of Manchester Library involvement in the SCoRe annual reports –  SCoRe (search company reports) website closing (posted March 2013)


Clancy, R. (2014) “FTSE 100 celebrates 30th birthday”, The Telegraph, 2 January [Online]. Available at:  (Accessed: 7 January 2014).

Datastream. (2014) Thomson Reuters Datastream. [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: January 2014)

Riley, B. (1984) “Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 Index Goes Live”, Financial Times, 14 February 1984, p. 8, Edition 29,246. Available at: Financial Times Historical Archive 1888 – 2009 (Gale Group) Gale Document Number:HS2304487684  (Accessed: 6 January 2014).

Stevenson, T. (2014) “Why I can’t stop watching the Footsie”, The Telegraph, 4 January [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 7 January 2014).

Twitter IPO (S-1) form

4 October 2013 2 comments

The Twitter SEC S-1 form (United States Securities and Exchange Commission Registration form) is available from PI Navigator (screenshot below).

The Twitter SEC S-1 form is also available directly from the SEC, however  PI Navigator is a very good database if you want to search company filings and has global coverage. (See Text searching non US company annual reports Dec 2010)

More on Twitter IPO:

Twitter announces IPO: The Pricing Game begins – applies corporate valuation techniques to the problem of pricing the Twitter IPO.

Twitter want to raise $1bn on its stock market debut (BBC News)

Twitter IPO S-1 form on PI Navigator (click to expand)

Twitter IPO S-1 form on PI Navigator (click to expand)

GSK sells Ribena and Lucozade for £1.35bn

14 September 2013 1 comment

Ribena and Lucozade (image from BBC News)

It was recently reported that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have sold the Lucozade and Ribena drinks brands to Japanese firm Suntory for £1.35bn.

GSK chose to get rid of the well-known UK brands after deciding to focus on its core pharmaceuticals business.

from Lucozade and Ribena sold to Suntory for £1.35bn (BBC Business News, 9 September 2013).

For background information on the soft drinks market.

KeyNote has

Soft Drinks (Carbonated and Concentrated) Market Update 2012 (19th Edition October 2012, Edited by Leah Tutt)

Note. All KeyNote market research reports are for the UK market.

Passport (formerly GMID) from Euromonitor has a number of report (see screenshot below) including

GlaxoSmithLinke Plc in Soft Drinks (United Kingdom), Local Company Profile 14 Jun 2013

Purchase of Lucozade Takes Suntory Holdings a Step Closer to Becoming A Truly Global Company, CAMI Article 09 Sep 2013

Passport - Ribena related reports (click to expand)

Passport – Ribena related reports (click to expand)

I choose “Ribena” for my searches – as a child I was a big fan

For more information on the deal between GSK and Suntory – search:

UK Audit Market Competition

28 August 2013 1 comment

The Competition Commission is currently involved in a  “Statutory audit services market investigation” and the recent publication of “provisional decision on remedies” has provoked some debate reported in the financial press.

CC-auditservicesAudit public dataset

The Competition Commission (CC) investigation also includes an Audit public dataset as part of the evidence (Competition Commission, 2012b).

This dataset provides 7960 observations on 856 UK companies from 2000 to 2011. The CC requested data from all firms that had audited a FTSE 350 or Top Track 100 company during the period 2006 to 2011.  The requested data formed two datasets: the engagement dataset, which is private to the CC investigation, and the public dataset, which includes audit fee, audit qualification and other public data.

The  Audit public dataset will be of interest to researchers and the accompanying report provides an excellent description of the data and the work undertaken to check and clean the data (Competition Commission, 2012a). Of particular interest was the following comment on the quality of audit fee information in commercial company information databases.

There are a number of sources that provide the required company-level information, including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, FAME and ICC. It was the CC’s intention to use one or more of these sources. However, a number of parties raised concerns about the reliability of these datasets including PwC, Deloitte and KPMG, while the problems with FAME were discussed in the OFT’s econometric analysis.13 The CC was told that publicly available data on audit fees is particularly prone to inaccuracies. For example, PwC found that 33 per cent of audit fee entries in a sample of FAME entries that it examined showed significant inaccuracies.

(Competition Commission, 2012a, Paragraph 10 footnotes deleted)


Competition Commission (2012a) Datasets in the market investigation for statutory audit services. Available at: (Accessed: 28 August 2013)

Competition Commission (2012b) Audit public dataset. Available at: (Accessed: 28 August 2013)

Facebook valuation (and evaluating a blog post)

The recent blog post Market Mood Swings: Facebook Euphoria shows that company valuation is not just about getting the data values and plugging them into an equation – it is also about judgement.

This is the most recent of several posts that provide an interesting commentary on how the markets have priced Facebook since its IPO.


How to evaluate websites (University of Manchester) (click to expand)

Evaluating this blog post

We can use this post as an example for the University of Manchester’s recently updated advice on “How to evaluate websites?”

What was the blog created for?

Personal blog on – created by Awsath Damodaran a Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University

Why was the blog created?

To disseminate Awsath Damodaran’s “not so profound thoughts about valuation, corporate finance and the news of the day!”

When was the blog last updated?

31 July 2013 (on 17 August 2013)

Who owns the blog and who posts to it?

Aswath Damodaran

fbstockpriceWhere has the content come from?

The content has come from Aswath Damodaran’s professional expertise and business news.

How was the data collected?

The data has been collected from online financial information websites, business news and Aswath Damodaran’s own website

It is not very surprising that the indications are that this post will provide information from a timely, relatively unbiased, academic perspective. It is not providing a valuation of Facebook to persuade you to buy or sell the stock or subscribe to a commercial information and/or trading system.

For another example of evaluating a website see Is that website any good? (University of Manchester online LibGuides)

Other valuations of Facebook – try analysts’ reports.

Analysts’ reports on Thomson Research

Company Financial Analysis (Global Companies)

Researching A Global Company using Bloomberg – in 15 mins

Journal ranking – 2012 JCR

24 June 2013 3 comments

The ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports (2012 JCR Social Science Edition) is now available.

To access –

The screenshot below is of the 2102 JCR Social Science Edition for subject categories: Business AND Business, Finance AND Management sorted by Impact Factor.

JCR 2012 journal rankings (click to expand)

JCR 2012 journal rankings (click to expand)

The top three journals by impact factor are:

  1. Academy of Management Review
  2. Journal of Management
  3. Academy of Management Journal

Thanks to the Academic Trends and Innovation (INSEAD) blog for their post – Top 10 journals by impact factor – Latest JCR is released.
Recently “journal ranking 2012” has been a popular search term on Business Research Plus so many people will be glad that these are now available.

Fake Tweet and Intraday Data

24 April 2013 1 comment

A fake tweet from the hacked Twitter account of Associated Press caused a sharp drop in US markets in afternoon trading (on 23 April 2013). (BBC Business News – Fake terror tweet hits US markets)

You can see the effect on the market using Bloomberg Professional to chart intra day data for an index (S&P 500 below) or individual share.

Bloomberg Line Chart S&P 500 for 23 April 2013 (UK times) - (click to expand)

Bloomberg Line Chart S&P 500 for 23 April 2013 (UK times) – (click to expand)

Bloomberg News also has a report “Associated Press Twitter Account Hacked in Market Moving Attack” (Bloomberg News April 24 05:01).

We should probably not consider it surprising that social media has the power to influence markets, nor that there is a tendency for traders to react first and they check the authenticity of information.

Bloomberg Professional has a function TWTR (Twitter Filter Builder) that allows users to build a twitter filter according to how they want to monitor the market – including seeing what is trending on Bloomberg Social Velocity (BSV).

Search for “Twitter” on Bloomberg DOCS and one document offered is “Chapter 3: Lessons Learned from Social Media” (Halloran and Thies, 2012).


Halloran, M. and Thies, C. (2012) “Chapter 3: Lessons Learned from Social Media” from The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business.  Available at: Bloomberg Professional Service [online subscription service] (Accessed 24 April 2013).