New lab gives students the power of Bloomberg Professional
Bloomberg is the world’s leading provider of news, data and analytics for finance professionals. Now, thanks to a new agreement, the Freeman School is making the company’s flagship desktop product — the Bloomberg Professional service — fully available to students.
This summer, the Freeman School acquired 12 new subscriptions to the service, enabling the creation of a new computer lab dedicated exclusively to Bloomberg. The lab, located on the first floor of Goldring/Woldenberg Hall I, provides students with 24-hour access to real-time and historical data on commodities, derivatives, equities, fixed income and foreign exchange securities.
“Bloomberg offers users a staggering array of financial tools and information,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School, who worked closely with faculty, staff and representatives from Bloomberg to make the lab a reality. “By making those tools and information available to students, we hope to enhance their understanding of key concepts and reinforce the theories they’re learning in the classroom.”
While the Freeman School’s Turchin Library has offered students limited access to the Bloomberg Professional service for a number of years, the new lab allows faculty members to fully leverage the power of Bloomberg in the classroom, enabling projects that let students apply conceptual knowledge to real-world examples.
Sheri Tice, for example, who teaches the Freeman School’s Darwin Fenner Fund course, is having her students use Bloomberg to run a host of sophisticated analyses on the fund, a $2.6 million stock portfolio managed entirely by the students.
“There are a bunch of portfolio analysis tools that are only available on Bloomberg,” says Tice, the A. B. Freeman Endowed Chair in Finance. “I can ask the students to determine if portfolio outperformance comes from taking on risk or represents abnormal performance, or I can ask them if outperformance comes from superior company-selection ability or industry-selection ability. The tools they need to answer those questions are only available on Bloomberg.”
David Lesmond, associate professor of finance, is having his Master of Finance students conduct a financial analysis of a firm, including forecasting what the company’s earnings are likely to be at the end of the semester.
“They’re using Bloomberg for almost everything,” says Lesmond. “As opposed to simply doing a problem at the back of a textbook, they’re using actual data to determine characteristics that we’d otherwise just talk about. It makes the lessons learned a lot more real.”
With the opening of the new lab, Freeman students now have access to the two leading financial data products on the market: the Bloomberg Professional service and Thomson Reuters Eikon, which is installed on work stations in the Freeman School’s Trading Center. According to Lesmond, that gives students a tremendous advantage.
“Every desk that does financial analysis is either going to have a Reuters terminal or a Bloomberg application,” Lesmond says. “By giving our students that experience while they’re still in school, they’re going to be able to step into those environments seamlessly and start contributing from day one.”