I joined Wharton Research Data Services at the beginning of its start-up phase and I am still involved with the group. WRDS was created to provide an efficient solution to data access and has evolved to become the largest data platform for academic research. Currently, WRDS provides data from 70+ providers across diverse topics ranging from macroeconomics to firm-level fundamental data, options, compensation or ESG voting. We serve more than 500 institutions around the world with more that 100K active research accounts.
During these 20 years I have been in different positions as the business has grown from tiny start-up to mature “niche” business. At the initial phase I was involved in the design of the data platform and the strategic decisions regarding data contents and services. In 2001 we had a handful of clients in the US but no international presence. Soon we launched the internationalization of WRDS services. I opened the new EMEA market which currently provides 1/3 of the turnover. That required adjusting not only the data contents and the UX, but, most importantly, putting systems in place for supporting clients around the world.
The internationalization allowed WRDS to grow into a real data platform hosting much larger data offering and consolidated our Research and Data Support as a key service. Our support services allows us to differentiate from other data platforms or our own data suppliers.
My role has always been at the intersection between the data and systems team, the tech side and the business side. Still we are a very horizontal team where most of us still code and provide support on a regular basis – which allows us to be attune to our users’ needs. I currently lead the EMEA team as the Director of International Initiatives.
During these 20 years WRDS has been part of the Big data explosion not only by hosting the ever-expanding data but as well by creating new niche datasets ourselves and designing analytics to make use of large datasets.