In a Toppan Merrill webinar, three experts from different markets sectors discussed XBRL’s success story:
Emily Huang, CEO and co-founder of idaciti (which makes tools for analyzing structured data) explained how Inline XBRL brings a company’s financials to life and how painfully apparent XBRL mistakes are to investors and analysts. Her firm collects Inline XBRL filings from the SEC every ten minutes. “No more waiting for hours or days to get
the data,” she noted. “As soon as the filing is made, the data is available.”
To listen to the full webinar, click here.
Ms. Huang gave examples of how Inline XBRL brings a company’s financials to life in the tools that investors and analysts now use to gather and parse the information. “Even though Inline XBRL is not a complicated process change for filers, it really changes the consumption. The machine-readable and human-readable combined together now tell us a great story.”
With a screenshare of her firm’s Inline XBRL viewer, she showed the webinar audience a sample company’s income statement and demonstrated quick ways by which users can do analyses directly from the document. For example, one click on “total operating revenue” brings up a trending chart for both yearly and quarterly data.
“That’s the power of XBRL,” Ms. Huang continued. “As soon as you file, investors and other companies can jump in and start doing analysis and read contextual information around the numbers.” Lateral XBRL-related information is also immediately available: how many other companies are using that data point, what the labels are, and what the definitions are.
With XBRL data, she continued, the powerful ability to benchmark and compare financial information across a sector is extremely valuable. She displayed a screenshare to show how you can immediately compare a company’s financials to those of all others in its industry. In a matter of seconds, she conducted benchmarking comparisons and analyses that would each have taken hours in the old days of text-only filings, manual extraction, and spreadsheets.
“This is the thing I really love about XBRL,” asserted Ms. Huang. “[Former] SEC Chairman Cox, the one who pioneered the XBRL movement, always called XBRL data ‘interactive data.’ I love that term. XBRL allows us to play with the data, interact with the information, and do discovery. It’s not static.”
To read the most recent issue of DIMENSIONS, click here.