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.

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