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FAQ

What do you mean by "Analyst Ready" data?

Data which is comparable and transparent. That's what's locked inside all those impenetrable XBRL files a company is required to file with the SEC, which brings us to the third requirement for "Analyst Ready" data. It has to be somewhere where you can instantly analyse it. Where better than a spreadsheet.

How do I register?

Fill in the login boxes at the top of this page and press the Register button. You are now logged in. Your user name is your email address. Your email address will ONLY be used to update you about any changes to the application. You will be automatically logged out if the web app remains idle for an extended period and you will be reminded to log back in when you attempt to use it again.

I've lost my password or want to change it

Re-register using the same email but with a new password.

What should if I do if there's an error?

Please tell us about it and we will try to fix it.

It doesnt do everything I want

Let us know what you want it to do and well see what we can do.

Why use it?

Its the quickest way to get a spreadsheet full of "Analyst Ready" XBRL data from the SEC. Three clicks is all it takes - one to select each company, one to process the data and one to download!

How does it work?

You choose up to 5 filings. They can be from the same or different companies. All potentially comparable data (XBRL tagged) is then extracted from the selected filings held by the SEC, processed and inserted into separate sheets in an Excel workbook (.xls) in a format suited for comparative analysis.

How do I get my spreadsheet?

First of all you need to register. See Above. Then you search for each filing one at a time using the "Filings" buttons and the input boxes on the left hand side. If a search produces multiple results (either multiple companies or multiple filings per company), a list will appear below the search fields on the left hand side. Select the company or filing you require and press one of the "Filings" buttons again (depending in which order you wish the filing to appear in the spreadsheet). Once you have narrowed down your search to a single filing, it will automatically appear in the list of filings to be downloaded on the right hand side. If your search criteria was met by only one filing, it will appear in the filing selection straight away.

When you have finished choosing your filings (can select up to 5), press the "XBRL to XL" button, wait a few seconds and a download button will appear. Press "zip" if you want to download a quicker smaller zipped version.

Why up to 5 filings?

Five is a meaningful number but is actually an arbitrary limit. We may change this in future. It does mean however that download or processing times shouldn't too long. If you need more companies you can always download another spreadsheet.

What data gets downloaded?

Every section of data included in the XBRL filing. Text blocks are not downloaded but merely marked but every XBRL value for the reporting years are.

Can I get quarterly data?

Yes.The database includes both quarterly (10-Qs) and annual financials (10-Ks). These will be downloaded in one of two templates optimised for either annual or quarterly analysis. There is nothing stopping you from downloading a mix of 10K's and 10Q's - you may though need to adjust the settings in the "Standard" sheet in order to see the columns you require.

How up to date is the search database?

It contains everything that's been filed up to the last 10 minutes.

Why does it search for periods after 19th March 2009 by default?

Mandatory filing (for the largest companies) only began for 10-Qs ending after 19th June 2009. No spreadsheets were created for filings for period ends before the end of the 1st calendar quarter of 2009. Some XBRL filings were made before then under the voluntary filing program (going right back to December 2006) but these should probably best be regarded as experimental. They are in the database and you can search for them (try Adobe). If you click on the name of the filing e.g. 10-K, it will take you to the XBRL files in EDGAR.

It doesn't recognise the ticker or CIK I entered

This field only searches for the exact ticker or CIK. The tickers exclude any extraneaous characters (used to denote exchanges or foreign listings for example) and not all companies have tickers.

I can't find the company name I'm looking for

Names are searched for the group of characters entered in the field and can appear anywhere in the name. So you could search for all companies with "Inc" in their name and get a huge list. The list is returned in alphabetical order. Remember also that not quite every company has filed yet.

No filings are coming up for the date range I've selected

Remember mandatory filing only began for the largest companies in the 2nd quarter of 2009 and for the smallest in 2nd quarter of 2011.

Can I download any other spreadsheets?

Yes. You can download complete filings held by the SEC directly from this website. These include all the text sections.

These spreadsheets were created from the original XBRL at the time of filing by the SEC using the SEC rendering engine.

Each section in the report is in a separate tab so for example the Income Statement will be in one tab, the Balance Sheet in another and any breakdown of Revenues which was included as a Note to the Financial Statements in another. As well as the tables, all the text is there too.

When a search brings back a list of filings, an "XLS" button will appear against each filing. Click this to download the SEC rendered spreadsheet.

What is it?

It's XBRL to XL but without the "to". Now you can import XBRL to XL data directly into your spreadsheet model without leaving Excel.

How do I make it to work?

You need to create a web query in Excel or even simpler use one we have prepared earlier or even simpler still, download the example spreadsheet that has them built in.

You can watch this video to see how to create one from scatch or go here to see all our Xbrl sheet videos.

Do I need anything else?

To import something other than the example filing, you will need a token. This you get when you login or register on this website. The box to the right of the "Register" button will contain a number. You insert this in your web query string. The default token is zero and it will always return the latest 10-K for Microsoft.

How long does the token last?

The token is valid for one day (or forever if you decide to get our standiZd data and are in credit). After which you simply need to login again on the website to get a new token. We want you to keep coming back to the website so you are always fully informed of what we are upto and the latest resources available to you. We have many more exciting developments in the pipeline and we don't want you to miss out.

How does it work?

It uses an Excel web query to download and parse the data wherever you want it. So you don't even have to use our pre-prepared spreadsheets.

Which versions of Excel does it work with?

All as far we know. Web queries were introduced before the end of the last Millenium. The answers to the questions below are based on using Excel 2007.

Does it work on Mac?

Should do. Try this link for info on using web queries in Excel on a Mac.

How do I change the companies/filings that get downloaded?

You have exactly the same control over what gets downloaded as you do in XBRL to XL except you don't have to visit the web site every time in order to do it. All you do is change the parameters of the web query. Right click on any of the data returned in the query and in the menu displayed, choose Parameters. On the right you will see where the parameters are coming from e.g.Company ID. In the case of the example spreadsheet, these are supplied by cell references in the "Model" Tab. If you change the values in any of these cells, so will the query and you will get different data. Once you have changed a parameter value in a referenced cell, make sure you refresh the query (again right click to get the menu option) to see the new data. Note you can get the query to prompt you instead for one or more parameters.

How do I add an extra company download to my sheet?

Create a new tab in the workbook and rename it then go to Existing Connections on the Data ribbon. Select any of the five existing connections and when prompted choose a starting location (we recommend cell "A1" to be consistent with the other sheets). The web query will then execute based on the settings in the connection you chose. You will then need to add a new column in the "Model" tab (copy the last column in the sheet) and set the ticker to the desired company. You will also need to add a new column in the "Standard" tab (again just copy the previous column in the sheet - they were designed specifically to be copied). You will now need to change the "Company ID" parameter in the web query - see the previous question.

Is there a limit to the number of filings I can download?

No. Obviously each extra filing will add a little extra time to each full refresh but in theory there is no need to do regular refreshes.

How do I download older filings?

Xbrl sheet downloads the most recent filing before the date specified so if you wanted 10-K's ending in the calendar year 2012 you would use 20121231 as the "repdate" parameter in the query. If by chance a company had filed two 10-K's in that year (due to a year end change for example) then the latest one of the two would be returned.

How do I download quarterly filings?

The example spreadsheet downloads 10-K's (it's designed for them - we will provide another example shortly that's better suited to 10-Q's) but you can download 10-Q's within the existing queries by changing the "Filing Type" parameter from 4 to 1 (right click in a data range and select Parameters).

How do I get a model to automatically update the data for the latest filings?

The example spreadsheet is designed with automatic updates in mind. Each web query is designed to download the latest 10K for each company. However we haven't set these to refresh by default. Unless you change the settings they will only be refreshed if you click Refresh. However you can change this in the "Data Range Properties" (right click on the query data to see this option). You can for example set the data to refresh every time you open the file.

Can't I just edit the query by selecting edit query?

No this is Microsoft. That would be far too easy. Variable parameters can only be added by seeding a connection from a query file and using square brackets round the prompts on the query side of the URL. So our advice to you is never touch that button!

Do I need the web query file (.iqy) as well as the xlsx?

No - the iqy file just seeds a web query with the connection string and the parameters. After which it becomes superfluous. This one way process makes it impossible to edit an existing connection without editing the iqy file (open in a text editor e.g Notepad) and re-specifying the connection file (click Browse in the Definition tab of Properties). If you want to edit the query like this and you don't have the iqy file, you can create it by saving the query. In fact this is the only thing the "Edit Query" option is useful for. Click on the file save icon to save the query as an iqy file.

I want the data to appear somewhere else in the sheet. How do I get it to do that?

It would be a bit too simple just to be able to change the starting cell as an option. No in keeping with the spirit of the previous question, you need to create a new external data range for your chosen location but you can do this using the same connection as you used for the pevious range. From the Data ribbon, choose existing connections (in the example sheet there are five - one for each "Filing" tab). Choose the connection you were using in the previous location and the first thing it will ask you for is a starting cell reference. Then it will run in the new location. If you open Existing Connections again, it may have created a new connection which you can rename by editing the connection properties. You may want to delete the old one to keep things nice and tidy.

The example spreadsheet is rubbish. How do I create my own from scratch using XBRL Sheet as the source?

Excuse me! Well actually it was only designed as a starting point so you maybe entitled to your opinion. You can use the query file to create a fresh connection in another workbook. Select Existing Connections on the Data ribbon and browse to where you saved the query file. The connection will prompt to you for parameters first off but you can edit the paremeters afterwards to use cell references if you prefer (as we do). You may find this video helpful.

What data gets downloaded?

Same as XBRL to XL, the Document and Entity Information, the Financial Statements and the Notes to the Financial Statements. The DEI for XBRL Sheet does include some additional items to aid your analysis.

Do I have to use a ticker?

No you can use a company's CIK. If don't know the ticker or CIK, you can look it up on this website.

Why haven't you created an Excel add-in?

An add-in adds an extra layer of complication. We like to keep things simple.

How do I get this premium data?

You purchase credits here. They are very cheap! Then you'll be emailed a token you can use in Xbrl sheet that will last as long as you are in credit.

Do I need a new application/spreadsheet/website?

No. standiZd data is available in Xbrl sheet. It uses the same web queries. When you are in credit, you get the additional data each time you download a filing.

Why would I need this data?

You might find that your models don't always work without it. Or you have to build more complicated formulas. There will be a blog post/video explaining this at some point (if there isn't already!). More information on this data is available in the Data FAQ below this.

Do we change the data?

No it's the exactly the same as that filed by companies at the SEC. I'll say that again - it is exactly the same. We do now provide additional data which builds on the SEC XBRL data. But this is always downloaded alongside the original data so you can compare the two.

What's the additional data?

Standardized tags and presentational signs. These are available if you buy standiZd credits to get this additional data within Xbrl sheet.

Isn't XBRL "standardized" already?

Yes and No. Every data value is tagged but there is no obilgation to provide every key total - you know, the ones you use most in your ratios! So we provide these! See this blog post for more details. And there's a video in there too.

What's the point of the presentational signs?

The XBRL implementation as prescribed by the SEC requires the XBRL to do two things: provide data for machine readable analysis and allow the data to be presented just as it always has in html documents and printed form before that. These can be contradictory and require the sign to be changed in the presentation. This can be confusing, even to those who create the XBRL. In otherwords it means the sign of the data value, the one you potentially use in your analysis, could be wrong. (And probably the matching presentational sign too - sometimes two wrongs do make a right. Well on the face of it!). They'll be a blog post/video on this (if there isn't already!)


Why aren't there any Sector3 questions?

We haven't completed them yet - please refer to the XBRL Challenge Competition entry page for now.