CompuStat Global consists of annual and quarterly report data of listed companies, with an emphasis on non-American and non-Canadian companies. The annual report data starts in 1987; the quarterly data in 1995.
CompuStat Global is part of Wharton Research Data Service (WRDS). You find WRDS in the list of financial databases on the website of the EDSC. To get access to WRDS (and CompuStat Global) you need a VPN-connection. WRDS also asks for your e-mail-address. Enter your ERNA-e-mail-address. WRDS sends a link to the entered e-mail-address; this link is valid for 14 days. After these 14 days you can request a new link.
You find CompuStat Global by choosing CompuStat in the list on the left side of the homepage of WRDS. Under the header Global you find the links to the modules Fundamentals Annual with annual report data and Fundamentals Quarterly with quarterly data.
Here we use Fundamentals Annual as example; the steps you have to take are the same for each module. You have to follow four steps to retrieve data:
Step 1: What date range do you want to use?
Here you specify the time frame of your request. You can choose between Data date (the reporting date) and Fiscal Year. You set the period by editing the dates by using the dropdown menus.
Step 2: How would you like to search this dataset?
Here you have to select for which companies you want the annual report data. The identifiers you can use for these companies are:
- GVKEY = Global Company Key
You can also make a selection on industry level (you will get data for multiple companies in one request):
The identifiers can be entered in several ways:
- Manually enter Company Code – If you already know the ISIN- or SEDOL-code, you can enter them manually. Click the link Code Lookup to search for the identifiers.
- Upload file containing Company codes – If you already have a list of ISINs, SEDOLs or GVKEYs, you can save them in a text-file. You can upload this file here.
- Retrieve saved codes from myWRDS – Here you can search a previously saved list of codes.
- Search entire database – Use this option in combination with Conditional Statements, for example only companies from the Netherlands or companies with a specific SIC-code. You can select the requested item in the dropdownmenu.
Remark: Check the identifier marked under What format are your company codes? If you enter ISINs at option 1, 2 or 3, you have to mark ISIN as format.
Step 3: What variable types do you want in your query?
At this step you mark the variables you want to download. The variables are divided in several categories, which means you sometimes have to search to find them.
TIP: Click at the top of the page on Dataset List to search the complete list of variables (with CTRL + F). Under Manuals and Overviews you can find the CompuStat Online Manual, which contains the definitions. Use the right mouse click to open Dataset List or Manuals and Overviews, and open these pages in a new screen. Then you can switch between the search screen and the definitions or variables list.
The categories are:
- Identifying information, like SIC-code and IPO date. Mark at least Company Name, this name is not automatically entered in the report.
- Company Descriptor, for example Accounting Standards.
- Data Items A-L: here you can find the items with an item code starting with a letter between A and L. This item code is not always logical. For example, the item code of Total Assets is AT.
- Data Items M-Z: here are the items with an item code starting with a letter between M and Z.
- Supplemental Data Items, like Common Shares Outstanding.
Step 4: How would you like the query output?
Here you mark the format of the data, most people choose Excel (.xls).
Click the button Submit Query; a new screen opens and the downloading starts.
The output appears as a link to a file. Save the file before opening the file.
When you enter your e-mail-address before clicking Submit Query, you will receive an e-mail with the link to the file. This file is active for 48 hours.
TIP: In older articles you sometimes find references to for example DATA128, taking from CompuStat. This notation is not used anymore. Under Manuals and Overviews you can find a document (Variable Translations - Compann Compqtr and PDE) where you can search the name of the item in the current version of CompuStat.