Bloomberg Terminal License Support

Project Title: Bloomberg Terminal License Support

Long Title (if desired): Bloomberg Terminal License Support

Project Lead's Name: Thomas Boulton

Project Lead's Email:

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-1563

Project Lead's Division: FSB

Primary Department: Finance

Other Team Members and their emails: Joel Harper, Chair, Department of Finance (

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: Bloomberg accounts are available to all Miami University students, faculty, and staff. The primary users of the Bloomberg terminals are FSB undergraduate and graduate students.

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 600

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 50

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: Business is a data driven field. Managers use data to anticipate, identify, measure, and solve problems. It is important that we train our students to use data to solve problems so they are well-prepared for careers in business. One platform used by many business professionals to access and analyze data is Bloomberg, which is a proprietary product that requires users to purchase a license.

The FSB currently purchases Bloomberg licenses that enable students and faculty to create an account to access Bloomberg data and resources. These licenses allow all Miami students and faculty to access Bloomberg free of charge. As described in more detail below, Bloomberg technology impacts hundreds of students in the service of teaching and learning and advances the co-curricular goals of the Miami Experience. Bloomberg both impacts a large percentage of undergraduate and graduate students who use the technology as part of the classroom experience (e.g., class projects) and has a deep impact on a smaller number of students who use the technology for their graduate theses, honors course extensions, case competitions, and career preparations. Bloomberg skills give our students an edge during the recruiting process and an advantage over their peers once they are employed because many business professionals use Bloomberg regularly.

The problem this proposal is attempting to solve is the cost of maintaining the Bloomberg licenses. The current annual cost for our licenses is $65,880. The Finance department has been asked to shoulder this cost in the future, which would represent a significant portion of the department's budget. We are seeking a Student Technology Fee grant to support approximately half of the annual cost of the licenses. Because of the importance of this program to our students and faculty, the Department of Finance proposes to pay the remainder of the cost out of the Department's annual budget. During the time Student Technology Fee Funds are received to support the Bloomberg licenses, the Department of Finance intends to embark on a fundraising campaign to create an endowment that would support the cost of Bloomberg licenses in the future.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: Bloomberg access is significant to our students in many ways. First, the use of Bloomberg in the curriculum advances the use of technology in the service of teaching and learning. Access to Bloomberg allows our faculty to integrate an industry-standard data source into their courses. For example, undergraduate and graduate students in FIN 461/561 (Financial Analysis of Mergers, Buyouts, and Restructuring) use the Bloomberg terminals as a primary information source for three valuation exercises each semester. Students in FIN 320 (Applied Equity Analysis) leverage data and analyst reports available from Bloomberg to develop stock pitches that are presented to industry professionals during Wall Street Week. In addition, undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in Investments, Derivatives, the Student-Run Investment Fund, and M&A (e.g., FIN 401, 404, 481, 635, and 665) regularly use the Bloomberg terminals for research, class exercises, and individual and group projects. The use of Bloomberg is not limited to the Finance curriculum. Bloomberg is also used in multiple courses in the Information Systems & Analytics Department, while the Accountancy Department uses the technology for research that is brought forward in the classroom.

Second, Bloomberg access supports our students in co-curricular events including the William Blair Investment Banking Case Competition, the Cleveland Research Company Stock Pitch Competition, and the CFA Research Institute Research Challenge. For example, each fall approximately 40 teams participate in the William Blair Investment Banking Case Competition. The Bloomberg terminals support student research for this competition by providing access to company financial information, peer company analysis, M&A deal flow, and company and industry research reports. Finalists in this competition present their analysis to investment banking professionals with William Blair Investment Bank, who regularly compliment our students on the professionalism of their reports/presentations. Much of their analysis would not be possible in the absence of Bloomberg. Thus, hundreds of students are using the Bloomberg terminals for activities consistent with the co-curricular goals of the Miami Experience. These co-curricular events can also have career implications, as students sometimes convert their performance and networking during these events into internships or full-time positions.

Third, Bloomberg access supports our students' career ambitions. Courses that integrate Bloomberg into the curriculum help prepare our students for careers in finance and related disciplines because they work with real data using the same Bloomberg product that they are likely to use in practice. Miami students can also pursue Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) Certification at no cost, which signals to prospective employers a baseline level of competence with Bloomberg. The Department of Finance plans to integrate the BMC Certification into one or more courses by requiring students to become certified. This integration will begin with FIN 461 (Financial Analysis of Mergers, Buyouts, and Restructuring) in the Spring of 2019. This is valuable for students interested in careers in finance, including Investment Banking, Wealth Management, and Risk Management, where Bloomberg is used on a daily basis. More generally, students can use Bloomberg to research prospective employers and to better prepare for their interviews.

Fourth, students and faculty use Bloomberg as a source of data for their scholarly pursuits. For example, a recent graduate of the MECO program used Bloomberg as the primary data source for his Masters Thesis, "Enterprise Value/Monthly Active Users: A Valid Sector Specific Multiple for the Valuation of Social Media Firms?" In addition, several faculty in the Accounting Department have used Bloomberg as a data source for recent scholarly projects. As the integration of Bloomberg into the curriculum continues, Bloomberg is likely to to be used as a primary data source in research collaborations between students and faculty.

How will you assess the success of the project: The success of this project will be assessed in several ways:

First, the finance department plans to integrate the BMC Certification into one or more of our courses. One way we will assess the success of this project is to track the number of students who successfully complete the BMC Certification prior to graduation.

Second, I have requested usage reports from Bloomberg to identify the number of active Miami student accounts. If these reports are available, we can use them to track the number of students who are actively benefiting from the Bloomberg terminals.

Third, a more indirect way to assess the success of this project is to track our students' placements in careers that are likely to use Bloomberg terminals. Students seeking careers in Investment Banking, Wealth Management, and Risk Management improve their marketability by pursuing BMC Certification to demonstrate their proficiency with the platform. Post-graduation surveys could include questions regarding students' use of Bloomberg at Miami and post-graduation, and the importance of this resource to career-preparedness.


Total Amount Requested: $33,000

Budget Details:

  • 2018-2019 cost of Bloomberg licenses: $65,880
  • Student Technology Fee grant (if awarded): $33,000
  • Finance Department contribution: $32,880

Bloomberg uses an interesting license structure. Organizations that purchase one or two licenses receive one or two licenses, respectively. However, organizations that purchase three or more licenses receive 4x the number of licenses purchased. We currently purchase 3 licenses, which provides 12 licenses for use by students and faculty. The majority of these licenses are attached to computers located in the Chaifetz Trading Center (FSB 1013) and are available to the students and faculty on a drop-in basis. A few licenses are reserved for faculty who use Bloomberg in their courses (e.g., to prepare for class) and to work with students who need Bloomberg help. A Student Technology Fee grant allows us to continue purchasing 3 licenses, which results in 12 licenses available for students' curricular and co-curricular pursuits.


Is this a multi-year request: Yes

Justification for multi-year request: $65,880 is the current cost to purchase 3 Bloomberg licenses for a year (which results in 12 licenses as described above). This technology is needed to support our students today and in the future. During the period covered by this request, the Department of Finance intends to embark on a fundraising campaign to create an endowment that would support the cost of Bloomberg licenses in the future.

Length of multi-year request: 3

Spending plan for multi-year request: The plan is to use a Student Technology Fee grant to offset some of the annual cost of the Bloomberg licenses, with the remainder of the cost paid out of the FSB's Department of Finance budget.

Please address how, if at all, this project impacts any of Miami's BCSAE, 2020, or divisional plans: Although this project does not apply to a specific academic program or research project under The Boldly Creative Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative, the project does touch the following criteria emphasized by the BCSAE fund:

(1) Advance knowledge in the professional fields considered most in-demand throughout Ohio, the region and the nation. Namely, this project helps to prepare our students for careers in some of the most competitive areas of finance, including Investment Banking, Wealth Management, and Risk Management. More generally, Bloomberg access provides our students with the opportunity to become proficient users of an important tool used in finance and related career fields. Students can demonstrate their proficiency by gaining the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification.

(2) Prepare students with the versatile skills and mindset to meet the needs of a demanding and dynamic workforce, with an emphasis on disciplinary diversity. Bloomberg terminals provide students with real-time data that allows for superior analysis and decision making. While the Bloomberg product is most applicable to students interested in finance, it has applications for students across all business disciplines including Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Supply Chain.

(3) Advance Miami’s reputation for excellence and innovation in broad, transdisciplinary areas of research and pedagogy. As mentioned above, students use Bloomberg data in their research. Funding stability might (i) encourage more students to use this resource in future research and (ii) encourage faculty-student research collaborations using Bloomberg data.

(4) Develop/enhance partnerships from the government, non-profit, corporate, higher education and/or health care sectors to enhance programming and learning outcomes. The extracurricular events discussed above (William Blair Investment Banking Competition, Cleveland Research Company Stock Pitch Competition, and CFA Research Challenge) provide opportunities for our students and faculty to interact with important corporate partners. These partnerships provide our students and faculty with opportunities to measure themselves against other Universities (e.g., case competitions) and to discuss our programming and learning outcomes with prospective employers and Miami alumni. This information can then be used to improve our current course offerings and shape the curriculum for future students.