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Demo of Using SEC EDGAR Information

This isn't much, I am just goofing around.  But think about this.  Let's say you wanted to know the public float of every public company who files with the SEC.

  • Old way: Dig through the filings manually.  Approximate time, about what, say 5 minutes for each filing, let's say you would do this for the 100 filings listed on the EDGAR XBRL RSS feed, so 500 minutes.
  • New way: Query the database.  Approximate time, about 1 hour to write the code, 2 minutes to run the code and put the information into Microsoft Access.

The result in: PDF Excel.

Granted, this is a very simple query of information, I am not a programmer, and it does not include all filers.  Like I said, I am just goofing around.  I can grab the 100 XBRL filings made available by the SEC.  Eventually, when you can grab all the filings (i.e. when the RSS feed covers all filings not just the top 100, and when more filers file using XBRL), this may be more useful.  Further, there is a lot of interesting information in those filings.

Some observations

Take a look at the data. I don't understand why only about half of the filers actually provide this information.  I am not sure if it is required by the EDGAR Filing Manual or not.  It is funky how different filers round the information in different ways.  From rounded to billions, to showing information to the dollar, all the way to Keycorp which rounds to the penny.

Fact is, my little application grabs the fact values for all 100 filings in the RSS feed. It was very easy to grab the individual fact values.  Now I am trying to figure out good ways to grab meaningful information and put that information into meaningful presentations.  The more that people do this sort of thing, it seems, the more information which can get back to the SEC about what might be helpful (i.e. like making the RSS feed cover all documents) to enable other sorts of queries, taxonomy adjustments which may be advantageous, etc.


Posted on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 10:22AM by Registered CommenterCharlie in , , | CommentsPost a Comment

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