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Using the Bloomberg Terminal

Access the Bloomberg Terminal to research market data, supply chain, CRS reports, industry data, trade data, and much more.

Where Can I Find the Bloomberg Terminal?

The Bloomberg Terminal is a dedicated computer that offers access to the Bloomberg Professional service, and is located in the Commerce Research Library (HCHB Room 1984). DOC staff are welcome to use the terminal on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What Kind of Data Can I Find in the Bloomberg Terminal?

Bloomberg brings together real-time data on every market, news from around the globe, analyst-driven research, and powerful analytics.   Locate current and historical data on more than 5 million commodities, currencies, bonds, equities, and funds.  View company profiles, financial statements, trade and economic data, analysts’ forecasts, mergers & acquisitions, and supply chain data.  Track legislation and regulations, find hearing transcripts and CRS reports, view staffing directories, and access other government intelligence tools.

How Can I Get Started with the Bloomberg Terminal?

  • Sign the log at the information desk and grab a windows password slip.
  • Double-click the Bloomberg icon to begin.
  • The first time you use the terminal, you will need to create an individual login.  This is helpful so that you can customize your landing page, set up alerts, and forward reports and data to your .gov email.  Remember to bring your cell phone; Bloomberg will need to text or email you a one-time authentication code to complete your registration.
  • Bloomberg has a predictive menu bar, so start typing in the blue menu bar (don't hit enter) and choose from a list of functions and securities.  You can even type the name of a person, company, or country, and navigate from there.

Setting Up News Alerts & Forwarding

Use the steps below to setup news alerts on the Bloomberg terminal and have them forwarded to your .gov email address:

Step 1 - Create a message rule so that your alerts are automically forwarded to your .gov email address.

  1. In the blue bar, type MRUL (messaging rules)
  2. Click on 1) Create Rule
  3. Check MSG type and choose ALERT from the drop-down.
  4. Check “Forward the MSG to” and input your .gov email.
  5. Close/Save.

Step 2 - Setup a news alert on any topic of interest.

  1. From the blue bar, perform your search (such as “News on [xyz]”)
  2. Use the yellow NARROW box along with the other filters to refine your search
  3. From the red Display & Edit tab: 
    • You have the option of using “Save Search” and naming your search.  This may be useful if you get all your parameters set up but may need to continually tweak keywords, etc.  You can skip this step and go straight to alerts, but it may or may not be a useful option for you.
  4. From the red Display & Edit tab choose “Set Alert Delivery” from the drop-down.
  5. Click “Send me a message” and choose your frequency. **We do NOT recommend real-time, or you could potentially be over-run with email, depending on the search.**
  6. Close.
  7. In the blue bar, type NLRT (news alert) to view, edit, or delete your alerts. 

Below are just a few shortcuts to get you started.  Let us know which functions you use the most or any topics you'd like us to offer training on!

<NEWS>
Real-time news updates from a multitude of websites, tickers, and wires.  See the top stories of the day, narrow your search by language (then translate!), global region, keyword, source, and more.  Use <MRUL> to create a forwarding rule and news alerts will be sent straight to your .gov email.

<BGOV> Bloomberg Government
Track legislation and regulations, find hearing transcripts and CRS reports, view staffing directories, and access other government intelligence tools.   BGOV reports both minutiae (who got a subcommittee appointment on the Hill) as well as "deep dives" and analysis on policy, appropriations, legs and regs, and more.  You can also subscribe to Bloomberg BNA newsletters that will go to your .gov email.

<BI> Bloomberg Intelligence
Independent research by Bloomberg analysts that covers everything from the macro picture to company-level operating, financial, and valuation information.  Use this as a starting point to aggregate data available in other parts of the terminal.

<RES> Research Search Engine
Search or browse all available research OR within a company page, use <BRC> to see research on that particular company.

<DS> Document Search
Locate reports, PR announcements, financial documents, research, transcripts, and more.

<EQS>  Equity Screener
Locate the number of companies within a certain industry in a certain area (public companies only).

<PSCR> Private Equity
Similar to <EQS>, this function provides data on private companies.

<RELS> Related Securities
See the parent/subsidiary relationships between companies.

<MA> Mergers & Acquisitions
Locate companies with investments or purchases, along with capital market data.  Slice and dice this data many ways. Use <CACS> to show single corporate actions. 

<SPLC> Supply Chain
See quantified relationships between buyers and sellers.

<BMAP> Bloomberg Maps
Commodity maps that beautifully show shipping data.  Search for specific vessels or vessel types, track choke points, view movement terminals, and then save it all under "My Maps" to view the updated data later.

Because Bloomberg contains an enormous amount of information, it can be challenging and a bit overwhelming in the beginning.  Take advantage of the following tools to help you quickly master the initial learning curve.

Use the <HELP> Function
Press the green HELP key once to describe the function you are using.  Press it twice to chat in real-time with a Bloomberg customer representative.  

Use Bloomberg's Cheat Sheets
Cheat Sheets, like the ones linked on the right, list the common functions to help you navigate the terminal.  Type <BPS> for the full cheat sheet directory.

Visit Bloomberg University
Type <BU> and access training videos and informational papers.  Sign up on the terminal and access <BESS> Bloomberg Essentials Online Training webinars at your desktop or participate in live training at the regional Bloomberg office on K St, where everyone in the seminar gets their own terminal to practice on.  

Seamlessly Link to Excel
Download data into spreadsheets to make analysis easier.  You can build your own or use one of Bloomberg's templates, then set it to automatically update your data each time you open it.  

Need More Training?
The library regularly offers in-person classes with our Bloomberg trainers and Bloomberg Market Specialists for DOC staff.  To request one-on-one training from either a librarian or our Bloomberg trainer, please fill out a training request.  

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