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WRDS FAQs

1. What is WRDS?

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the leading data research platform and business intelligence tool for over 30,000 corporate, academic, government and nonprofit clients in 33 countries. We provide single-point access to over 200 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines, including Accounting, Banking, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Statistics.

Developed in 1993 to support faculty research at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, our service has since evolved to become the standard tool for a global research community.

WRDS offers flexible data delivery options, from Web interface and PC SAS Connect to the powerful WRDS Cloud. No other data management system offers so many options. Our state-of-the-art infrastructure gives users the power to analyze complex information at speeds of up to 400MB per second.  From client-centered research support to analytics and consulting services, WRDS is the global gold standard in data management and research, all backed by the credibility and leadership of the WhartonSchool.

WRDS has evolved to become the blobal gold standard for a global research community of over 30,000 users at 350+ institutions.

2. What data is available through WRDS?

WRDS data is compiled from independent sources that specialize in specific historical data. Some sources include Capital IQ, NYSE Euronext, CRSP, and Thomson Reuters, and more specialized sources such as Markit, FactSet, Hedge Fund Research, Inc., Eventus, and GSIOnline with more added regularly to meet the growing needs of our clients. 

The data available through WRDS covers thousands of companies, including security prices and trading volume, income and balance sheet items, stock market indices, bond prices and interest rates, mutual fund and stock ownership information, options data , and a wide array of macroeconomic time series, global data, marketing and industry reports.

The Wharton School maintains distribution agreements for data with each distributor and stores the accumulated data on the Wharton UNIX network. The data can be accessed by the user whose school maintains a license agreement with The Wharton School and subscribe to the appropriate data sources.

The following is a quick reference chart to the most commonly used data.

DATA DISTRIBUTOR DATA SETS
Balance sheets, income statements and other company-based financial items Capital IQ Compustat Industrial, Full Coverage, Research, and Backdata Annual/Quarterly, Business Industry Segments Price, Dividends, Earnings
Stock prices and returns, Mutual Fund and CRSP Compustat Merged CRSP Monthly / Daily Stock Files, Indices files, Mutual Fund and CCM
Intraday stock price bid and ask quotes NYSE Euronext TAQ Trades and Quotes
Analysts Estimates Thomson Reuters IBES Daily Detailed History, Summary History
U.S. Treasury interest rates CRSP Bonds, Bills, and Inflation files
Bank financials Capital IQ Compustat Bank Annual / Quarterly
Banking industry conditions FDIC All files
U.S. Macro Economics Global Insight (formerly DRI) Annual, Quarterly and, Monthly BASIC Economics
International Economics Global Insight (formerly DRI) Annual, Quarterly and, Monthly BASIC Economics
International Firm-level data Capital IQ Compustat /Global Vantage Annual
Options Optionmetrics Daily
Executive Compensation Capital IQ Compustat /Execucomp Annual

I.  Data provided at no cost:
As part of the subscription to WRDS, the following datasets are available at no cost:
 
Bank Regulatory Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Blockholders Federal Bank Reports
CBOE Indexes IRI Marketing Factbook: Point of Sale
CUSIP Master File (academic only) Philadelphia Stock Exchange United Currency Options
Direct Marketing Educational Foundation SEC Disclosure of Order Execution
Dow Jones TRACE (academic subscribers only)
Fama-French (Research) Portfolios and Factors           Penn World Tables


  
II.  Additional Data:
The WRDS subscription fee does not include access to data from the vendors listed below.  Each institution is responsible for maintaining a separate license for the data.
 
AuditAnalytics Optionmetrics
Bureau van Dijk KLD
Capital IQ Mergent
Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) NYSE Euronext
comScore PACAP
Eventus RentBureau
Global Insight/DRI Riskmetrics
GMI Ratings S&P Capital IQ
GovPX Treasuries (ICAP) Thomson Reuters
GSI Online  FactSet                                                           
ISSM  Hedge Fund Research
Morningstar CISDM  London Share Price Data (LSPD)
Markit  WRDS SEC Analytics Suite
WRDS Quant Alpha Zacks

3. How do I access data through WRDS?

Flexible Delivery Options

  • Web interface.  Research one firm or several hundred firms simultaneously. All the databases have a common interface and a consistent data format through online queries.  
     
  • PC SAS Connect.  The power of a Unix system in a familiar Windows environment.  Use SAS on your PC to submit jobs on the WRDS cloud or download data directly to your PC and analyze using our extensive site, programs and utilities.
     
  • WRDS Cloud. The WRDS Cloud leverages our unique infrastructure to process submitted information producing results with greater proficiency, resulting in vastly shorter processing periods for our clients. With increased computing power, additional time can be focused on research and analysis.  Connect to WRDS for a terminal session, run custom programs in SAS to retrieve data.  Other languages available on the WRDS system include C and FORTRAN.
  • Matlab, Stata, R, Python.


4.  What are the Terms of Use for WRDS?

Please review the full WRDS Terms of Use for additional information, highlighting topics including access by Co-Authors, Privacy and Account Information.

5.  What is a trial account?
Trial account allows access to WRDS and sample sets of data, and all WRDS features for a limited period. Trial accounts are offered to full-time faculty and staff at qualifying academic and goverment institutions and corporate firms.

Email WRDS Support for trial information.
 
6.  How can I get more information about subscribing to WRDS?

Email WRDS Support for subscription information.
 

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