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What is Capital IQ?

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  • Written By: Matt Brady
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2016
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A division of Standard & Poor's (S&P), Capital IQ is a business which provides web-based financial analysis and research to its clients. The service's approach is fairly holistic, providing information on companies, financial markets, investment strategies, among other things. The wide range of services naturally allows Capital IQ to cater to a diverse array of clients, including corporations, investment banks, private equity firms and universities. The company’s website also boasts an interactive online platform featuring multiple analytical tools, such as an Excel plug-in that allows clients not only to research various strains of data, but also to create their own financial spreadsheets.

Capital IQ has a large database of constantly updated financial information. Thousands of public and private companies are listed on the site, complete with data about companies' financial strengths and weaknesses. Users can even glean information about a company's management and board of directors. The site also provides a comprehensive analysis of industries and markets.

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Clients can use the service as a tool to build up their financial portfolio. Capital IQ's Portfolio Analytics module can break down a client's portfolio into different data sets. With the site's charts and graphics, a client has a wide array of tools with which to chart their portfolio's performance. The website also features real-time news, market updates and quotes. The real-time aspect of the website can be used in a general way, to gain a perspective of the general market performance, or in conjunction with a portfolio, to see how the market is specifically affecting a particular set of investments.

Capital IQ allows users to micromanage their research by equipping the site with data-screening capabilities. For example, if a client wants to research private companies that are no older than five years and that meet a certain performance criterion, they can plug in the data and Capital IQ will return the results of all companies that meet those qualifications. That kind of search capability is something of a commodity, given that decades ago one would have had to manually sift through volumes of information in order to find such results.

The website offers a platform capable of integrating Excel as well. Users can look up volumes of financial data and, according to their needs, use the company's Excel plug-in to make spreadsheets and calculate complex financial formulas. The website also features other analytical tools, including more than 70 model templates.

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