XBRL Beyond the Business Case

Posted on February 1, 2019 by Editor

We hear a lot about how beneficial structured data can be for businesses and regulators. Having open access to digital, comparable, searchable information makes it easier for investors to analyse performance and regulators to assess compliance. However, the transparency benefits of machine-readable data extend beyond the business case: XBRL-tagged data also provides a valuable and accessible source of information for journalists.

An article in the Italian paper 24 Ore has used XBRL data filed to the Chambers of Commerce to paint an economic picture of Sardinia ahead of the regional elections on the 24th of February. The data shows that unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is above the national average, while the economic output of the region is also growing very slowly. The economic challenges Sardinia faces have led to mass migration, leading to the village of Ollalai selling off abandoned houses for as little as €1 last year.

With economic outlooks probably playing a role in the upcoming elections, the XBRL data allows journalists to paint a clearer picture of current events. As machine-readable data is lower cost and more accurate to extract and analyse, individuals without big financial backing have the opportunity to use this information, increasing transparency. Usable, digital data is not just good for business, it’s also essential for improving openness and transparency throughout society.

Read the article (in Italian) utilising XBRL data on the 24 Orewebsite.

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