Embracing a Data-Driven World – Wharton WRDS and Compustat

By Dr. Jeffry Babb

The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business has worked with the Cornette Library to soon introduce a subscription to Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) for data, analytics, research and technology. In tandem, the Standard and Poor’s Compustat database of financial, statistical, and market information on industries and businesses.

Data, Analytics, Research, Technology

Today’s business environment is more data-driven than ever, which necessitates the need for faculty and student access to large, relevant, and timely data sets. Often coined as “Big Data,” business analytics has arisen from an expansive data environment made possible by advances in computing and data communications. The more broadly operations transpire from a networked and data-driven context, the more digitalized key elements of the social and business environment become. As you have perhaps heard said, the phone in your pocket far exceeds the computing capacity of the entire NASA Apollo Space Program by several orders of magnitude. With computing ever active, day and night, on our behalf, the sheer volume of data that spaces, and is shaped by business, creates opportunities and challenges for business research and education.

Further, as the digitalization of the business environment expands, the variety of data available continues to expand throughout organizational and business operations. Moreover, and perhaps most remarkably, is the expansive velocity with which data grows. Both mobile devices and a general move to network aware “Internet of Things” devices, create a 24/7 data environment where capture and retention of real-time data has become normative.

For faculty, students, and alumni, preparedness for business analytics and big data lies within access to the resources. WRDS and Compustat will enable students and faculty to draw from repositories of expansive business and market data. Further, WRDS, from the Wharton School of Business, and Computstat, from Standard and Poor’s Global Market Intelligence, takes faculty and students a long way towards ensuring the veracity of the data sources used in learning and research.

WRDS provides an assortment of financial and market data, global indicators and indices, and sentiment and natural language analysis services. With 50,000 users across 500 institutions, the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business joins a solid network designed to accommodate classroom, research, and professional development contexts.

Compustat offers similar value with a particular focus on up-to-date and historic market and trend data for a variety of financial tools and commodities. Moreover, Compustat serves as a nexus for industrial classification schemas and key market identifies. Of note are a variety of price databases and a collection of qualitative data on markets and industries.

The plan is to enter the new calendar year with these resources available through the Cornette Library.