Screen Scraping in to Excel for Financial Analysts
Web scraping and data scraping are particularly popular on Wall Street. In quantitative finance and particularly option trading, momentum strategies and several other fixed income strategies, quant analyst have developed a variety of web scraping tools to capture data from the web and utilize these data as signals for their trading algorithms.
Screen scraping: The same is not always through for fundamental analysis as well as other accounting analysis. There is not time and enough resources to build specialized algorithms to mine the web and get insights for fundamental analysis. Yet very often a variety of interesting data both numerical and textual are available on the web.
As matter of fact the key tool, financial analysts and auditor use is Microsoft excel. This the environment where most of their financial models are created and maintained over the time. Copy data from the screen or the web into a excel spread data sheet is not always the most prone solution for a financial analysts. Copy and paste is not as effective as scraping and screenshot a desktop image as well as web scraping data from blogs such as seeking alpha
Basically even though a text to column converter exists in excel, most times this operation is not accurate. Moreover the data scraped and ingested usually need to be fetched in to some excel model by means of excel functions such as Vlookup, countif, pivot table and others. For those excel financial modeling commands to be effective the origination worksheet needs to be well formatted and each individual cell needs to have the right text/numeric format.
An interesting possibility for a fundamental financial analyst or an auditor is to use the web scraping and desktop scraping function in the pdf to excel converter Tabex. When used in synch with the scraping tool the analyst can take a snapshot of whatever tabular data on a website or on its desktop and shoot it directly into an excel work sheet ready for fetching the data scraped. In this way the analyst can create a seamlessly experience from the scraping and data capture to excel financial modeling.