The Securities and Exchange Commission has been making changes to SEC.gov and the results are already paying off: In the last eight months, the number of hits has steadily increased by 100 million each month.
Today, SEC.gov stands at 1.6 billion hits per month and continues to grow.
The reason for the spike goes back to the work SEC Chief Information Officer Tom Bayer and his team have put into making the site one of the best in the federal government.
“We changed our architecture, improved our landing page and uncluttered the site,” Bayer said, “but there’s still a lot of work left that we want to do. We’re working to modernize the back end infrastructure, the data collection capabilities and the automated workflow for SEC applications across the board – and all of that is linked into SEC.gov.”
Bayer said SEC.gov will continue to be the front end for the investing public, whether they are looking for information about the agency, press releases, EDGAR or financial filings. Bayer added that SEC.gov provides free public access to 20 million corporate documents its EDGAR system, making it one of the most valuable sites in government.
In the future these capabilities will expand. Bayer said the SEC will build portal technology that will allow them to deploy analytical tools and other capabilities for internal users.
That will allow them to present a different SEC.gov experience based upon the user’s need whether they are are an individual, an investor, a lawyer, a securities dealer or in between.
“To be honest, we have not modernized SEC.gov for about 12 years and it’s written on an old language so we’re moving to modern components and it will be less expensive to support,” Bayer said. “Between 2006 and 2008, we added EDGAR Full Text Search and XBRL rendering capabilities for interactive data files, but no major upgrade. We’ve also moved the caching of data into the cloud and the way that people can pull down information is also in the cloud. Our search capabilities are in the cloud as well and we want to continue to leverage that for SEC.gov wherever possible.”
As for priorities going forward, Bayer said he is looking to install an enterprise content management system in order to improve the agency’s knowledge and document information.
That will be linked to an automated business process workflow system that will allow the agency to more efficiently and effectively access data, make decisions on that data, and route that data from the point of intake into the SEC.
That data can be utilized for an investigation or an exam, running through analytical engines that can do risk analysis and then routed to enforcement for any necessary actions.
“That mirrors the activity that we have done in the past, which is we have built an automated workflow system for our tips, complaints, and referrals capability,” Bayer said.
Bayer said the agency’s case management activity is also leveraging an automated workflow, called the HUB system. That HUB system is being upgraded to be more efficient along with the TREND system, which is the agency’s national exam program.
Finally, Bayer said the SEC is building out its analytical engines that will allow mathematical and word search capabilities to be more effective in risk management.
“We have a number of tools that we’ve already deployed and we’re building more that have that capability, so we use natural text capabilities in order to review financial disclosure capabilities,” Bayer said.