Schedule Support & Tagging Update

I want to reduce the cost/barriers of getting support. To that end we have made a few updates. First, we have an email account that is monitored almost 24-7 because we have some very knowledgeable team members who work in other time zones. If you are stuck and what to see if we can immediately address your problem please send an email to support x@x directedgar dot com. Hopefully my attempt to avoid getting unwanted emails does not confuse you.

Next – how about the ability to schedule some quality time together to either address a specific problem or work on a general strategy for a particular project? I found a tool that allows us to schedule that quality time without too much effort. If you visit this scheduling page you can see my availability and pick a time that works for you. If none of the available times are suitable send me an email directly.

In early March I shared how to access a test index that had additional metadata to enhance your search or to provide more useful context for the results. Our goal was (is) to automate the addition of this metadata to our platform and back fill our older indexes with this data. It has been a process and while I want to get into the weeds with some of the special challenges – boring you is not likely to keep you reading. I will share that for me to be willing to go live with this we established an internal goal. The code had to work on all 10-K filings made in the first quarter of 2013, 2017 and 2021 with no errors. Errors in this case meaning that when an exception occurred – the possible cases for the exception were exhaustively evaluated and if we could not code a resolution then we could label the error in a meaningful way. Further the error cases have to be less than 1/2 of 1% (0.005) of the processed filings.

We finally have code that achieves those standards for Q1 2013 and 2017. We are going to run a test on Q1 2021 in the next several days to confirm that the results hold after a bit more careful error handling. So we are close. I am personally excited about this because I think you should be able to define your search by some of the metadata we are adding to the filings. I have had so many queries about identifying firms with dual classes of stock (see for example the effort described in this paper The Rise of Dual-Class Stock IPOS) – it should be trivial and I think we are going to make it trivial. I have already described that filer status affects disclosure in a number of ways. Size is often used as a proxy but why shouldn’t you be able to directly access filer status since it is the determinate of a registrant’s reporting obligations.

In some ways I am glad this has taken so long because we have had other questions about firm characteristics that we think are worthy to add as metadata. As a result, we have actually been actively collecting some other measures that we are going to include in our new metadata injection.

One critical piece of information is that I determined we cannot safely add some of the additional metadata to 10-K/A. The problem is that registrants are inconsistent about the reference point for the measurement of these values. I have seen registrants report their filer status for the balance sheet date of the financial statements included in the amendment. There have also been cases where their filer status has changed and so even though a scan of the amendment indicates they are following the disclosure regime of their prior filer status they have reported their current filer status on the face of their 10-K/A. There have been cases where registrants report their public float for the end of the second quarter prior to the balance sheet of the included financial statements but there have also been cases where the public float is for a trading date close to the filing date of the amendment. Finally there have also been cases where the public float is pulled from the end of the second quarter of their most recent 10-K and that 10-K was not amended.

There are still a lot more details to share. I will provide a fuller explanation when we move this to production. I am now predicting that we should be adding all of the new metadata to 2021 10-K filings in production in about two weeks. That will give us the insight we need to determine how best to back fill this data to our archives.

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