Installation and Setup

This chapter shows you how to install the CRSPSift software on your computer and describes the configuration options available when you launch it for the first time.

Installing CRSPSift

CRSPSift is available for download through CRSP’s IPSwitch MoveIT account at

  1. Login and go to cloud folder: /Utility_Uploads/CRSPSift_Professional
  2. This file is available: CRSP_Sift_Professional_Ver*.zip

  3. File is downloaded from cloud to local machine
  4. File is unzipped on local machine
  5. Run setup.exe to install SIFT:

Launching CRSPSift For The First Time

The InstallShield Wizard creates a shortcut to the CRSPSift application on your Desktop. Double-click the shortcut icon to launch CRSPSift.

Before you can use CRSPSift you must tell it the location of your installed CRSP databases. The first time you run the application you are presented with the Environment Startup Scanner.

Using this tool you create what are known as data environments. A data environment is a collection of one or more compatible database products.

Finding Environments

Upon launch, the Environment Startup Scanner automatically searches the default CRSP database installation directory (C:\crspdata). It builds and displays environments for the most recent databases found.

If your CRSP databases are installed in a directory other than the default, click the disclosure triangle next to Scan Folder Hint Paths under Scan Options.

A folder hint path serves as a guide telling the Environment Scanner where to look for CRSP databases. The default locations are already listed. To add your own, click the Add button and navigate to the directory where your CRSP databases are installed. Then click the Start Scan button to scan again with the new directory included.

The Environments screen is where you can manage the environments detected by CRSPSift on its initial launch. To manage your environments, select Options... from the Tools menu to open the CRSPSift Options window. Then click Environments in the list of options categories on the left.

A list of all your saved environments appears in the main area of the screen.

And at the bottom of the screen are controls for managing them. You can edit or delete existing environments, as well as create new ones.

Adding A New Environment

To add a new environment, click the Load Environment button. Provide the environment with a name, and check the Set as Default box if you want this to the the default environment for new queries. All Stock Databases and CRSP/Compustat Merged Databases, for Compustat subscribers, are detected by CRSPSift and will appear in the lists below.

When you select a Stock Database, The Select CRSP/ Compustat table below displays Compustat databases compatible with it, if any are installed. Select a database from the list if you wish to include CRSP/ Compustat data in your environment. Finally, click the Browse button to select a working directory where input and output files for this environment will be directed. Click the Save button to save the new environment.

Only the environments that reflect the newest data cuts will automatically be displayed. Additional combinations can be created.

Editing an Existing Environment

You can also edit an existing environment to change its name and working directory, add or remove Compustat data, or modify the environment’s combination of daily and monthly stock databases. To modify an environment, select it in the environments list and then click the Edit Environment button. The procedure for editing an environment is the same as that for creating a new one. Refer to the discussion above for instructions.

Environment Details

The Environment Details area displays the properties of the environment currently selected in the New Environments Found list. Some of these properties may be changed, including an environment’s name, its default status, and the working directory where query output files are saved.

To make an environment the default for new queries, first select its row in the list. Next, in the Environment Details area, click the False value next to the Default option.

Select True to make this environment the default for new queries.

Likewise for the Name and Working Directory properties. Click the value next to the property name and change it to the desired setting.

Note: CRSP provides default environment names that we believe to be intuitive. We encourage you to edit names so that they are meaningful to you for your purposes.

Loading Environments

Once installed databases have been scanned and combined into environments, and each environment’s properties are set appropriately, you can select which environments you wish to load into CRSPSift.

For each environment you wish to load, click the checkbox in the Load column to the left of its name.

Click the Add button to load the selected environments. When the progress message below the environments list displays “Finished uploading,” click the Close button to close the Startup Environment Scanner window. The CRSPSift Welcome screen appears, and you are now ready to begin using CRSPSift query tools.