How to Import Investment Banking Financial Information into Excel - dummies

How to Import Investment Banking Financial Information into Excel

By Matt Krantz, Robert R. Johnson

If you don’t have access to one of the big financial services commonly used by investment bankers, don’t fret. As long as you have access to a spreadsheet program, the most powerful of which is Microsoft Excel, you can do deep analysis of company data. The tricky part is knowing how to get data from EDGAR into Excel. There are a few ways to help your data make the leap.

How to copy and paste EDGAR data

To copy and paste data from EDGAR into an Excel spreadsheet, follow these steps:

  1. Get the EDGAR financial document up on your screen.

  2. Hold down the left mouse button, and highlight the data you want to capture.

  3. When all the data is highlighted, click your right mouse button and choose copy.

  4. Open Excel.

  5. Place your cursor in cell A1, and right-click.

    A contextual menu appears. In newer versions of Excel, this menu has several Paste options (including Paste – Keep Source Formatting or Paste – Match Destination Formatting), and the one you choose varies on how the data was formatted in EDGAR, which varies by company.

    With some versions of Excel, including Excel 2013, you can see what the pasting will look like before you actually commit. Choose the paste option that keeps the columns in the best order and go for it. You’ll know the best paste option because the data will line up neatly in rows and columns in the spreadsheet.

    If you don’t like the way it looks after pasting, just press Ctrl+Z to undo your work. Then right-click, and try another paste option.

  6. Clean up the spreadsheet.

    When cutting and pasting from EDGAR into Excel, a few glitches are easy to spot. For example, you may find a strange column break or another weird formatting issue. You can clean them up as needed.

How to import directly into Excel

Copying and pasting into spreadsheets is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think about analyzing EDGAR data. But sometimes the jump over the great divide doesn’t go well. In those cases, or in more specialized instances where you want to automate the process, you can use a built-in feature of Excel that pulls in data from Edgar. It’s Excel’s Data From web feature.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet, and go to the EDGAR page you need.

  2. Select the Data tab in Excel, and click the From web option.

    If you’re using an old version of Excel (2003 or earlier), you won’t see a Data tab. In that case, upgrade Excel. (You’ll be better off in the long run anyway.)

    A box that looks like an Internet Explorer browser screen appears.

  3. Copy the EDGAR web page address and paste it into the New web Query box in Excel, and click Go.

    The New web Query feature scans the EDGAR page for any table and places a yellow square with an arrow next to it.

  4. Click the yellow square with the arrow next to the table you want to pull into Excel.

  5. Click the Import button at the bottom of the New web Query window, and click OK in the Import Data box.

    Excel does the rest.