Answered By: IESE Library
Last Updated: Mar 04, 2019     Views: 22446

If you cannot find the data you want on the Bloomberg screen and the Import Data Wizard, try Bloomberg formulas.

Also, unlike the Import Data Wizard that requires you to go through the step-by-step process to retrieve data in specific layouts, Bloomberg formulas allow you to customize your data set and its layout in the way you want. Bloomberg offers three formulas for different needs: 

BDP (Bloomberg Data Point) is for static or real time current data.  It returns data to a single cell in your Excel spreadsheet.  This formula contains only one security and only one field.

Syntax: =BDP(security, field)

Example: =BDP("goog us equity","px last") retrieves the price of  the last trade on Google Inc.


BDH (Bloomberg Data History) is for historical end of day and historical intraday data.  It returns the historical data for a selected security/set of securities and timeframe. 

Syntax: =BDH(security, field,start date [mm/dd/yyyy], end date [mm/dd/yyyy], optional arguments)

Example: =BDH("goog us equity","EBIT","1/1/2010","12/31/2017","per=cy","curr=USD") retrieves the annual Earnings Before Interest and Tax of Google Inc. from 1/1/2010 to 12/31/2017 in USD.


BDS (Bloomberg Data Set) returns informational bulk data or multi-cell descriptive data to your Excel spreadsheet.

Syntax: =BDS(security, field, optional arguments)

Example: =BDS("goog us equity","top_20_holders_public_filings") retrieves the current top 20 shareholders of Google Inc.


To explain the syntax further, the mandatory arguments to build your formulas are security and field for BDP and BDS formulas and additionally, start date and end date for BDH formulas.  Security refers to any Bloomberg ticker. 

To be more productive especially when you have a list of tickers, use cell referencing, so that you can drag and apply the same formula for one security to the other securities. Use it for other fields and dates too! To look up for the fields to put into your formulas, we recommend 2 choices:  Either go to FLDS  to do a keyword search or click the Field Search icon on the Bloomberg toolbar. The Field Search icon on the Bloomberg toolbar is the same as the field search in the Import Data Wizard. If you still cannot find the fields you want, press Help key twice to consult with the Bloomberg Helpdesk.

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