The Micro Data Reference Manual (MDRM) is a catalog of micro and macro data collected from depository institutions and other respondents. The data are organized into reports, or data series, and consist primarily of financial and structure data. The MDRM documents the labels and values associated with each data item. A web interface is used to access and display the MDRM data. The MDRM is designed to assist end users of the microdata.
The Federal Reserve System collects various types of data. Individual respondents are provided reporting forms and instructions (either electronically or hard copy) that define the data to be submitted to the Federal Reserve. The forms are each given a number that is preceded by either FR or FFIEC depending on whether they are a Federal Reserve or interagency data collection. Generally speaking, the data are collected by the Federal Reserve Banks and transmitted to the Board via the Federal Reserve’s STAR system. Some data are received from other agencies.
In addition to a reporting form number, each data series is given a four-letter mnemonic, which is used for data transmission and storage. Each variable, within a data series, is assigned a number (usually 4 digits).Combining the series mnemonic and number references a specific data item on a specific series and is known as the MDRM number. For example, SVGL2170 refers to total assets on the Thrift Financial Report of Condition.
Although series mnemonics are unique for each data series, numbers are used across data series to facilitate comparisons between data series. For example, Total Assets is reported on many data series and is always assigned the number 2170. Therefore, RCON2170, SVGL2170, and BHCK2170 all refer to total assets, but on different series.
Some series have sub series and segmented mnemonics. That is, the series itself has one mnemonic for transmission and storage but several mnemonics (prefixes) may be assigned to the various data items. This is done when the same data item is maintained more than one way. For example, on the Bank Call report, RCFD, RCON, and RCFN refer to consolidated data, domestic data, and foreign data, respectively. RCON2170 is domestic total assets and RCFN2170 is total assets of foreign offices. RCFD2170 is total assets of the entire institution, i.e., taking all the domestic and foreign offices as a group. The Report of Deposits (EDDS) is another good example of segmented mnemonics because the same data items are collected as weekly averages and daily values. The weekly average of total deposits (MDRM #2200) is EDD02200 while EDD12200 is the first day of the week's value, EDD22200 is the second day of the week's value, etc. Although segmented mnemonics add some complexity to the data retrieval process, they streamline the numbering methodology and make it easier for end users since the same data item always has the same number.
Description of the MDRM Manual
The MDRM is broken into two sections. The first is the Reporting Forms and Mnemonics section which includes links to the reporting forms and a brief description of each reporting series. This section also provides a link between the reporting forms public name and the MDRM mnemonic. The second section is the Data Dictionary which defines each data item and shows all of the reporting series on which that item appears.
Reporting Forms and Mnemonics:
The Reporting Forms and Mnemonics section lists all of the data series defined in the MDRM. Clicking on the 'Main Series' or 'Sub Series' mnemonic displays a series description as a PDF file, which is read by Acrobat Reader. The series description briefly tells about each series and provides a history of changes and other significant information. Clicking on "reporting forms" will provide a link to the list of Agency's websites for the available forms. This section also provides an excellent way to identify which mnemonic goes with a reporting form or vice versa.
This is the most heavily used portion of the MDRM. The Data Dictionary defines each data item, i.e., each financial or other item that appears on one or more series, and shows all series on which the item appears. It also provides information regarding when the items were available and item descriptions for the item. Additionally there are optional items that can be displayed; item types (financial/reported, structure, rate, examination, percentage or derived), and a short (36 character) title called the data stub. You can also select a check box that will only display confidential items.
The "Reporting Status" section includes radio buttons to allow you to limit your search to only currently opened items or search for opened or closed items during a specific time period.
The Data Dictionary can be searched in any of the following ways:
Search by item number:
Choosing Search By: Item number and entering an MDRM item number in the Search For: text box will query the MDRM database about that number. Included in this section are the item number, item name, all series associated with that item (including starting and ending dates), and a full description of the item. There is also information about changes to the item and compatibilities between series at the bottom of the web page.
Search by item name:
Executing a Search By: Item name query is more useful to those users who are not certain which item numbers are associated with a particular concept. For example, if a user was interested in finding items associated with the concept of net income, he would enter "net income" in the text box, choose the Search By: Item name option and click the Search button to retrieve a list of all item numbers that contain the string "net income" within their associated name. Searching by a specific series is an optional refinement. This search is an exact text search. Therefore, if you don't find the item name you are looking for, refine your search and try again.
Search by series:
Choosing Search By: Series enables users to see all items associated with a particular series. For example, selecting Search By: Series and entering RCON in the text box will return all items that have the prefix RCON, along with start date, end date, and name of each item. Entering a more general series name (CALL, for example) will yield another search page that informs the user this series has segmented mnemonics, along with a listing of all mnemonics associated with the series, and directs him to choose a mnemonic. Users can select one of the listed series or choose the All option, which will display details about all of the listed series segments.
Search by report form:
Choosing Search By: Reporting Form Name allows users to see all items associated with a particular Report Form. For example, selecting Search By: Reporting Form Name and selecting FFIEC 031 from the drop down box will return all items that are on the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for a Bank with Domestic and Foreign Offices Report, along with start date, end date, and name of each item.