3 Ways to Use WRDS

WRDS provides a common interface to a variety of databases in order to make the process of extracting data more simple for you and help you focus on what's important - your research.

WRDS offers 3 ways of accessing data: On our website using form-based queries, through a UNIX terminal session, or using PC-SAS on your desktop computer. Each method has its own benefits and strengths. Let's take a look.

Browser-Based Access

All you need is a web browser and Internet access to query data from WRDS. No software to install, no specific programming language to learn. After you've decided on which dataset to use, you can used our web-based query form to extract and output data in the format of your choice.

Each dataset on WRDS includes a description of what's included as well as links to the pages for each query. The web-based version of WRDS is designed to work with any modern browser.

Our web queries have the same general format for all databases in WRDS. In almost all cases, you need to complete four steps.

Command Line Access

If web queries cannot provide the flexibility or capability you require, you may want to consider accessing WRDS through the command line interface (CLI).

By using a Secure Shell Client (SSH) and a terminal application to log onto WRDS, you'll be able to securely accessing WRDS data and program in SAS, FORTRAN or C - no license required.

After you've checked to see if your account offers access to WRDS via Unix, you'll need to log into the system using SSH. It's important to know that this method requires knowledge of Unix commands, as well as an understanding of programming languages.

Interactive Applications

Do you need more computing power than the command line? Perhaps it's time to upgrade to a dedicated desktop application.

WRDS works with PC-SAS, R, Matlab, and STATA. These are standalone applications that allows users to access, manage, analyze, and present data. When combined with the data available on WRDS, it allows users to undertake research-intensive tasks using powerful, specialized programs.