XBRL Data Quality of SEC Filings in EDGAR


For fundamental investors probably the most important financial information to study are the financial reports from companies that they wish to potentially invest in. For publicly traded companies in the US, the SEC regulates what data needs to be reported and at which frequency, and investors typically access those financial reports through their own brokerage firm’s website, or through publicly available databases from other Internet providers. In addition, all the original filings from all companies are also directly available from the SEC in the EDGAR database. In addition to HTML and PDF versions of those financial reports, the EDGAR database also contains XBRL versions of those company filings since 2007, with the intent of making this data more easily comparable and directly consumable by computer programs for further analysis.

At least that is the goal…

In this article we’re going to look at some issues with the XBRL data quality of company filings in the SEC’s EDGAR database and show the surprising lack of correlation of high-level financial data extracted from the XBRL filings with publicly available financial data about US companies provided, e.g., by Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and Fidelity Investments, as well as the shocking discrepancies found in the data reported by those separate services amongst one another.

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XBRL Example Files on GitHub


Did you know that Altova has a sample source code repository on GitHub? We are building this out based on customer requests, and at the moment we’ve posted a collection of XBRL example files, code snippets, and Python scripts for working with XBRL data, including instructions for accessing and processing the vast amount of data from filing companies available on the SEC web site, as well as some essential tools for performing validation on EDGAR filing data.

Here are some details on what you can find there.

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Foolproof, Fast, and Flexible XML Validation Options


The most recent few releases of XMLSpy included some pretty powerful speed increases for validations jobs, achieved by strengthening synergy between Altova products. Now, developers using XMLSpy can take advantage of RaptorXML Servers installed on their network for the processing of large or complex XML, XBRL, and project-based validation jobs – directly inside the XML editor.

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The XML validator in XMLSpy is powered by the Altova RaptorXML validation engine, which already provides the closest possible standards conformance coupled with fast validation speeds. However, the validation rates achieved are still limited to single-core execution on the CPU available in the developer’s machine.  RaptorXML Server, on the other hand, benefits from the substantial increase in processing power afforded by multi-CPU, multi-core servers for increased throughput and more efficient memory utilization.

What does this mean for you? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of connecting XMLSpy to RaptorXML Server.
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XML Validation Speeds Reach New Levels


Let’s take a look at a few of the features recently added to the Altova MissionKit desktop developer tools and complete line of server software products, including screaming-fast XML validation speeds using RaptorXML Server inside XMLSpy,  frequently requested functionality for EDGAR filing validation, support for SQLite databases and the TRADACOMS EDI format, and much more. You can always learn about the latest and greatest new features on the Altova What’s New page.

 

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Rendering XBRL Table Linkbases using StyleVision


StyleVision provides the ability to quickly and easily generate multichannel renderings and reports of XBRL data. Because it employs a visual, drag-and-drop design model and includes numerous XBRL-formatting wizards, even stakeholders without deep technical XBRL expertise can leverage the full power of standards-based XBRL data to generate rich business reports on a one-time or recurring basis.  Starting with Version 2015 Release 3, StyleVision provides built-in support for rendering data according to XBRL Table Linkbase definitions. Let’s take a look at how it works.


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New Support for XPath/XQuery 3.1, WS-Security, and More Debut in R3


Release 3 of the Version 2015 Altova MissionKit desktop developer tools and Altova server software products is now available with updated standards support, customer requested features, and innovative new functionality that will save you time on everything from XPath and XQuery development, to advanced data mapping, to XBRL report rendering and beyond. You can skip right to the good stuff and upgrade now, or click Read More below for all the details.
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2014 XBRL International Conference


Altova will be
exhibiting and presenting at this year’s 2014 XBRL International Conference in
Orlando, FL June 9 – 11th. We hope to see you at the event. Don’t
forget to stop by our booth to speak to us about how RaptorXML +XBRL Server can
speed up XBRL validation processes in your organization.  We’ll also be demoing the Altova MissionKit XBRL development and data
integration products
.
You can also sit in on the sessions where our CEO Alexander
Falk will be speaking
about problems and potential solutions in processing
large instance documents for both government and business implementations, as
well as a technical demonstration about extracting useful data from the SCC’s
RSS feed.  

We hope to see you there!