Monday 15 June 2020

Getting started with an XBRL API Data Call

(if you've stumbled across this article and want to know more, email us and I can add you to our beta programme)

We have set up an Excel sheet to make it really easy to start quickly pulling data back using Beryl, our API, or indeed, the XBRL US version.

All you have to do is fill in the coloured boxes in any of the sheets and run the query to bring back a time series for your chosen data point.

For our API you will need a token which you can get from our website by registering or signing in, which then goes in the Red Box.

To run the query, move to a cell in the grey area where the results are. Right click and choose refresh query or use the keyboard shortcut ALT F5. In Excel the API call is made using Power Query.

Green Box - Tag. Choose a data item by entering an XBRL tag. We have constructed a data set of the most commonly used tags that you are likely to need called the X Financials. These are listed on a sheet at the back of the Workbook. If you want to see all the tags you could possibly ever use! then got to an online XBRL Taxonomy (there are quite a few free ones around). I use the Workiva Wdesk Taxonomy Analyser. You can also just enter "All" in this box and it will bring back data for all the items used the companies you select.

Green Box - "All". If you don't know which tag to select or need to get familiar with the tags in use, you can put "All" in the Green Box as the Tag.. Be aware that if a value lies off the main axis (sorry getting a bit technical here), then these values will not get returned with this call. This only applies to more obscure values that might have been disclosed in a more complex table in the notes. A full explanation of axis and dimensions is explained in another article. Values on these axis will be made available in future. We want to make sure we do this in a meaningful way that doesn't bombard you with incomprehensive incomparable data

Orange Box - Date. Choose a year for the values that you want returned. It will get values from filings with a reporting period ending in that year. So specifying 20191231 will return values from a 10-K with a year end up to and including that date. If you just enter 2019, it will do the same. If you enter 20190630, it will bring back values for filing periods ending between 20190630 and 20180701.

Orange Box - Years. The other (optional) Orange Box, Years, determines how many years of values are bought back. So the Date box specifies the starting year and Years how many periods are returned in the series. If no Years are specified, it will bring back one year of values.

Blue Box - Cos. Enables you to specify which companies you want values returned for. This is where the beauty of modern Excel kicks in. Add a ticker to the bottom of the list and the Excel Table (The Blue Box) automatically expands to include it. Companies have to be specified by ticker, but don't worry if you haven't got the ticker at hand, you can quickly look them up using our API on the Beryl Cos sheet. You can always reduce the number of companies returned by pulling the Table back up to its original size using the triangular (ish) handle at the bottom right corner of the Table.

Also read - A Walk Around the Results Returned by an API Data Call (coming soon).

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