|By Diane Mueller||
|March 12, 2009 02:47 PM EDT||
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.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 30, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,026
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 30, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,454
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 30, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,442
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,638
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,085
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,155
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,127
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,359
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,593
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,083
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 30, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,404
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 30, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,869
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 30, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,468
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 30, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,414
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 30, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,311
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,324
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 30, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,357
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 30, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,559
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,106
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,415