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MBA Grad Develops Bloomberg Research Tool

MBA ’17 grad Adriano Durante, under the supervision of Finance Professor Eahab Elsaid at the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, has developed computer code that can analyze corporate data found on Bloomberg financial terminals. The code takes advantage of the open API of these terminals to locate, extract, and organize requested non-financial corporate data into usable databases in seconds. Durante began working with Dr. Elsaid in January of 2016 and they co-authored a paper examining Durante’s software, which was published online in June 2017 and is currently forthcoming at Finance Research Letters.

Dr. Elsaid, a professor at Odette since 2007, was quick to point out the significant implications Durante’s code could have for research. "This really opens up research opportunities for professors at small or medium sized universities," remarked Dr. Elsaid. "Typically, collecting and organizing data of this nature would involve a substantial investment of time and money, which many professors at smaller institutions simply don’t have access to."

The code can analyze thousands of corporate proxy reports on Bloomberg terminals in seconds, extracting customized data points researchers may be interested in, such as board diversity, CEO succession, or director compensation. It then organizes the data in structured databases for further analysis. Normally, a researcher would have to hire an assistant, Durante’s original position for Dr. Elsaid, to complete this work over several weeks or months. "I don’t think Adriano realized it at the time, but this code makes hand collecting data of this nature a thing of the past, which is a very exciting reality for myself and many other researchers," explained Dr. Elsaid. "It could really level the research playing field."

Durante, who holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science as well as his MBA, decided to create the code after being given the task of analyzing 300 corporate proxy statements by Dr. Elsaid as a part of his research assistantship for the professor in 2016. Durante, who has no formal computer science training, worked in the University of Windsor’s Financial Market Laboratory everyday for two weeks during a semester break to perfect his code.

"To be honest, I was just trying to make my job easier," mused Durante. "I had developed an independent interest in coding. Next thing I know, Eahab presented me a terrific opportunity to use what I had been learning to streamline the data collection process for his research. After I created the code, he supported the work all the way to a publication."