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Margaret Moran
Margaret Moran
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Video: Mastering the GuruFocus Site, Episode 8

Learn the basics on how to use the GuruFocus Excel Add-In, our go-to API

September 18, 2020

In the eighth installment of the "Mastering the GuruFocus Site" series, we introduce our Excel Add-In, going over the basics on how it works, how to download it and how to use it.

The series will consist of 12 short videos (approximately three to five minutes each) meant to provide users with everything they need to know about how to navigate the GuruFocus site quickly, efficiently and to full effect.

Throughout the series, we have made every effort to provide answers to the questions that new users most frequently ask us about. This isn't a cut-and-dry manufacturer's instruction book; we have taken the input we have received from GuruFocus users and used it to create a quick and comprehensive introductory series.

Next time, we will demonstrate where and how to pin down the sources, definitions and origins of the wide range of data points on the GuruFocus site. Stay tuned!

Link to Excel Add-In page: https://www.gurufocus.com/excel_Add_in.php

Link to API page: https://www.gurufocus.com/api.php

Text version:

Hello, welcome to GuruFocus! This is the eighth episode of "Mastering the GuruFocus Site," a series designed to help you learn your way around at GuruFocus.com.

In this episode, "Excel and API," we take a look at what an API is and what API features are available on GuruFocus. We will also go over our most popular API, the Excel Add-In, which pairs GuruFocus data with Microsoft Excel for fully customizable data downloads and research.

So what is an API? For those who don't know, an API, or Application Programming Interface, is basically a messenger that allows multiple types of software to interact with each other using something called "queries." You send a query, you get a response.

For example, downloading the GuruFocus Excel Add-In allows users to use Microsoft Excel to access data from GuruFocus. Users can then arrange the data in a specific way to support their investing research.

To download the Excel Add-In, go to the Screeners tab, and under here you will find the Excel Add-In under the Tools column. The blue button on the top is the download for the Windows version of the Add-In, while the one on the bottom is the download for the Mac version.

On this page, you can also find GuruFocus' tutorials and reference manuals for using the add-in, including a FAQ section.

Once you download and install the add-in, simply open an Excel document to get started. The next step is to go to the new GuruFocus tab and log in to your GuruFocus account. This will enable the API to connect you to GuruFocus. Make sure you don't skip this step, because you can't use the add-in without it.

For more information on the types of data that you can import with this feature, make sure to check out the Excel Add-In page in the link provided below. You can also download the GURUF user manual here, which is an Excel doc containing many preset functions and parameters.

Next, let's go over the answers to the most frequent questions we get from users about the excel add-in: 1) how to insert a basic function and 2) issues that can prevent the data from loading.

You can insert a function easily using the "insert GURUF function" tool here [click tool] and filling out the information. The most basic parameters are the "ticker" and the "calculation." For example, if I wanted to see the current stock price for Microsoft, I would enter the ticker here [enter MSFT in the ticker box] and enter "price" here [enter "price" in the calculation box, then hit OK].

Now, you may sometimes encounter an error message like this one [click over to another sheet with a # loading error]. This message means that for whatever reason, your data request cannot be completed. This could mean several things, but the most common issue is that the user forgot to log in. Another issue could be if the data you are trying to reference does not exist – for example, if you tried to get the price for Tesla from some time in 2000, it would never load because Tesla was not on the stock market in 2000.

One last thing I want to note is that GuruFocus has several other API options besides Excel, which you can find under the Screeners tab here [click over to API page]. Please note that unlike our Excel Add-In, which is fairly easy for new users to pick up, our other API features require in-depth knowledge of the programming language you want to use as an interface.

That's all for this video! The next episode will be the first of three episodes called "Show Me the Data," which will go into detail on where you can find the sources, origins and definitions for the many data points collected on GuruFocus. Stay tuned!

If you want to see more from GuruFocus, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, or find us on social media. Thanks for watching!

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