Key Financials: WRDS

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Presentation by Andy Priestner given at the Key Financials Day held at the University of Aston in December 2009.

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Key Financials: WRDS

  1. 1.
  2. 2. What is it?Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is a web-based business data research service from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.<br />How many subscribers?250 institutions around the world.<br />Who uses it?Researchers in the fields of economics and finance use it to gain access to financial, economic, and marketing data though a uniform, web-based interface.<br />And some brave librarians…<br />What databases can you access through it? Compustat, CRSP, I/B/E/S, First Call, NYSE-TAQ, Eventus, RiskMetrics, Bureau van Dijk databases, Global Insight, etc.<br />
  3. 3. What are the key benefits?1. WRDS provides a common interface to a variety of databases, simplifying extraction and increasing productivity. WRDS may be accessed through three methods: (a) the Web interface, (b) a UNIX terminal session on the WRDS host, and (c) PC SAS Connect.  Connecting to WRDS for a terminal session, users can run a custom program in SAS, C or Fortran to retrieve data.<br />2. Offering of sophisticated tools and sample programs which allow users to conduct event studies, test asset-pricing models using Fama-French portfolios, calculate bid-ask spreads on different exchanges and securities.<br />3. Support team formed of doctoral-level research specialists who are available to assist online via a 24/7 Help Desk. They assist with questions pertaining to database access, data queries, and programming in SAS, FORTRAN, or C.<br />WRDS claim other benefits but I don’t consider them to be anywhere near as significant as the above three.<br />
  4. 4. What does it cost?It is very expensive. You first have to pay for the interface and then for any of the databases you want to run through it. <br />Judge Business School costs breakdown 2009/10:<br />WRDS interface 23k<br />Compustat 21.5k<br />CRSP 21.5k<br />Eventus 1.5k<br />RiskMetrics 3.5k<br />TOTAL 71k<br />N.B. There are a few freebie tools.<br />FundingCambridge Endowment Research Fund<br />Dollar exchange<br />
  5. 5. Demo: https://wrds-web.wharton.upenn.edu<br />Problems:<br /><ul><li>Cost!
  6. 6. Set-up
  7. 7. Expectation of understanding
  8. 8. Significant investment of staff time
  9. 9. Not the best training support
  10. 10. Leads to other demands e.g. SAS
  11. 11. Account model
  12. 12. Time spent as WRDS representatives
  13. 13. Do users REALLY need to access it?
  14. 14. Usage/‘bedding down’ time</li>

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