From the website:
WRDS provides instant access to important databases in the fields of finance, accounting, banking, economics, management, marketing and public policy.
We provide universities with the following key benefits:
* A Simple, yet Powerful Web Interface. We offer point-and-click access to many databases. You can research one firm or several hundred firms simultaneously. All the databases have a common interface and a consistent data format.
* A Host of Research Applications. We offer sophisticated tools and sample programs for a variety of research, including: conducting event studies, testing asset-pricing models using Fama-French portfolios, calculating bid-ask spreads on different exchanges and securities, and much more.
* Support from a team of PhD's and IT Specialists. Whether you use the web interface or run customized programs on our UNIX server, our staff of Phd's and programmers will answer your research and programming questions.
* Classroom Learning Enhancements. WRDS interface is simple and straightforward. Faculty can easily integrate research data into classroom lectures and student projects.
* Timely Updates. Our experienced IT staff converts and installs database updates, so research data can be accessed immediately. You no longer have to spend countless hours programming and decoding tapes or writing Fortran access programs.