$1000s in Free Market Research—At the Library!

This post originally appeared in Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Blog:

As an entrepreneur on campus, you will be impressed and excited by the types of resources the library provides. Are you looking for trade journals to read to develop ideas; industry research to learn about sectors; demographics databases to identify customers; company directories to create a list of possible competitors; financial benchmarks to draft projections; or deal summaries to understand the funding climate? The library can help! We strive to purchase resources used across academic and corporate settings, including more than 120 business related databases, most of which are available to students, faculty and staff of Penn with their PennKey and password, anywhere they have an internet connection, through the library website.

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With so many resources, it can be daunting to know where to start! Fortunately, we’ve built in some help from theLippincott Library home page. Our Research Guides are authored by our business librarians and organized by topic. Our Business FAQ offers quick answers to commonly asked questions.  But the absolute best way to learn how to navigate our resources is to contact my colleagues and me at Lippincott Library. Send us an email at lippinco@wharton.upenn.edu, call us at 215-898-5924, chat with us, stop by the library, or visit us in Huntsman in GSR 251 from 12:30 to 1:30pm, Mondays through Thursdays during the semester. We can direct you to library assets most relevant to your topic, provide instruction on effective database searching and assist you in developing a strategy to find what you want.

Do you want to scour the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal every day to track trends and news? You can do that with Factiva.

Do you want to read trade journals about the beverage industry because you are interested in launching a kombucha tea business? You can do that with Business Source Complete.

Do you want to get an overview of demographics and spending behavior of America’s pet owners? You can do that with Mintel.

Do you want to get perspective on remote patient monitoring systems? You can do that with Marketresearch.com Academic. And yes, you are reading that correctly. That report is valued at $4200, and you have access because you are affiliated with Penn.

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The resources available through the Penn Libraries are vast. Save yourself time, and contact us to explore valuable information to develop your entrepreneurial ideas. You will wonder why you didn’t talk to us sooner!

Please see our Research Guide, Entrepreneurship and Small Business for additional resources.

MSCR – Bloomberg’s Municipal Bond Screening Function

Bloomberg’s MSCR function allows you to search a file of more than a million outstanding municipal bonds based on criteria of your choice.

The main search screen shows a search for bonds issued by Philadelphia institutions of higher education.

msrc screen ok

The spreadsheet below gives a page of the resulting list using the default headings. A 154.75 million dollar bond by the University of Pennsylvania is highlighted. Clicking on a row in the spreadsheet allows the display of additional bond details.

Univ PA lisrt

The first page of a description of the Penn Bond is shown.

Penn bond detail

The columns in the output can be edited. For example, for a spreadsheet showing the bonds issued by municipalities with a Moody’s rating of below investment grade (Ba1 to C) we would want a column showing the Moody rating associated with each bond.  Search variables are not automatically added as columns in the display. To add a column or columns, follow this sequence:

Actions => Edit => Display

Choose variables wanted and click APPLY

For more on Bloomberg’s functions, take a look at the blogs in our Bloomberg category and our Bloomberg Help Guide.

A Few WRDS about the S&P 500

The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, a key measure of the U.S. equity market, closed above 2,000 the first time on August 26, 2014.The Index includes 500 leading U.S. companies and captures about 70% of available U.S. market capitalization.

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Standard & Poor’s OUTLOOK

The S&P 500 Index first appeared in March 1957. Described as “The Standard 500” in the OUTLOOK (March 11, 1957, p.908) S&P mentioned the “intricate computing equipment applied to the task” of calculating the Index every hour. Today, the Index is calculated every 15 seconds.

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Standard & Poor’s Security Price Index Record

Oddly enough, S&P didn’t list the stocks that composed the Index in the OUTLOOK. You can find the initial list of 500 companies scattered among the 91 industry subgroups that made up the Index in Standard & Poor’s Security Price Index Record for 1957. For the subgroup “Confectionery”, for example, the 500 component companies were American Chicle, Hershey Chocolate, Sweets, and Wrigley (p. 29). The Index has undergone many changes since its inception, both in the companies that compose it, and in the way that it is calculated. Currently, only 86 of the original 500 companies are still part of the Index.

Continue reading

Corporate Affiliations and ReferenceUSA’s “Way Back” Machines

Web-based company directories have many advantages over their print counterparts, but in one area they frequently fall short; they rarely include historical information. Financial databases of public companies such as Bloomberg, Thomson One, and S&P COMPUSTAT will include extensive historical financial data, but if you are looking for a private company’s address, product line, or executive names as of 1995, you would do better with a 20 year run of a printed directory than with its current online counterpart.  This pattern is changing as information vendors become aware of the market for historical company data. Two examples of corporate directory archives are the historical research sections of Corporate Affiliations and ReferenceUSA.

Corporate Affiliations shows the corporate structure of more than 1 million public and private companies world-wide with subsidiary listings and corporate linkage.  For more information please see:  Private Company Research Part 2:  Corporate Affiliations. The Historical Research module of the database gives company addresses, products, SIC numbers, names of executives and directors, and key financial data for every year from 1993 to date. As the menu below indicates, you can search by company name, or screen by one or more variables. A company (ENRON, for example) does not have to be in business currently to be included in the historical file. To reach the Historical Search menu, follow this path from the main Corporate Affiliations’ menu:

Subscriber Tools => Historical Search

Corp Affiliations History First Menu

 

 

 

 

The record for Motorola Solutions, Inc. shows how the data is presented for a single company.  Clicking on the date tabs (‘1993’ etc.) will include the data for that year in the output.

Corp Affiliations Historical 1

 

The historical treatment of changes in SICs and product descriptions will include as many as 14 SIC numbers and descriptions for each company.

Corrp Ailliations Historical 2

 

 

 

 

 

The company record for all years and all variables can be downloaded as a text .CSV format which EXCEL will read.

Here is the result of a screen for companies in Philadelphia in 1993.

Corp affiliation Phila

 

The WEB display of the results is only a small fraction of the EXCEL record, which will give details for all variables (SIC, executive name, financial data, etc.). If the entire date range is requested, the downloaded record will list the companies alphabetically and then give variable details for each year.

However, there is a display limit of 1,000 records per search.  For example, a search for all companies in France with data for all years will produce a set of more than 1,000 records, but only 1,000 records from the set will be displayed.

ReferenceUSA’s current company directory contains 24 million U.S. company records plus records for an additional 1.5 million Canadian companies. The database’s historical businesses  module contains 151 million U.S. company records from 2003 through 2013.

To see the menu below:

U.S. Historical Business Database => Custom Search

REfUSA Main Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFUSA beer list 2003

For example, a screen for breweries (Primary NAICS 312120)  in Pennsylvania in 2003 will produce this display:

 

Clicking on an individual company name will display a record giving the 2003 address, phone, sales volume, employee size, SIC/NAICS codes, as well as graphs of sales volume and number of employees for all available years between 2003 and 2013.

Downloading the records in  EXCEL and requesting “detail” will display all the variables available for the company for the given year. However, there is a limit of 250 records per download.  Requesting all records for a company for the range of years (2003 – 2013) will give a line of data for each year. In this way, you can determine if a company changes its name during the ten year period. For example, the company listed as “Pittsburgh Brewing”  from 2003-2008 is listed as “Iron City Brewing” between 2009 and 2012 and then as “Pittsburgh Brewing” again in 2013.

Companies can be mapped by number of locations, employee or sales size and displayed as “heat maps”. For example, the heat maps below show the doubling of  the number of breweries in Pennsylvania  between 2003 and 2013 (from 27 locations to 69).

CombinedHeat

The  availability of  the “back files” of ReferenceUSA and Corporate Affiliations are an important step in filling the gap in digital historical directory information.

For additional information on company histories see this posting: Don’t Know Much About “Corporate” History.

Also see our Research Guides:  Company Information and Business History Resources.

 

Put our Services to the Test

Welcome to Lippincott and the start of a new academic year!  We have a number of services to help make your life at Penn a lot easier.  Some of these services are described here.

 

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DOCUMENT DELIVERY. Available to MBAs,  PhD candidates and Faculty. Please send an email to docdel@wharton.upenn.edu to request articles and book chapters. Include the full citation for the fastest reply.

BUSINESS FAQ.  Your 24/7 librarian. Search by keyword to find resources on your topic such as financial ratios, consumer demographics, analyst reports and many more.

RESEARCH ASSISTANCE.  Email us, chat, call us at 215-898-5924 or contact a subject specialist on your topic. Ask for a Consultation for yourself or your team. We know where to find the academic resources that you need.

WHARTON LAB COMPUTERS AND PRINTERS.  Too crowded over at Wharton?  Come over to Lippincott and use the Wharton Lab Computers here.  These computers are reserved for Wharton students and have all the same programs and features that are available on Wharton computers.  Sign in using your Wharton account information.

GROUP STUDY ROOMS.  Have a team project or group presentation?  Reserve a room  for your meeting.  Some rooms are larger and can accomodate up to 12 people.

YABLON FINAYablon 1NCIAL RESOURCES LAB.  Bloomberg and Capital IQ are at your fingertips.  Log in with your Wharton account information.  First time you use Bloomberg, create your own account.  Librarians log you into Capital IQ.

 

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DATAPOINTS is the Lippincott Library’s blog. Follow us to learn tricks and tips about Bloomberg and many other Library databases.  Look for postings on new Library resources.  See this post, for example: Top 10 Resources for MBAs .

WORKSbloomberg120611_2_560HOPS.  Wednesdays are Bloomberg days.  Every week we provide Bloomberg training from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab.  You can register here: Business Workshops.   It’s hands-on so be sure to come a few minutes early to create your own Bloomberg account.

We also offer other workshops on Job Search, Company Information and Business Research Skills.  See the training schedule to find out what workshops are being offered. Registration is recommended.

RESEARCH TO GO.  Every Monday -Thursday we come to you.  Reference Librarians are available from 12:30 – 1:30 in Huntsman Hall 251.  Drop in and get fast answers to your job search or research questions.8-27-2014 2-49-11 PM

TEXT BOOKS.  Available for many Wharton courses at the Lippincott Reserve Desk.  Most can be checked out for three hours and used in the Library.

 

SUBJECT/COURSE GUIDES.  Subject Specialist have prepared Guides by subject area or course.  Use these to find resources for your projects and assignments.  Contact a Specialist for additional information.

FRANKLIN is the Library Catalog.  Use this to search for books, journals, videos and more.

MARK’S CAFE.  Food.  Drink.  Comfort.

Take advantage of the services available to you.  Hope to see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloomberg’s PE: A Major Database for Private Equity

Private equity consists of firms and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies. Private equity, as the name implies, is not traded on public equity exchanges.PE bloomberg FIRST MENU

Bloomberg’s Private Equity (PE) database brings together data about PE firms, funds, investors and portfolios. In Bloomberg, type PE <GO> for this menu:

 

 

Search by Firm – Private equity firms are the general partners controlling the operations of the firm.

Search by Fund – Private equity firms direct their investments through one or more funds. Funds are associated with a specific investment strategy.  Venture Capital Funds, for example, are investments in startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. Here is a breakdown of the funds worldwide associated with a specific strategy that is available in Bloomberg.

Strategy           Percent of Total

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  • Venture              28%
  • Buyout               25%
  • Growth                9%
  • Debt                    8%
  • Fund of Funds   10%
  • Real Estate        13%
  • Other                   8%

Search by Limited Partners – Limited partners are the source of investment funds. They include public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, high net worth individuals, and sovereign wealth funds

Search by Deal – Deals can be classified as M&A investment, Joint venture, Spinoff, and Buyback, and then further sub classified as a PE buyout, Infrastructure, Real Asset, Real Estate, Secondary Transaction, or Venture Capital deal. Venture Capital deals include possible subdivisions into Seed, Angel, or Series (A to J).

The screen below shows a search for all PE deals in the past year that had targets in the alternative energy industry.

PE bloom deal screen for alternative eng 417

 

Search by Private Company – Bloomberg lists more than 15,000 companies in which PE firms invest.

  • Clicking on the name of the company will display a record giving the name(s) of the PE firms which include the company in their portfolio, as well as additional information about the company. The record for U.S. Foods, for example, will show that it is held by KKR 2006 Fund.

In addition to its list of PE backed private companies, Bloomberg includes a database of 1.3 million private companies worldwide that are not PE backed.

PE Bloom Private compnay ALL OKOther useful features of Bloomberg’s PE include Funds in Market, which gives aggregate statistics by strategy, and Benchmarking and Fund Comparison, which allow the comparison of funds by such features as IRR (internal rate or return).

Take a look also at Bloomberg’s weekly Private Equity Brief

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PE Bloom table from PE brief

In addition to Bloomberg, the Penn Libraries have several additional databases that provide details of private equity activity. They include Thomson ONE, S&P Capital IQ (available at Lippincott in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab) , Preqin, and CB-Insights.

Also see our Research Guide:  Venture Capital and Private Equity.

For more information on Bloomberg see our Bloomberg Help Guide and additional posts in Datapoints under the Category:  Bloomberg.

Welcome to the Club!

As a Wharton MBA, you have joined the first collegiate business school and a larger rank of professional business students globally. Who else is in the club?  What is the MBA presence in the world?  What does the MBA education industry encompass?

In recent years, the MBA degree has faced criticism from scholars and the press questioning its value, partially based on the number of MBAs that graduate each year.  The Atlantic published an article titled “There Are Officially Too Many MBAs” , and the Financial Times asked the question “Is an MBA worth the cost?”.

Beyond the number of MBA programs available, changing technology also has the potential to disrupt the MBA industry.  Wharton’s own Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich looked at the impact of MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and specifically “SuperText” technology on the MBA degree and broader higher education in their report “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star?  The Threat and Opportunity of Massively Open Online courses for Full-Time MBA Programs”. Continue reading

The Long and Short of Preqin’s Hedge Fund Analyst Database

Sometimes called “Mutual Funds for the Superrich” hedge funds are aggressively managed investment portfolios that attempt to generate high returns through the use of strategies such as leverage, long, short and derivative positions.

Preqin’s Hedge Fund Analyst database provides a comprehensive over view of the hedge fund industry. It includes information on hedge fund performance, profiles, managers, fund items and controls. You can search by individual firm (manager) fund, or create lists of firms or funds with the characteristics you want.

For example, to find the ten largest hedge fund managers ranked by assets under management (AUM) click on Hedge Funds in Preqin’s main menu, then on Fund Managers, and finally on League Tables. Continue reading

Recent Grads – Library Database Access for Alumni

“Why can’t I get access to the Library’s databases?” is the perennial question of the recent Penn graduate.

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Unfortunately, the library’s subscription databases are only available to current students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Pennsylvania. Once the school switches a student’s status from student to alumni – usually mid-August – access to the Library’s electronic resources ends. Below is a summary of the Penn Libraries resources that you can access as an alumni, both remotely and on-campus. We also have a few tips for finding business resources at your local public library or on the Web.

Alumni Services provides information on visiting the Library, Library Events and E-resources that are accessible remotely using your PennKey information.

Alumni also have access to some business databases on campus as shown in this list: Alumni Business Database Access on Campus.

Other options for Alumni include the local public library.  Many public libraries provide access to selected databases for members.  Check your library to find out what is available to you.   New York City’s Science Industry and Business Library, (SIBL) rivals many college libraries. The Free Library of Philadelphia also has a large collection of business resources.

There are also many useful freely available web resources.  Here are a few tips on locating and finding reliable information.  First, check our Library Research Guides.  Many guides include web sites carefully vetted by subject Librarians.

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Many universities, such as Penn, provide Scholarly Commons where research by faculty and students are readily available.

Use Google filters.  For instance, when you are researching topics such as foreign trade or exporting, limit your search to government sites.  To search for trade regulations in Brazil, use this search:

TRADE REGULATIONS BRAZIL SITE:.GOV

You will retrieve resources about trade with Brazil from U.S. government sites only.

To search for information from associations or organizations use the filter SITE:.ORG.  Many organizations such as the World Bank provide free information. One great resource from the World Bank is the annual “Doing Business In survey of the ease of doing business in countries across the Globe.  The World Bank also provides detailed information on each country including business regulations and historical macroeconomic data.

Google Scholar contains many scholarly publications from around the world.  Many are accessible via the web.  This can also be used as a way to build a bibliography that can be used at the local library.

 

google scholar

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Library of Congress lists many resources, print and online in the Business Reference Services website.  Check out the Bibliographies & Guides as well as recommended Internet Resources.

Large consulting companies often provide free reports. PricewaterhouseCoopers provides industry overviews and research and insights.  Real estate firms such as CBRE provide quarterly international market research reports.

An easy way to access government data is through American Factfinder.  Select your topic of interest such as demographics, economics or housing.

CensusMap

FRED, the Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis, is another depository of economic statistics and research.  This covers a range of countries as well as the United States.

The Thomas Register is the largest directory of suppliers in the the U.S.  Many companies include brochures.

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The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank providing information about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America.

Financial Data is also accessible on the web.  Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg provide data on stocks, bonds and other financial instruments as well as providing current news.

Yahoo-Finance-Logo

Edgar provides free access to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  It also includes information about the usage for various filings.

This is a sampling of sites that are available on the web.  Good luck going forward!!

For more detailed information about the Library’s business databases available to alums, please look at our blog post Library Database Access for Penn Alumni.

 

 

 

Parsing Business School Rankings

US NewsIn March 2014, the Wharton Business School Community (University of Pennsylvania) was happy to learn that the School’s full-time MBA program was ranked first in the U.S. (along with Harvard and Stanford) by US News.

Since the first ranked list of 20 programs appeared in Business Week in 1988, there has been a proliferation of ranked lists. In addition to full-time MBA programs, there are now rankings of MBA programs world-wide, evening/part-time MBA programs, executive MBA programs, undergraduate business programs, and executive education. Continue reading