New WRDS platform & Audit Analytics

Last week some major changes were implemented in the Wharton Research Data Services platform. Overall this seems to improve the way you search in the databases.

Today I discovered a problem with Audit Analytics databases, however. No matter what type of search I tried to do in several part-databases, I could not get any data. I kept getting an error message from WRDS stating that I had not selected variables at step 3 (even though I did). The original message was:

I have also checked other databases (Compustat and Amadeus) but there does not appear to be a problem with these sources. I also checked different versions of internet software (IE 10 and Firefox 44.0.2) but this did not help.
I reported the problem to the WRDS Helpdesk and expected a swift resolution of the problem. If you need data from the Audit Analytics database you should try and see if you can also get the data you need directly through their IVES website.

Update 1: Later this evening (February 29) I tried the same type of searches again in Audit Analytics databases using Firefox 42, Edge 25 and Chrome 48 and everything seems to work fine again. Maybe the problem was easily found or small/temporary  and quickly fixed.

Update 2: On Wednesday I was notified what caused the (fixed) problem by the WRDS helpdesk: “[the error] was caused by an effort to preserve column ordering for another client. The process of sorting the columns was in this case impeded by erroneous trailing spaces in the column names.” I am glad that the issue was found and solved quickly.


WRDS platform: major changes

This week some major changes were implemented in the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) platform. These changes mainly concern the search options for databases (step 2) and the selection options (step 3). In essence: no options were changed for the databases. Only the way you used to make a selection has changed and the way you make a selection of variables. These are the most recent (major) changes since July 2015.

The selection screen is now much more compact and straightforward with all the options immediately available and more intuitive:

The selection screen has undergone a much bigger change. Instead of scrolling downwards through the list of boxes with lists of variables, you can now scroll sideways through the lists of variables:

The other two steps in WRDS are usually: Step 1 (Selecting a time period), and Step 4 (Output options). No major changes seem to have happened there. If I notice any more major changes in the interface I will post them here.


Two more sources on Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign direct investment refers to direct investment equity flows in the reporting economy. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, and other capital. Direct investment is a category of cross-border investment associated with a resident in one economy having control or a significant degree of influence on the management of an enterprise that is resident in another economy.

In the past I have already posted an item on possible sources with data on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). These sources are OECD.Stats and Eurostat. Recently I found that there is another source that provides data on FDI: UNCTADSTAT.

Just like the other sources, it is easy to customise by countries, period, etc. Just click on the items you want to change. Export / save options include: Excel and CSV (Comma-Separated Version).

The World Bank World Development Indicators database also covers the subject Foreign Direct Investment. The selection of data for countries, time frame, etc, can all be changed. Export options include Excel, XML and CSV.