🔊Company and Financial information: choosing a database

In this podcast we explore the titles and coverage of some of the most specialist financial and business databases available to you in the Library

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Company and financial information — choosing a database — podcast on SoundCloud


Hi, my name is Phil, I am a Data Specialist here at Manchester. In this podcast we are going to focus on the specialist financial and business databases that are available to you in the Library. We will look at the titles and coverage of some of the most important databases that we are fortunate to have access to.

Of the many specialist business and financial databases available, you can be guided to make an appropriate selection by following our online support or by instructions from your course tutors and previous research.

You may wish to conduct similar research to that published in a paper. In many circumstances, you can use the same database platform. However, if you modify the study to look at a different part of the world, for example, you may have to use a different database.

Some resources are available online for use anywhere in the world with your University login, others require you to come into the Library to use.

These tools are often the same ones used in industry; they may assume that their users have extensive subject knowledge. Some are very old pieces of software that assume the user will read through an instruction manual before getting started! We will help you to get started with the features you need to know.

There are many specialist financial databases available at The University of Manchester Library, and many ways to group or categorise them. Here, we will break them down into four groups.

The first group are the flagship databases which are usually only available from the Eddie Davies Finance Zone. These are Bloomberg, Datastream and SDC Platinum.

  • Bloomberg and Datastream both provide access to data on quoted equities and markets, economic social & governance (or ESG) data, from across the world.
  • Bloomberg also includes news, reports and filings, analyst estimates. You may have seen Bloomberg in the background of financial news reports as it is used by traders and others for live, up-to-date information.
  • Datastream is far better for historical data, also including economic data, and is available via an Excel add-in. You need to book a slot with an Eikon ID to use Datastream.
  • SDC Platinum contains details of deals such as initial public offerings, mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies.
  • You can access the Finance Zone from off campus using the remote cluster service. Use this for Datastream, SDC Platinum and statistical software such as SAS and Stata.

The second group also cover currently trading, quoted companies from around the world:

  • Eikon contains financial reports, share prices, ownership, analyst and annual reports, and details of deals such as initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions. It works in any modern web browser but you must book a slot to use one of the shared logins from the Library website.

The third group are the databases available through a common interface called Wharton Research Data Services (“W.R.D.S.” or “wards”). WRDS [pronounce this W.R.D.S. from now on] is developed by researchers for researchers, it is widely used and well respected.

It contains several databases which are subscribed to individually and features a standard web query interface with excellent support for bulk download. You may have been given a class account to access WRDS, otherwise you must register for a personal account which we usually approve within 1 working day. Use WRDS to access databases including:

  • CRSP for US stock prices;
  • Compustat for quoted company financials, split into North America and Global data sets;
  • CRSP-Compustat Merged (or CCM) which combines the two; and
  • Eventus to perform event studies on US companies.

The fourth group cover quoted and private companies.

  • Fame provides financial and ownership data for all registered companies in the UK and Ireland, going back 20 years. It also has UK credit ratings.
  • Capital IQ provides financial and ownership data for quoted and private companies around the world. It also has details of deals such as initial public offerings, mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies.

In summary, the Library offers access to many industry standard financial databases. These resources have a reputation of being difficult to use but we will help you to use them effectively. I encourage you to listen to these podcasts and replay any sections you wish, plus use the online resources and the previously asked questions.

Further posts and podcasts on this topic

Further support



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store