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Download Data from Datastream with the Formula Builder

We recommend using the Datastream Formula Builder to download data from Datastream.

Note: You must request access first. Learn more about Datastream access.

Step 1: Connect to Datastream

  1. Connect to the Datastream For Office (DFO) Excel Plugin (see Datastream access help).
  2. In Excel, select Refinitiv > Datastream > Datastream Formula.
  3. In the spreadsheet, place your cursor where you want the data to populate.

Step 2: Select the Securities/Entities

  1. Click the Find Series icon to the right of the Series/Lists text box. The Datastream Navigator will open in a new window.
  2. Use the left panel to refine your search.
  3. Hover over or click on an item in the results list. More information will be in a section under the results.
  4. Check the box next to the symbols you want.
  5. In the upper right click MY SELECTIONS. Click Return all selections.

Step 3: Select the Datatypes/Variables

To avoid issues downloading, you need to know if the datatypes you want are time-series or static.

  • Time-series data runs over a period of time, like a firms' stock price.
  • Static data is typically data from a fixed point in time, such as the date of an IPO. It can also be information about a specific entity (like a company's headquarters) that is 'header' data and overwritten with the most current value.

To tell if a datatype is time-series or static, select the Find Datatype  icon to the right of the Datatypes/Expressions text box to open the Datatype Navigator. In the results, look at the Type column. You can also filter the results by Type in the menu on the left.

For Static OR Time-Series Data
  1. Select the Find Datatype  icon to the right of the Datatypes/Expressions text box.
  2. Use the left panel to refine your search and/or search by keyword at the top.
  3. Click an item in the results list to see a section under the results with more information.
  4. Check the box next to the datatypes you want.
  5. In the upper right click MY SELECTIONS. Click Return all selections

For Time-Series AND Static Data at the Same Time
  1. Add the time-series data:
    1. Select the Find Datatype icon to the right of the Datatypes/Expressions text box. 
    2. Use the left panel to refine your search.
    3. Click an item in the results list to see a section under the results with more information.
    4. Check the box next to the datatypes you want.
    5. In the upper right click MY SELECTIONS. Click Return all selections.
  2. Add the static data:
    1. Select Display Custom Header.
    2. In the new pop-out window, click Datatypes to launch the Datastream Navigator.
    3. Search for the datatype, such as ‘ISIN’ or ‘international securities identification number.’
    4. Click on the blue datatype Symbol.
    5. Select the plus sign (+) to add the datatype to the Selector box. 
    6. Select OK

Step 4: Adjust the Dates & Frequency

If you included time-series data, beneath the Datatypes/Expressions section, edit the From, To, and Frequency boxes to the right of the Start-End box.

If you only need static data, beneath the Datatypes/Expressions section, change the Start-End drop-down to As Of. Then edit the Latest Value drop-down if you need to pick a specific date.

Step 5: Format the Results

  1. Pick how the data will be formatted in the Options box. Select all that apply (e.g. you may want to check the box next to Display Headings or Display Currency.
    • Note, if you need to change the default currency, click the icon near the upper right.
  2. Click Insert in the lower right corner. 

Helpful Tips

To edit the formula once you've inserted the data:

  1. Place your cursor in the cell you initially entered the formula (it should have a little red triangle in the upper right corner).
  2. In the ribbon menu, select the Datastream Formula icon again.
  3. You'll see all the options you initially selected and can change them as needed.


Answered By: Alice Kalinowski
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2022

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