Click here to close now.

Welcome!

GovIT Authors: Tom Kemp, Sematext Blog, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: GovIT

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
Enterprise IoT is an exciting and chaotic space with a lot of potential to transform how the enterprise resources are managed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Hari Srinivasan, Sr Product Manager at Cisco, will describe the challenges in enabling mass adoption of IoT, and share perspectives and insights on architectures/standards/protocols that are necessary to build a healthy ecosystem and lay the foundation to for a wide variety of exciting IoT use cases in the years to come.
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
As we approach the next @ThingsExpo, to be held June 9-11 at the Javits Center in New York, my thoughts naturally turn to the Internet of Things. The IoT is a leviathan—in the best possible sense of the term—that will sweep up most everything in the ocean of data and technology being created today and tomorrow. But rather than try to grasp all of its possible uses, for today I'm looking at “just” the Industrial Internet part. I just read a long paper co-authored by Tim Berners-Lee about the possibility of describing a “web science,” that is, discipline that combines the study involved ...
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
There are lots of challenges in IoT around secure, scalable and business friendly infrastructure for enterprises. For large corporations, IoT implementations are one of the top priorities of the decade. All industries are seeing a competitive need to sustain by investing in IoT initiatives. The value addition comes from improved customer service, innovative product and additional revenue streams. The data from these IP-connected devices can be leveraged for a variety of business applications as well as responsive action controls. The various architectural building blocks of an IoT ...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
Recent technology advances in miniaturization has positioned the wearables as the pinnacle of technology convergence with the human body. We inquire if wearables are mere standard miniaturized devices extended with the connectivity and present our views on considerations like design, applications, performance, efficiency, interoperability, usage scenarios, human device interaction and consequent trade-offs enabling wearables to impart optimal value.
In this session we look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. We will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS7, ISDN and similar protocols and creating advanced routing and serv...
The Internet of Things Maturity Model (IoTMM) is a qualitative method to gauge the growth and increasing impact of IoT capabilities in an IT environment from both a business and technology perspective. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will first scan the IoT landscape and investigate the major challenges and barriers. The key areas of consideration are identified to get started with IoT journey. He will then pinpoint the need of a tool for effective IoT adoption and implementation, which leads to IoTMM in which five maturity levels are defined: Advanced, Dynamic, Optimized, Primitive,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are configurable to any form factor or custom configuration. AIC leads the industry with nearly 20 years of ...