Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Greg O'Connor, Elizabeth White, Gary Kaiser, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Government Cloud

Blog Feed Post

Hitachi Data Interactive: XBRL: Taking It to the Next Level

Written by Bob Schneider     Posted on March 12, 2009

I recently reviewed this blog’s content for the past few months and was not surprised that more than half was devoted to the SEC’s XBRL mandate. The final rule for interactive data has certainly been the big story, a major milestone in XBRL implementation.  But there have been other developments that, while not as historic as the final rule, are notable and significant. These include:   

  • The IBM Data Governance Council — which comprises more than 50 companies that have pioneered best practices around risk assessment and data governance — announced in December that it was exploring the use of XBRL for risk reporting. Steve Adler, Chairman of the Council, reported on the follow-up meeting in late February.
  • The Open Compliance and Ethics Group established a provisional XBRL jurisdiction in September.
  • In October, the World Intellectual Capital Initiative (WICI) published “…a comprehensive information framework and XBRL taxonomy to help companies improve communications with investors and other stakeholders about business strategy and performance.”

Thus we see significant advances for XBRL in key areas: risk reporting; the entire governance, risk, and compliance (GCA) field; and nonfinancial reporting, including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

At the same time, cognizance of XBRL is spreading from a narrow confine of specialists to the broader business and IT communities, as evidenced by this article in Wired. CFAI surveys have consistently recorded relatively low recognition levels of XBRL among its members, but I would expect the next report to show a significant jump in their knowledge.

Following the December 2006 international XBRL conference, I wrote a post called The XBRL Moment. The meeting had been attended by the heads of arguably the three top accounting standards-setters, namely, the SEC, FASB, and IASB; the top guns at the AICPA, CFAI, and International Federation of Accountants came too. To me, the assembly of so many accounting and regulatory luminaries signified a special moment, a coming of age, for the obscure data standard with the highly forgettable acronym.      

I don’t think a single article in Wired compares. But, coupled with the other developments I’ve noted, I do sense that we’re entering a new phase for XBRL adoption that extends beyond external financial reporting to general business reporting. XBRL is — as heard every ten seconds on ESPN – taking it to the next level.    

This transformation, of course, is most welcome. Nevertheless, XBRL faces the challenge of  all new technologies, i.e., managing expectations. I see some signs of XBRL being caught between the Scylla of  “this changes nothing” and the Charybdis of “this changes everything.”  The low-end extreme is represented in this post by veteran IR pro John Palizza, who argues:

Maybe I’m just a skeptic…but I don’t see what all the fuss is about with XBRL. It’s just rearranging the data that we already had, which to me seems like a lot of work for not much benefit. Better understanding and benefit come from working through the data.  Balanced against this we seem to have given companies yet another opportunity to spin the data.

I’m reminded of that Comcast commercial where the guy who just got their service phones his brother; he thinks their calls will now ooze brotherly affection, but instead he finds they are as awkward as ever. I don’t see how XBRL can be expected to eliminate the natural inclination of management to put the best face on bad performance. In an XBRLized world, it’s still unlikely any CEO’s letter to shareholders in an AR will begin “We lost a ton of money last year. Part of the reason was the lousy economy. But mostly it was our poorly executed strategy; studied indifference toward our customers and suppliers; and general all-around stupidity.” 

At the other extreme is Mark Cuban’s statement “In fact, President Obama’s use or lack of use of XBRL for government will be a beacon as to just how much transparency we can expect from his administration.” A beacon? A useful indication, maybe. XBRL may provide a fillip to open government, but the best thing a President can do to aid transparency is to be honest and forthcoming in his own statements.

Coupled with the issue of realistic expectations is the question of realistic evaluation: How should we judge whether an XBRL project is a success?” In a recent Tweet, Dominic Jones of IR Web Report asked “If XBRL is so great, why didn’t its use in bank Call Reports prevent the current banking crisis? Just asking.”

I put a similar question to Christian Dreyer in our interview in November. His reply:

The credit crisis has causes that are outside of the domain of financial reporting and reported numbers as per today’s reporting standards. XBRL is "just" an efficient vector for such data. I’d be very reluctant to use the crisis as an argument to promote XBRL, because the linkage is marginal at best. We’ll hopefully see improved reporting standards with more transparency, less Held-To-Maturity trickery, and a lot more fair value as a consequence of the crisis. At that point, we’ll see all that information using XBRL.

I think Christian’s reply is wise, and it is augmented powerfully by an answer Neal Hannon gave to a question in our interview: “Was there anything important [in the XBRL world] you believe was not reported or underreported [in 2008]?” He answered:

The biggest underreported story about XBRL in the US is the FDIC. During the recent financial crisis, the almost two years’ worth of quarterly data collected in the XBRL format has given the Treasury Department valuable insight into which financial institutions have suspect holdings. Secretary Paulson is in a much stronger position to make correct bailout allocation decisions because of the landmark work accomplished at the FDIC.  I understand that since the crisis began, the FDIC has expanded the number of questions asked of over 10,000 U.S.banks each quarter. Kudos to the FDIC! 

Neal’s response isn’t necessarily the last word on the matter. It can still be asked whether XBRL adoption at the FDIC for call reports should have been expected to help more to avert the financial crisis, and whether the returns have been worth the cost.

But his answer suggests that, even if XBRL doesn’t result in persistently stable economies or totally transparent financial statements, it still can make important contributions toward those goals at reasonable expense. Instead of all-or-nothing-at-all expectations and questions — like the one I put to Christian — his reply points to a sensible, useful, and realistic approach to evaluating XBRL projects.   

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller is a leading cloud technology advocate and is the author of numerous articles and white papers on emerging technology. At ActiveState, she works with enterprise IT and community developers to evangelize the next revolution of cloud computing - private platform-as-a-service. She is instrumental in identifying, building, and positioning ActiveState's Stackato cloud application platform. She has been designing and implementing products and applications embedded into mission critical financial and accounting systems at F500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane Mueller is actively involved in the efforts of OASIS/TOSCA Technical Committee working on Cloud Application Portability, works on the XML Financial Standard, XBRL, and has served on the Board of Directors of XBRL International. She currently works as the ActiveState Cloud Evangelist.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.