What is Factset?
Factset Research Systems is a company that provides software and financial data solutions for investment professionals. The company offers a number of financial services, such as business advisory, data consolidation, market analytics, portfolio data management, and client support and learning. The services are tailored for both sell-side and buy-side individuals working in the capital markets, such as hedge funds, investment bankers, and portfolio managers.
Factset is currently headquartered in the United States, with 48 offices in 22 countries. Its services are used by more than 4,700 organizations, with at least 130,000 worldwide users as of 2020. The company’s annual client retention rate is around 95%.
Factset aims to consolidate financial data from multiple financial resources into a single platform. Using the collected data, the company also provides analytical insight to help investment professionals enhance their investing performance.
The consolidation of financial data can then be used towards helping organizations with financial analysis and financial reporting. In particular, Factset offers a computer system that can be personalized to better match the organization’s financial needs and analytical applications that offer support for data analysis and financial content.
In 2007, Factset acquired DealMaven, an organization that provides tools to improve workflow efficiency for investment bankers who use Microsoft Office. Specifically, DealMaven offers unique add-ins for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for investment bankers to consolidate and analyze data more effectively.
By purchasing DealMaven, Factset is able to help organizations improve their financial modeling efficiency with better formatting, custom macro shortcuts, and automation of processes in establishing pitchbook presentations.
Why Do Investment Professionals Use Factset?
Factset offers access for financial professionals to more than 30 datasets and 850 independent data providers. The platform also provides many solutions for different business needs, such as research solutions, data solutions, and ESG investing solutions.
The company’s financial products are also applicable across many business areas, such as buy-side trading, data science, information technology, and risk management. The platform also uses technology to enhance the investing experience through a data marketplace, digital portals, and an application programming interface (API).
Factset’s solutions are also flexible. It can be implemented either as a standalone component in each area in an organization or implemented as a whole system across the entire organization.
How Does Factset Work?
Factset’s platform offers a user interface that is easy to navigate, in addition to a customizable workspace. Using the main menu, users can launch their own workspace, along with its tabs and components. They can also view information about the economy, stock market, top news for the day, earnings reports, and more.
One of the most used components within the platform is Market Watch, which allows investors to establish their own list of real-time quotes for bonds, equities, indices, currencies, and commodities. Additionally, users can also retrieve specific information for a stock, such as charts, volume, and bid and ask prices. The information can then be transferred to Excel using Factset’s Excel add-in function.
Comparison with other Platforms
Besides Factset, there are several major platforms in the financial data industry, such as Eikon, Bloomberg, and Capital IQ. Although the platforms are all heavily used, some investment professionals may prefer to use Factset because its interface is easy to navigate.
Additionally, it is useful for investment bankers who need to create pitchbooks and conduct financial modeling, as this platform offers real-time market data, unique data sets, and Excel plugins. Financial professionals also prefer Factset because it is customizable and offers financial product subscriptions.
If you would like to continue learning more about finance, CFI is the official provider of the Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA)® certification program. Additionally, we offer related articles about finance and investing to help you continue to advance your learning: