Comparing financial research databases

Intelligize and Lexis Securities Mosaic

Need a recent 10-K for a publicly held company?

Anyone can retrieve that, fast and free, by going to  EDGAR, the SEC’s database of required financial reporting.

While EDGAR is great for some securities research, the system falls short for sophisticated financial and business intelligence analysis.

computer-research-tools

Image by shironosov via iStock

That’s when researchers turn to one or more of the commercial subscription alternatives, which offer functions that allow them to work more efficiently and empower them to include trends, context and other insights in their reports.

A number of these subscription research tools are available, but we’re going to compare two of the most popular – Intelligize and Lexis Securities Mosaic. While we will share personal preferences and advice from some of our own research analysts, LibSource is neither endorsing nor recommending one solution over the other. Our intention is to offer a few basic considerations to guide your own choice for your law firm or corporation.

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Intelligize

Intelligize was developed by Gurinder Sangha, a lawyer who left corporate law in 2007 to develop what he called the “Apple approach” to legal research. He did this by creating a simple interface that could be used intuitively and by deconstructing the research process. Intelligize breaks SEC filings down to the clause level, allowing researchers to view the same clause from multiple flings at the same time.

Ease of use is a key strength and differentiator of Intelligize, and to make sure he nailed that requirement, he went to the people who put these tools to the test, every day – law librarians. Sangha said that he regards law librarians as a “special brain trust” for an article on the Dewey B Strategic blog. He credits them for content and functionality enhancements, a perspective that has served him and his company well.

As one of LibSource’s own legal research analysts says,

“To me, Intelligize is so granular and well-designed that I can just plug in data and be able to easily review results.”

In fact, our researcher consensus on Intelligize would also describe Apple products – very sophisticated, yet easy to use. One of them, dedicated to a LibSource law firm client that uses the system, had this to say:

“Intelligize delivers a sophisticated, in-depth approach to research. It excels in searches for precedents and it also offers a risk factor ranking that is a great resource for industry and business sector analysis.”

Following is an overview of the some of the content and capabilities offered by Intelligize. (This is not an exhaustive list of all features.)

SEC FILINGS – Review SEC disclosure documents and stay current on ‘what’s market-standard’ disclosures with advanced filtering options.

TRANSACTIONS – Merger and acquisition data includes an expansive index of transactions valued at $1 million or more, along with exhibits like press releases and the merger agreement. Hard to find data on exempt offerings can be extracted from text-searchable private and foreign offering documents like international prospectuses, and all 33 Act and 34 Act offerings registered with the SEC since 2010 are available. A Registered Offerings module allows for searching within offering documents and other documents related to a specific deal.

ANALYSIS AND TRENDS – Extracting clauses and other items from filings enables comparison of disclosures like 10-Ks, Proxies and S-1s, with the ability to group files that meet specific criteria into the same category. Advanced analytics help researchers identify the most relevant precedents. Filtering options allow results to be narrowed further, and then alerts can be established to monitor changes and additions. Built-in smart links and trending tools allow researchers and lawyers to stay current and identify year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter comparisons and developments.

CONTENT – Intelligize offers a comprehensive database that includes exhibits and agreements, regulatory materials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, electronically released SEC comments and filer responses and electronically released no-action letters. Also included are governance and investor relations materials like committee charters, codes of ethics and board of director information collected from public filings and company websites.

Morningstar Document Research Customers

If your firm or business is currently using Morningstar’s Document Research service (formerly 10K Wizard), you are aware that the company is retiring this product the end of August 2016. Morningstar has announced an arrangement with Intelligize to offer special terms for its clients.

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Lexis Securities Mosaic

Lexis Securities Mosaic was formerly Seattle-based Knowledge Mosaic before being acquired and rebranded by LexisNexis in early 2013.  Along with a slight name change, the interface was revised to look and feel like other Lexis products. Canadian SEDAR filings were added as well as relevant business and financial news feeds.

One LibSource researcher cites the news feed as one of the strengths and differentiators of Securities Mosaic. He also believes,

“Securities Mosaic is good for many common securities information requests and basic company or filing research. Along with the news feed, it does a good job of tracking and staying on top of financial regulations and legislation.”

Another LibSource research analyst cites Securities Mosaic’s alerts and search strengths as well, along with exporting options for creating reports:

“I enjoy working in Securities Mosaic due to its search functionality, Boolean language capacity, export options and alert feature.”

Following is an overview of the some of the content and capabilities offered by Securities Mosaic. (This is not an exhaustive list of all features.)

SEARCH – Securities Mosaic offers convenient search fields and full-text searchable text. Researchers can use natural language or Boolean logic and filter by industry, form type, company characteristics and other parameters. And law firm relationships can be searched to identify firms that have represented public companies for SEC filings.

SEC FILINGS – Search capabilities are offered at both the filing and company levels with dedicated disclosure pages for deeper research. Researchers can find agreements, contracts, correspondence and other related documents and search key forms like the 10-K to pinpoint legal proceedings, MD&A, executive compensation, financial statements and other items. Also include are exempt offerings featuring all electronic filings of Form D, securities registrations, risk factors and insider filings.

CONTENT – The laws, rules and agency materials page features regulatory, enforcement, research, news and other SEC coverage, along with access to the Federal Register, the complete and current CFR and the complete U.S. code. Securities Mosaic includes 40 years’ worth of No-Action Letters along with a collection of nearly 100,000 memos from North American law firms for the latest legal developments and expert commentary

NEWS – As mentioned by one of our LibSource research analysts, Securities Mosaic offers an excellent news service that draws from a premium collection of news gathering and reporting publications.

While LexisNexis does not have a formal agreement with Morningstar, it is offering current users of MDR a free 14-day trial of Securities Mosaic.

What about pricing?

Besides comparing features and functionalities, it’s important to consider other factors as well, including, of course, cost. Since pricing is determined by many factors, we can’t provide a basic comparison here. However, LibSource sister company Chase Cost Management (CCM), offers the spend management perspective for law firms and corporations looking to reduce or contain costs without restraining their information needs.

The purpose of this article was to offer a general comparison while sharing the personal views and experiences of some of our own research analysts. Again, LibSource neither endorses nor recommends one solution over the other. What we can do is help law firms and corporations determine which of these, or any other services, are the best information resources for their needs and circumstances, and we can bring CCM in for a deep-dive analysis of cost considerations.

An assessment of research tools is part of our LibSource Roadmapping consulting process.

We invite you to learn more about research and other services provided through Library as a Service, or contact us with your specific questions.