Bloomberg terminals and data limits at Sauder

David Lam Library at UBC Sauder provides access to Bloomberg terminals in Wayne Deans Investment Analysis Centre (WDIAC) and Leith Wheeler lab (Room 222 in the Canaccord Learning Commons). The terminals in WDIAC are for Sauder student use only. The terminals can be booked online (select Book Lab Terminals under Canaccord Learning Commons). Please note that terminal 6 in Leith Wheeler lab is no longer bookable. It is available on a strictly drop-in basis.

Bloomberg data limits
Bloomberg has 3 kinds of data limits:

  1. All of our Bloomberg terminals have a monthly downloading limit. This is strictly enforced by Bloomberg.  If we have reached our monthly downloading limit, users will see the following error message when they try to download: #N/A Limit. This limit is based on unique securities and depends on the type of data being downloaded. For example some data, such as intra-day, is valued a little bit higher than historical end-of-day for any given list of securities. Bloomberg does not recommend more than 5000 to 7000 unique identifiers per month. Once a security is used once in a month, then if you use it again it will not count again towards the monthly limit.
    Bloomberg recently changed its policy and no longer extends data limits for educational subscriptions. Once a monthly downloading limit is reached, we have to wait until the beginning of the next month before it resets. There is no way of knowing whether the monthly data limit has been reached, until it has been exceeded.
    Bloomberg associates its data limits with paid licenses.  That means one Bloomberg license may have reached its monthly limit, but the other licenses may not have reached their limits. If a monthly downloading limit is reached, a student may switch to another Bloomberg  machine which has not reached its monthly limit. Sauder students can switch to machines in both Leith Wheeler and WDIAC.  Non-Sauder students can only switch to a machine in Leith Wheeler.  Unfortunately, 4 of the 5 Bloomberg machines in Leith Wheeler share the same license meaning that if one of those terminals has reached its monthly data limit, then all those associated machines will also have reached that data limit. Please be judicious in downloading data to avoid hitting the limits for yourself and all other users.
  2. Bloomberg terminals also have a daily downloading limit. The Daily API limit is 500,000 hits/per day. A “hit” is defined as one request for a single security/field pairing. Therefore, if you request static data for 5 fields and 10 securities, that will translate into a total of 50 hits. The best thing to do is to try to refresh just the portion of the spreadsheet that really needs to be refreshed and avoid refreshing it all or reopen it many times a day.
    If you are running into daily limit problems, it is best to contact the Bloomberg Help Desk, while on Bloomberg.  Bloomberg will get back to you within 24 hours/1 business day via your Bloomberg mail. The Help Desk may advise you on how to create more efficient data queries, which will minimize the number of hits.
  3. The third limit consists of open fields. You can have no more than 3500 real time fields open at the same time. If you exceed this limit you will see “NA Limit” as an error message and you just need to delete some securities/ fields in order for the error message to disappear and to see the values.

Please keep in mind that more than 3 unsuccessful login attempts on Bloomberg will lock the station. If this happens, please use the “forgot your password” function within Bloomberg.

For more information about Bloomberg, check out our research guide which provides tips on getting started with Bloomberg, obtaining help, and some fantastic Bloomberg keyboard shortcuts.