Tuesday, August 28, 2007

XBRL: eXtensible Business Reporting Language

While reading company financial reports on SEC web site, I have always been wondering why these documents aren't published in XML format. That would make data analysis that much easier as it's very hard to export data in text/html format to excel or database.

One article in the Journal today says that the XBRL standard has been there for a long time, just being utilized on a limited scale.

A small sample of XBRL and what it represents:

And here is an example of how XBRL can help producing fancy interactive reports. Unfortunately only a few companies produce their filings in XBRL format.