Introducing CSV Downloads for Intrinio Financial Data

Andrew Carpenter
March 6, 2017

Intrinio's mission is to make financial data affordable and accessible so investors can save money and make time to build something meaningful. We're excited to announce some serious progress on the "accessible" part of our mission. It is now possible to query the Intrinio financial database via API and receive responses in CSV format. In other words, you can download Intrinio data in bulk to CSV and open it in Excel for further analysis.

This article explains why you might want this functionality and how you can use it.

Why would I want to download to CSV?

Until now, Intrinio had two primary access methods:

  • Excel add-in: A tool to pull data into Excel - when you refresh the sheet, the data updates automatically, saving time on data entry.
  • REST API: A method for developers to access data for use in their applications and automated analyses.

These tools work for most Intrinio users, but we have received more and more requests from users who want the ability to download a lot of data, a feature of the REST API, but also the ability to analyze that data in Excel, a feature of the Excel add-in.

These are individuals who aren't serious computer programmers, meaning the JSON responses that the REST API provides are gibberish. Our solution for these users was to create a new access method, a file download that quickly outputs a CSV of the required data for analysis in Excel, R, or other tools meant to help analysts digest data with rows and columns.

The Excel add-in is a great tool for setting up analyses that refresh with new data, and the API is a great tool for building apps, but if you need to export a large amount of data to CSV for a static analysis, the file download functionality is just what the data doctor ordered.

How can I download to CSV?

The tutorial for the File Download access method shows how to use the CSV export functionality. This method is slightly more technical than just using the Excel add-in but significantly less technical than using the REST API. Don't be scared - here are some examples that will make it clear how this method works.

Here is an API call that returns the price history for Apple:

https://api.intrinio.com/prices?ticker=AAPL

This output is great if you can write computer code to parse it, but it's not good if you aren't a developer. Instead, just add .csv to the call like this:

https://api.intrinio.com/prices.csv?ticker=AAPL

If you paste that into your browser, you will see a .csv file downloaded to your computer. That output is static, unlike the Excel add-in, but also easy for non-developers to download in bulk, unlike the REST API. If you are unfamiliar with how to build the syntax to download a CSV, you can find some examples in this article or via the file download tutorial. Just remember to add a ".csv" before the "?" in the syntax.

Wait, what?

The basic idea is that you can paste a single piece of syntax, just like a formula in Excel, into your browser to get the data you need in a bulk download that you can open in Excel.

We have been learning a valuable lesson about financial data at Intrinio. Financial data has been so expensive and hard to access for so long that most people don't think they can use it. We've taught thousands of users what an Excel add-in is and how to use it to do financial research. Now, we will happily teach thousands more how to download the data they need via an API call.

If that sounded like nonsense, chat with our team by clicking the chat bubble in the corner - we'll help you learn the syntax to download the data you need to CSV. If you're new to Intrinio, request a consultation with our team to design your custom data solution.