Business data induction 2022–06–06

Discussing Datastream request types, begin looking at lists

Previous session

This session

Discussion: what kinds of enquiries could we support at this stage?

Person A and Person Z shared their experiences and thoughts about what would happen if they were to help on Datastream enquiries today.

  • More confident to help people who already know what they are looking for or if they already know the structure of Datastream. For example, they know they want to find eg bonds, but they don’t know how to get it.
  • Would probably still struggle if the student isn’t clear on what they are asking for. For example, we could be trawling through many datatype descriptions.
  • Could get them signed on, how to find series and datatypes.
  • With business, enquirers tend to know what they are looking for more than other subject areas.

Request types: time series, static, combined

  • We took the example from last time, looking at automobile manufacturers in three countries. We selected Aston Martin Lagonda (UK), Tesla (US), Porsche (Germany).
  • We ran a time series request and explored/searched for each equity. Their mnemonics were AML, @TSLA and D:PAH3 respectively.
  • We searched for equities data items Trade Price (P), Turnover by Volume (VO) and Total Return Index (RI).
  • We chose annual data from 2010 to 2015 and submitted. We saw that there was an error for Tesla because there was no data in that range so we edited the request to run from 2010 to 2010 and submitted it again.
  • We experimented with transposed and not transposed axes.

To get static items like country, sector or currency, we have to run a separate request. This is best done in a new worksheet.

  • We ran a static request for the same three equities (we could copy and paste their mnemonics).
  • When searching for datatypes, we have to reset the Navigator to make sure we can only see static items, and only items for equities. We selected Nation (Security) (WC06026), Code — ISIN (ISIN), Mnemonic (MNEM) and Datastream Code (DSCD).
  • Submit to see the results (make sure to deselect ‘Transpose’). The first column of a static request lists the company mnemonics, compared to a time series request which lists the company name with the datatype name. If you want the company name in a static request, you have to request it specifically.

It is possible to combine static items in a time series request but only if you select them as a Custom Header.

  • In a time series request, set it up as before.
  • Click the ‘Display Custom Header’ option (or the Edit button next to it).
  • You can browse for static items here. Click the ‘+’ button after each, to make them appear under the ‘Selector’ heading. Click ‘OK’ when ready.
  • Submit the request. You will see space has been made for the static items after the first row/column.

In the combined request, the static items are repeated with each time series datatype. This feature is useful if you want to get the ISIN or other code to be aligned with your time series data, so that you can combine with something from another source such as Bloomberg.

Searching for economics data

We ran time series requests for the GDP of each country, searching the Economics data category. There is no datatype for economics series.

We tried to combine economic equity and economics series in one time series request. This did not work, because it tried to apply the Price and other datatypes to the economics series which are incompatible.

Students can conduct analysis from equities and economics data together. This goes beyond the scope of library staff support.

Start using lists

We started experimenting with saving our navigator selections as Datastream Lists. We also exported some of the searches to Excel files. This is covered in our workshop workbook Introduction to Datastream via Eikon.


  1. Reproduce today’s searches. Look for companies in another sector, for example, mining companies in Africa. Look for other economic indicators for the countries these companies are registered in, for example treasury bills or consumer price index or total exports.
  2. Work through the workshop workbook Introduction to Datastream via Eikon. Pay particular attention to the lists sections.



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