There are approximately 600 students in the MBA program and 4,300 undergraduate students at Bentley University. Bentley’s business curriculum is based on a fundamental research approach that aims to understand a company’s business model, the strategy of their management, a stock’s valuation, and how a company compares to its peers. The Director of the Hughey Center for Financial Services at Bentley, Richard Gibble, is responsible for finding a real-world financial software tool to enhance students’ coursework and learning.
Bentley subscribes to the FactSet Academic package, which includes more than 15 comprehensive datasets along with industry-leading financial analysis tools. Using FactSet has granted students the opportunity to access a large universe of securities for their research purposes. FactSet has also partnered with Bentley to design several interactive projects using FactSet data and tools for various courses and degrees. For the general business degree, core classes encompassing freshman through seniors all incorporate FactSet. One project specific to the freshman class is a full company analysis, stock valuation, and peer comparison with a final report to provide investment recommendations, all using FactSet.
FactSet is used heavily by students who are majoring in finance for deeper fundamental analysis, company universe screening, and modeling. Additionally, graduate classes focus on FactSet’s specialty products, like Alpha Testing, to educate students on creating a portfolio using factors which have been proven to provide positive returns and then analyzing the hypothetical portfolio against a benchmark.
Now that FactSet is firmly integrated into coursework on campus, more than 3,500 unique users have access to the data and analytics. Incorporating FactSet into assignments has encouraged deeper financial analysis and has helped students focus, since “they can rely solely on FactSet to complete an entire project rather than jumping from one software to another to gather data,” Mr. Gibble comments.