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Database Guide: Datastream

How to Access

For current Stanford community only. Available in Makena Capital Trader's Pit of the Business Library. For login instructions, please check out Datastream binder at Library i-Desk.

Content Coverage & Description

Datastream is a global financial database which contains current and historical data on stocks, indices, bonds, funds, futures, options, interest rates, commodities, and economic indicators.

How to Search: Time Series



To retrieve time series data, follow these steps:

Step 1: In Data Category window, select category from the list.

Step 2: In Analysis window, for historical time series choose the following:

  • For single series, e.g. one company or one index etc., Single Series – Data > Time Series Data
  • For multiple series, e.g. several companies or several indexes etc., Multiple Series/Flexible Chart > Time Series Data

Step 3: In Navigator window, add search criteria by using Navigators:

  • Use  Find Series Navigator to find specific entities, e.g. a security. Once you select a series, it appears in Name field in Navigator window.
  • Use  Datatypes Navigator to find specific data elements that apply to your entities, e.g. for stocks, prices. NOTE: If you make no datatype selection, or check the No Datatype box, the default datatype is applied to time series requests. Often it is the closing price.

       For more information on using Navigator, see below

Step 4: In Time Period window, choose fixed date ranges or create custom range. Choose currency, if applicable.

Step 5: In Settings window, choose reporting frequency.

Step 6: Click Run Now button and view results in the Output window.

Downloading results:

  • Click Excel icon on top icon bar or
  • Save or download results in Excel, Word, or PowerPoint by selecting Tools > Transfer option from the top menu bar

How to Search: Static Data

To retrieve static data, follow these steps:

  1. Select from Data Category, e.g. Equities.
  2. In Analysis window, select Single Series - Data > Static Data.
  3. Click Settings button in top right corner. This will open a new dialog box.
  4. Click Navigator icon. Select your static Datatypes. You can select up to nine datatypes, adding them one at a time.
  5. Click OK. 
  6. Click Run Now.

How to Use Navigators

Find Series Navigator gives access to all series within the selected financial category, e.g. Equities, Commodities etc.

  • For quick access, hover mouse over selected data category and click Criteria Search link or
  • Click Find Series button in Navigator window.
  • In top search box, enter partial or complete series name. Add additional filters from the left panel if needed.
  • To select a series, click on its mnemonic in Symbol column. For multiple series selection, check the series and click Use link in the first column.
  • Click the series name in Name column to display a snapshot of series in display pane below the list. NOTE: In the snapshot, you can view time span coverage of selected series. 

Datatypes Navigator gives access to all financial data items pertaining to data or chart type of requests such as price, volume etc., 

  • To open Navigator, click  Datatypes button in Navigator window
  • Use top search box to filter list by keyword. Add additional filters from left panel if needed.
  • Click the series name in Name column to view its description
  • To select a series, click on its mnemonic in Symbol column 

Search Tips

  • To run a search for multiple series for multiple data items use Excel plug-in.
  • Retrieve a previous search from a drop-down list in the box at top icon bar or use arrows on sides 
  • Create and save a custom list of series in Datastream using List Wizard: Tools > List Wizard.
  • Use saved list to run a search in Excel.

A Word About Codes

Each Datastream series is assigned a unique code, DS mnemonic or DS code depending on financial category. 

For equities, DS Mnemonic is usually made of a equity ticker preceded by a suffix determining the Exchange, e.g. U:F, @FB. DS code for equities is a six-digit number. Dead equity series retain only DS code.

Support Resources

  1. From top menu bar, select Help menu item.
  2. Click Online Manual or Contents.