Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: VictorOps Blog, Kevin Jackson, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, 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
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, 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. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp 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. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
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...
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.