|Technology Fee Application 2008-01
Request for Software
Name of Primary Contact: Leanne Ussher
Name of Software Bloomberg Terminal - Professional Financial Software
Brief description of the Software
What courses will take advantage of this database? How many students will be served?
Number of licenses 1
Cost $21,600 per annum or $1800 per month, per license.
Have you discussed this request with the Software License Manager at OCT?
This terminal was installed by OCT and has been in operation in the Economics Department since 4/10/2007.
Request for market software used by financial professionals
This proposal is for financing an ongoing subscription to Bloomberg financial software. This software is located on a laptop to create a Bloomberg terminal, located in the foyer of the Economics Department PH 300. It offers professional financial data that is (near) real-time and allows the download indicative and fundamental data of companies and financial paper, historical pricing, customized analytics, print and multimedia news, electronic communications on-demand 24 hours a day and an unlimited help facility for all users. All financial markets are covered:
Federal Government Securities
Commodities and Energy
Derivatives: credit default swaps, options, futures, etc.
Data and information on nearly all publicly traded securities
20 minutes delay on real-time pricing from all major exchanges,
Historical pricing (back to 1970s)
News and research - over 3,000 stories a day, with hundreds of content providers
Multimedia - recorded interviews
Analytics - A wealth of charting and computational programs
Portfolio System - customized portfolios can be priced and analyzed
Digital training models allow students to learn on their own how to use this rich resource
8 self taught “Bloomberg certification” following 8 modules
Unlimited telephone and chat support 24 hours a day.
More details about this professional finance software is available at: http://about.bloomberg.com/about/professional/index.html
The Bloomberg terminal is the industry standard and either inside QC courses or on a self taught basis students can become Bloomberg Certified, which greatly aides them in the job market. For example, this quote is from one of our recent graduates:
“I currently working for Alliance Bernstein (AB) in our investment management brokerage operations sector. I started at AB immediately after graduation. I use Bloomberg approximately 2-3 times a week and I was not trained by AB on how to do so. I was expected to know how to use the basic functions: using DES, ID, searching for historical prices, yields, etc... I did in fact learn the basic functions from the terminal at Queens College. I believe that learning how to navigate through Bloomberg should become a part of the business curriculum, all of my fellow co-workers are familiar with Bloomberg from college.
With today's tight job market graduates can not afford to be one step behind their peers”
This proprietary market information can be included in numerous economics and business classes. Since acquiring this terminal, four faculty and five classes have intensively used this terminal from Fall 2007 to Fall 2008: BUS351 Financial Markets, BUS350 Investment Analysis, BUS353 Futures and Options, BUS241 Corporate Finance, CSCI018 Business Computing. In the year that this terminal has been in operation approximately 423 students have familiarized themselves with the operation of the Bloomberg terminal by completing class assignments. Approximately 20 have started the certification process and at least 8 have become certified under their own initiative.1 The in-class projects they have been set have include:
Basic Bloomberg features and the certification process
Calculation of Betas, total returns, price appreciation, dividend yields
Company information and Equity reports
Yield Curve Analysis
Volatility estimations from historical data
Each course generally offers two data assignments or case studies, and students are requested to use the Bloomberg terminal, along with Excel, to download and then manipulate and analyze data. This data may be recorded as a graph and accompanied by an explanation or essay, giving an interpretation. Advanced students will use Bloomberg analytics to formulate an even more detailed analysis.
The laptop that houses the Bloomberg software can be removed and used by faculty in their offices to prepare for classes or during the lecture. Class modules and presentations can be saved for later use in the classroom.
Although it takes time to build up a cadre of staff comfortable with using the Bloomberg terminal, predictions are that it will be used more extensively in the future due to the hiring of two full time distinguished lecturers from the financial sector this Fall 2008, who have experience in using this software. Additional classes which would directly benefit most using this software include:
BUS352 Investment Management
BUS384 Forecasting and Regression Analysis for Business
ECO249 Statistics as Applied to Economics and Business
ECO382 Introduction to Econometrics
ECO386 Financial Econometrics
In particular, a new course starting in Spring 2009, BUS 386 Financial Econometrics, will make extensive use of financial data. The Bloomberg terminal will be of particular interest to these students who will be asked to collect financial data to study. The Bloomberg terminal give them an option to access high frequency intra-day data which is otherwise unavailable. The opportunity to utilize professional financial software (the Bloomberg Terminal) and use professional tools to analyze this data, offers significantly more excitement and motivation for study since it allows student projects to be similar in nature to real data analyses done in the financial sector.
As well, a new Masters in Science in Enterprise Risk Management which has been proposed to begin in Fall 2009. If instituted, this program will add approximately 100 new students each year. All will be expected to acquire Bloomberg skills in order to avail themselves to data and complete homework assignments.
In addition the computer science department offers a computational finance class, and has a new proposal for a major in Dynamic financial Analysis (DFA) modeling. The Computer Science Department has added a letter of support for this Tech Fee application (see attachment).
Given the extensive coverage of the Bloomberg data it is not surprising that a number of our staff and adjuncts have used this terminal for their own research. This provides an incentive for instructors to gain Bloomberg familiarization and eventually incorporate the terminal into student lessons. The voluntary utilization of new tools by the staff takes time, but the expected growth path for this software is very strong. Some comments by our staff who have used the terminal include:
"I have used Bloomberg in each of my Computing for Business classes. Students are amazed at the extent of information Bloomberg contains. Many begin taking certification exams, with full intention of becoming certified.”
"Exposure to Bloomberg helps our students maintain a competitive edge among their peers at other colleges. Familiarity with Bloomberg gives students pursuing a career in finance a head start."
"The presence of the Bloomberg terminal facilitates a vital element of undergraduate education: connecting the real world --- of finance in this case, something about which most students are aware and interested --- to classroom learning. Better than the relatively unorganized flow of information on the web, Bloomberg provides quick access to a trove of historical data that can place any economic development in immediate context, without the hassle of trawling for hours online. It is the context that facilitates learning of otherwise esoteric ideas."
The expansion of the BBA program and the addition of new finance classes will provide increasing demand for this importance resource which not only improves the level of class content but contributes greatly to the job opportunities for our graduating students.
Given that many business programs around the country include the use of a Bloomberg Terminal, and that students can directly certify themselves without using faculty resources, we hope that we can be awarded funding to maintain access to this software. Our goal is to ask for full or even partial funding, that would extend our access for a period long enough to help us find alternative funds from donors.
For over a year, funding for the Bloomberg terminal as come from the Office of the President with approval from Sue Henderson. This is expected to end soon.
The cost of this software is:
Retail pricing license
1 laptop terminal
1 laptop terminal