Last week, Standard & Poor's and The Wharton School announced that Standard & Poor's credit ratings will now be a part of WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services). WRDS users will now have access to RatingsXpress coverage of ratings on more than 43,000 active issues that dates back to 1922. They will also be able to take advantage of greater researching capabilities made possible by the combination of the RatingsXpress data with Standard & Poor's Compustat fundamental and market data.

The RatingsXpress ratings coverage includes issues for global issuers, public finance and structure finance entities. Historical Credit Ratings through the RatingsXpress digital feed include data at issuer/entity and issue/instrument levels. Compustat includes fundamental and market data on 65,000 global securities and it provides company, index and industry information that can support financial models and proprietary company and industry analysis.

This announcement emphasizes the ever-increasing value of historical data. In order to satisfy the needs of today's researchers, publishers must offer access to this historical data as well as the most recent, up-to-date information available. Researchers recognize the importance of historical data and publishers must do the same. Historical data really does help increase the value of current data--making analysis of all of the data more meaningful. And offering a complete collection of historical and current data to researcher customers can only help deepen their relationship with you. It's the backbone of WRDS, a service used by a subscriber base of more than 190 business schools, universities and research institutions. It could be the backbone of your collection too.