Instructions for Using Run-a-Study

Run-a-Study is a program that enables users to run four kinds of empirical studies of large, public company bankruptcy cases. For each kind, the program analyzes the data and shows the results in tables and graphs.

Study type Number of variables included Cases omitted from study User can limit reports
One-click One None No
One-variable One Categories selected by user Yes
Two-variable Two Cases missing data for either variable Yes
Percent-by-year One Categories selected by user Yes

One-click study. These studies are each of a single variable, and include all of the cases in the BRD. It takes only a single click to run the study, and the user receives the results immediately. The default settings give you all available reports. One click studies are a good way to familiarize yourself with Run-a-Study before you design One-variable or Two-variable studies.

One-variable study. These studies are each of a single variable. The user can limit the study to include only certain categories of cases – such as recent cases, big cases, or cases filed in particular courts. To enter a limit, click on the blue link for the relevant variable. You will see a dialog box that lists your choices. Either check boxes for the categories of cases you want to keep, or drag the handles to indicate the date range of the cases you want to keep. Clicking on a box will toggle it checked or unchecked; clicking on an “All” box will toggle all of the choices checked or unchecked. When you are finished, click on “OK.” The program returns you to the study page, and you should see your selections just above the blue link. Click on other blue links to place additional limitations. Click on Run study and you should receive the study results immediately.

Tip: Don’t put too many limits on the cases included. For every category of case listed in the menus, the BRD includes at least one case. (The numbers appear on the menus beside each category.) If you make multiple exclusions of case categories, too few cases may be left in your study.

Tip: You can omit tables and graphs from the output by unchecking the boxes for them in column 3.When learning to use Run-a-Study, leave all the boxes checked. Once you become familiar with the output, you can order only what you need.

Two-variable study. These studies are each of the relationship between two variables – such as 363 sales and company survival or refiling and disposition years. Users can customize the studies three ways.

1. Limit the cases included. Limitations must be made before choosing variables. Custom study, above, explains how to make limitations. You must uncheck a variable (by choosing some other variable) to make limitations to that variable. If you fail to uncheck it, you will be in the category design function. (See below.) Once you have limited the variable, you can recheck it. Your limitations will remain in effect.

2. Chose the variables. Check the radio buttons for the two variable you want to study. Your choice in Column 1 will define the column categories on the output. Your choice in Column 2 will define the row categories. If you are not sure which variable to choose in which column, run your study both ways to see the results of each.

3. Design the categories. The program automatically removes the cases that are missing data for either of the two variables you selected. The program also automatically divides the cases into two default categories for each variable. Some variables have only two categories, so no further adjustment is possible. Other variables have three or more categories. For the latter you can group the variable subcategories into two categories of your choosing. First choose the variable by clicking on one of its radio buttons. Then click on the blue link for the variable. You will see a dialog box that allows you to choose the subcategories to include in each of two categories. You can group the subcategories differently from the default settings, you can eliminate subcategories from the default, or you can do both at the same time.

Percent-by-year study. One-click and One-variable graph the numbers of cases with a characteristic—some by year and some in total. Percent-by-year studies graph the percentage of cases with a characteristic in each year. The user can direct that cases be associated with the year in which they were filed, the year in which they were disposed, or the year in which the debtor emerged. Users design these studies in three steps:

1. User chooses one of the nineteen subjects by clicking on the radio button to the left of the subject. User chooses the method for associating cases to years by clicking on the radio button to the left of By year filed, By year disposed, or By year emerged.

2. User decides what categories of cases are included in or excluded from the study. The default is that all cases in the database are included. User can exclude cases by any or all of the nineteen case characteristics listed, by clicking on the “choose” for that characteristic. For example, if user clicks on “choose sale status” user can exclude 363 sale cases from the study by choosing “no 363 sale” on the drop-down menu. The study will then report and graph for each year the number of Wilmington or New York non-363-sale cases as a percentage of all non-363-sale cases.

3. User chooses how the output should be displayed. The output can be a bar graph or a line graph. The table can show (1) the number of case per year, (2) the debtors’ names, or (3) both.

General instructions:

Run study. The Run study button appears at the bottom of the study screens. If you click on the Run study button, there should be no more than a few seconds delay before the study results appear on your screen.

Modify study. The Modify study button appears at the top left of the study screens. Clicking on it will return you to the study screen. The settings will remain as you chose them. Make any changes you want and rerun your study.

Tip: When you begin a second study, don't forget to uncheck unwanted limitations from the first. For example, if you studied Wilmington cases and then decide to study all cases, you will need to restore the "All Venue cities" default.

New study. The New study button appears to the right of the Modify study button. Clicking on it will restore the default settings and return you to the study screen.

Tip: Choose the “trend” variables to see how the mix of cases changed over time. The program offers three options. Trend in dispositions groups the cases by their years of disposition (confirmation, dismissal, conversion to Chapter 7). Trend in emergences groups the cases by their years of emergence from bankruptcy (confirmation, 363 sale). Trend in filings groups the cases by their years of filing.

The BRD has been supported by grants from these organizations:

National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges

Turnaround Management Association

American Bankruptcy Institute

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