If 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.
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.