Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.


Author:Tucker Goodrich
Posted:9/17/1999; 2:47:31 PM
Topic:Today's scriptingNews Outline
Msg #:11247 (In response to 11207)
Prev/Next:11246 / 11248

EDGAR Documents are the filings made to the Security and Exchange Commission by publicly-owned companies. Annual reports, quarterly reports, that sort of thing.

I live in these things all day long... There's a dire need for some way to intelligently parse the data. And yet for all the money in the financial markets, I've only seen one company that took intelligent advantage of the fact that EDGAR documents have always been in SGML, and that was just to move the financial information into a spreadsheet.

If what these guys are doing is trying to come up with some better way to interact with EDGAR, which is just a directory tree that contains flat-file documents, that's a great thing. If they could turn them into an XML database, that's a better thing. I have some doubts about the feasability of what they might be trying to do, because most of the information (in fact, just about all of the information) in an EDGAR doc is unstructured. Even if you look at the financial tables, they just have table, header, and column tags.

But what I saw looked like it was inferior to just have a listing of the documents. Inferior because it gives you a bunch of icons, and you have to click on each one to see what it is.

Why not just a list?

EDGAR is a great thing in need of being made better, but I don't think this is the way to make it better.

I don't see where they're adding value.

PS: I originally got on the 'net to access EDGAR data for my Wall Street job... It went from something no one had heard of (it used to take a day and $30 to $85 to get an EDGAR document, to instantaneous) to something every Wall St analyst uses every day. I can't begin to imagine how much money goes into giving people access to the EDGAR system, but it must be alot. A good opportunity for someone... Check out

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