Bloomberg Live Help Discontinued

HelpIf you’ve spent time on a Bloomberg terminal you know that it contains vast amounts of information. With so much complexity, it is difficult for one person to know all of the database’s facets. This is where Bloomberg’s excellent Help features come in. Until recently, Bloomberg offered a live chat service, which students/staff/faculty could use to chat with a Bloomberg representative in real time. This live chat service was useful for locating data outside of one’s area of expertise.

As of March 2014, Bloomberg discontinued its live chat service <Help> <Help> for academic clients. Corporate clients and those with billable terminals will still have access to the 24/7 Live Chat service. If you use Bloomberg this summer at an internship, you will most likely have access to the live help feature.

Now, when you hit the help key twice, you can submit a question to the Bloomberg Help Desk. A response will come within one business day to both your Bloomberg account and to the university email that you provide. Type HDSK <GO> to access your Bloomberg email account. If you hit Help only one time, a separate window opens to a detailed manual that provides assistance with usage, instructions, definitions and calculations for the specific page you are on.

Bloomberg Help

While the turnaround time is no longer instant, the Bloomberg Help Desk puts a positive spin on things by noting that the email service will allow users to receive the detailed and considered response that these complex questions often require. While we have not yet tried out this service, based on our previous positive experiences with the Help Desk, we can only assume good things.

As always, a good place to start if you are stuck, is to ask one of the librarians at the Lippincott Reference Desk. Also, take advantage of the other Bloomberg Help features on the terminal. See also our Bloomberg Help Guide for assistance.

Executive Compensation: The Clown Makes A Good Argument

Executive compensation is composed of salary, bonuses, stock options, and other company benefits. Staggering figures like the CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 354:1 (in 2012) have brought executive compensation under some scrutiny in the United States. Other provisions like the ‘say on pay’ provision of the Dodd-Frank Act have brought executive compensation to the forethought of many shareholders’ minds.

dilbert ceo pay

Let’s start with a quick exercise. Which of the following CEOs had the highest base salary for the year 2012?

A. Larry Page (Google)
B. Alex Gorsky (Johnson & Johnson)
C. W. James McNerney, Jr. (Boeing)
D. C. Douglas Mcmillon (Walmart)

I’m not sure who you guessed (the answer is C), but we can quickly find out answers to questions like this using several library databases. A number of publications provide lists of the top paid CEOs, like Forbes’ list of America’s Highest Paid Chief Executives. Lists are helpful, but you may want to search by company or executive or create a time series of data.

Click to Expand

Click to Expand

LexisNexis Academic allows you to search within the Morningstar US Executive Compensation database. This source provides information on salaries, cash compensation, option grants, other stock-related compensation and auditor fees for U.S. public company directors and officers. Data comes from the Form 10-K or Annual Meeting Proxy Statements. The coverage is the current edition (i.e. FY 2013) and does not include historical data. Click Search by Content Type and select Company Profiles. Under the Advanced Options area select the source. Then search by company name (e.g. Apple Inc.) or by executive (e.g. Larry Page). This database is helpful if you are searching for a single company or executive.

Standard & Poor’s Execucomp database is available through WRDS (for Wharton account holders). Go to COMPUSTAT and select Execucomp. This database covers 2,872 companies, both listed and unlisted, with data for up to 9 executives, although most companies only report 5. Similar to the Morningstar database, this data is collected from each company’s annual proxy (DEF14A SEC form). With data back to 1992 and numerous fields to select from (e.g. EIP_UNEARN_NUM — Equity Incentive Plan–Number of Unearned Sha), this is a good database to use to build a time series. Below is an example of Google’s data for the past 5 years, with only Larry Page’s salary shown. Continue reading

Flappy Bird and Splashy Fish: Researching the Mobile Gaming Industry

In February, 2014, Dong Ngoyen removed his hugely successful mobile app, Flappy Bird, from the Internet claiming that he was concerned that the game was too addictive (Flappy Bird’s Demise: 10 Things to Know About the Game’s Rise, Fall).

Whatever Ngoyen’s motives, the removal of Flappy Bird caused hundreds of copycat games with names such as Flappy Bat, Splashy Fish, and Flappy Miley to spring up.  Apparently, making a mobile gaming app is fairly easy. Researching the industry is not very difficult, either.

The mobile gaming industry develops and publishes gaming apps for smartphones and mobile devices. Apps are typically sold in a special “app store” that can be accessed through the device. As a new and very specific industry, the Mobile Gaming Industry doesn’t have its own NAICS code or even standardized natural language indexing.

Mobile game(s), mobile gaming, mobile apps, smartphone gaming, and the more general digital games, are terms used by various sources. Finding stories about individual games when you know the name is no problem. For example, search Dow Jones Factiva for flappy bird in the lead paragraph (lp=flappy bird) to retrieve thousands of published items. Searching standard sources for industry information will often retrieve a general report on mobile apps that will have a subsection dealing with gaming. Continue reading