Because Bloomberg has such a robust suite of analytics and market capabilities, getting the system to do what you want it to can be a challenge, at least until you become familiar with it. Fortunately, there are some tricks that can speed up your learning curve.
Make use of the <HELP> function: Bloomberg provides excellent customer support; make use of it by hitting the <HELP> key when you need assistance. Remember, hitting <HELP> once describes the function you are using; hitting it twice will connect you to customer support via instant message.
Schedule a visit from a Bloomberg representative: Particularly if you have your own system, you should take advantage of a visit from a Bloomberg representative who can walk you through the system and show you how to use some of the functions that might be helpful for what you intend to do.
Get Bloomberg "cheat sheets": Bloomberg puts out "cheat sheets" that list common functions and their Bloomberg tickers. These sheets are broken down by assets class, so if you intend to analyze equities, get a sheet with the most common equity functions, if you like fixed income, get a fixed income guide, etc. These "cheat sheets" should give you a good starting point for navigating common Bloomberg functions.
Visit Bloomberg University: By typing <BU> into the system, you will be taken to a screen that offers a wide variety of training videos, informational papers and live seminars. The seminars are broken down by region, so you might be interested in attending one in your area (there is a fee for some of the seminars, but the majority are offered free to Bloomberg users).
Incorporate Excel into Bloomberg: Bloomberg connects rather seamlessly with Excel, so you can use spreadsheets to analyze data downloaded from Bloomberg. Even better, you can build a spreadsheet that automatically updates your data each time you open it, saving you the trouble of doing so by hand. Best of all, Bloomberg offers sample spreadsheets for common types of analysis (i.e. tracking stock price movements or analyzing company balance sheets), thereby saving you the trouble of building your own spreadsheet. You can also further customize these generic spreadsheets that Bloomberg offers in order to fit your specific needs. If you are interested in incorporating Excel spreadsheets into Bloomberg, type <DAPI> to access the Excel main menu on Bloomberg. (For related reading, see Improve Your Investing With Excel.)
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