A quick list of our five most-used financial market databases, which I hope will make a little clearer the strengths of each from a research perspective.
WRDS – WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) is the premier research database for business school academics worldwide. It provides a Web-query interface that is designed by researchers for researchers. At the University of Manchester, our subscriptions include: Compustat (North America), CRSP (stocks, indices, treasuries), CRSP/Compustat Merged (CCM), IBES (US and International), Thomson Reuters US Ownership (mutual funds, institutional-13f, insiders). For a fuller list see – Which databases are available through WRDS? In summary, if you are researching the US financial market then WRDS is well worth a look.
Datastream – Datastream from Thomson Reuters covers financial markets world wide. It is the most used database for quantitative research on UK equities. Licence and software restrictions mean that it is only available on specific PCs. Datastream’s coverage includes equities, equity indices, constituent lists, interest rates, economics. It includes Worldscope for company accounts, and IBES summary data.
Thomson One Banker – Thomson One Banker, also from Thomson Reuters, is a database that is aimed at financial market professionals rather than researchers. Compared with Datastream there is significant overlap, including Worldscope and IBES summary data, but it does not provide as much historical data, does not include most inactive (dead) companies, and does not cover interest rates and economics. However, it does have a Web-interface and this gives access to modules – Deals Analysis, Ownership and Private Equity – that are not part of Datastream.
[Update June 2014 – Thomson ONE.com is (or T1.com) is Thomson Reuters replacement product for Thomson One Banker.]
SDC Platinum – SDC Platinum, again from Thomson Reuters is a database that covers deals: mergers, acquisitions, IPOs (initial public offerings), secondary offerings. There is significant overlap between SDC Platinum and the Deals Analysis module in Thomson One Banker, but researchers often prefer SDC Platuinum because it doe not have the same restrictions on downloading data. See SDC Platinum and TOB deals for more detail.
Bloomberg – Bloomberg Professional, from Bloomberg, covers financial markets worldwide. It is also aimed at financial market professionals – providing lots of functions that give users an overview of the current state of the market. Like Datastream Bloomberg is only available on specific PCs. Bloomberg provides descriptive information, research and financial statistics on public companies worldwide; financial market information on currencies, commodities, bonds, indices, interest rates, derivatives; economic statistics; and over 3,000 business news stories per day. Bloomberg does not provide as much historical data as more research-oriented databases like WRDS and Datastream.
Professional development perspective
If you are interesting in getting a job in the city then your priorities are different from a researcher- you would probably choose to look at Bloomberg first, then Thomson One Banker, Datastream, WRDS and SDC Platinum.
For Mergers and Acquisitions information:
- Bloomberg has the easiest to use interface and excellent linking with news and company information
- Thomson One Banker (deals module) has a web interface and is well respected in industry as a source of summary tables about deal activity
- SDC Platinum is old fashioned but well regarded by researcher for its ability to provide data on hundreds of M&A deals in a single request.
SDC Platinum and Thomson One Banker Deals are the two main databases we have for financial deal information ( mergers and acquisitions (M&A), new issues, …). Thomson One Banker is available from any web-connected PC, but you need to use Internet Explorer, while SDC Platinum is only available on the Database PCs in the Eddie Davies Library.
There is a library database guide for Thomson One Banker deals on the MBS intranet. (We are working on updating an old SDC Platinum one. The Baker library at Harvard provides some helpsheets – http://www.library.hbs.edu/helpsheets/)
Where can I get instructions for searching the databases?
Where can I find instructions for searching SDC Platinum?
Both databases are from Thomson Reuters and there is considerable overlap in the data available, particularly in mergers and acquisitions. This means that you can:
- Use Thomson One Banker deals to explore the different datatypes, both for defining search criteria and including in results.
- Use SDC Platinum if you want to download a large amount of data. (Thomson One Banker deals has a limit to the number of rows that can be downloaded.)
When downloading data from Thomson One Banker deals or SDC Platinum you will want to include a company identifier datatype if you need to link with other databases: e.g. acquiror cusip, target cusip, acquiror datastream (DS) code, target datastream (DS) code.
Following a training session on finding Mergers and Acquisitions data, revised
[We had temporary access to SDC Platinum joint ventures in Feb-Mar 2010, but that is no longer available as it is not part of our subscription. June 2010]