Free text searches & the Datastream Navigator

The Navigator is a tool from Datastream that you use to find the series that you need data on. A recent change in the Navigator is to be found in the Free text search screen: the black bar below the Data type category selection tool now allows you do some things easier. Below you see an example screen of the new Navigator look:

The Explore option is now available in the black bar. This option is, for instance, handy if you are lookig for certain economics or commodity items and do not know exactly what is available. You can also use it when you have done a search and theĀ  browse through the available series.


Passport GMID updated

The database Passport GMID (former name: Global Market Information Database) has undergone some changes. The most remarkable changes involve the search options. It is now much easier to make a quick specific search using the Menu and selection options that are available at the top (black bar).

When you make a selection it is immediately possible to make additional selections using the options that appear in the middle of your screen. Below you see an example when I selected the category Consumer appliances from the menu option Industries (in the black bar). The options that appear after making a selection do vary, depending on your choice, but may include quick links to additional choice options like:

  • Search Tree
  • View top countries
  • View top categories
  • View top companies
  • Analysis finder
  • Dashboards visualize data.

After making choices you will go screens/sections in the database that are more familiar from the previous website for the database. The option that I think is really new, is: Dashboards visualize data. When available this option gives you the possibility to call up visual overviews etc. Below you see an example:


WorldScope coverage update

WorldScope company records now cover annual reports data for (currently) 73367 companies. This includes 46396 active and 26971 inactive companies. This update: 656 companies were added. WorldScope company records are available through Datastream and LexisNexis.

Today I have updated the WorldScope country coverage file and it now includes the latest update as it was posted in the third Thomson Reuters Infostream quarterly publication of 2012.

Major updated Countries (new records):
Australia (27)
Canada (113)
China (91)
India (31)
Taiwan (18)
South Korea (28)
United States (149).


Using Excel to randomize a selection

In statistics, a simple random sample is a subset of individuals (a sample or selection) chosen from a larger set (a population/dataset). Each individual is chosen randomly and entirely by chance. This way, each itemĀ  has the same probability of being chosen at any stage during the sampling or selection process (see also Wikipedia).
When you are doing research it may become necessary to make such a random selection from a dataset. The initial dataset that you created doing a search in a database may (for instance) result in too many companies/records. To avoid a possible bias that would be created by a manual selection from the dataset, you therefore need to find a way to make a random selection. Excel has two functions that allow you to do just that:

This function returns a random number greater than or equal to 0 and less than 1, evenly distributed (changes on recalculation). To use this function:

  1. Insert a column in front of the first column of the dataset in Excel
  2. In the cell A2 type in =RAND()
  3. Copy this downward for the entire dataset
  4. When necessary: insert a new column and use Copy (Special) to change the random number into values to make a selection.

Example 1:

This function returns a random number between the numbers you specify.

  1. Insert a column in front of the first column of the dataset in Excel
  2. Find out how many rows / companies you have
  3. In the cell A2 type in =RANDBETWEEN(First,Last). First stands for the first record/company (in the second example: 1) and Last stands for the last record/company in the dataset (in the second example: 5291)
  4. Copy this downward for the entire dataset
  5. When necessary: insert a new column and use Copy (Special) to change the random number into values to make a selection.

Example 2:

After using RAND or RANDBETWEEN to generate random numbers for each row (= record / company) in a dataset you can then use the random numbers to make the selection. After using RAND, for instance, you can select randomly by choosing only records with numbers smaller than 0,50 (or larger). If you chose to use RANDBETWEEN you can make the selection random by sorting the dataset (on the column with the random number) and choosing the top 50 or 100 numbers.