XBRL US has launched the XBRL Challenge, a contest to uncover the first generation of open source analytic tools that will mine financial data in ways never before possible.

A $20,000 grand prize will be awarded to the company, team or individual developer who submits the most inventive and useful application leveraging XBRL-formatted data from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.

Every publicly traded U.S. company is now required to tag financial data according to a XML-based business reporting standard known as Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL. To date, almost 1,800 companies have filed financial statement data with the SEC in XBRL format.

XBRL is expected to help usher in a new generation of tools that can be used by investors, analysts, businesses, regulators, watchdogs, economists, and academics to gain insight that is currently out of reach or prohibitively expensive to acquire.

XBRL US, the nonprofit consortium for XBRL business reporting standards in the U.S. market, will accept submissions through Jan. 31, 2012, with final judging and awarding of prizes—including the $20,000 grand prize—in February 2012. To help with development, participants will be given tools and support from XBRL US, including access to a database of XBRL financial fundamentals from all public companies and technical documentation on how to work with XBRL data.

Entrants will also have access to XBRL expertise through a series of in-person and webinar meetings to help in working with the XBRL data. Collaboration between developers and end user communities will be encouraged.

"We want to foster the development of a wide variety of innovative applications that will show the power of XBRL tags to deliver insights that are currently locked away in financial filings in basic text or PDF format," said CFA Institute president and CEO John. D. Rogers, whose organization is a sponsor of the XBRL Challenge. "Corporate data in XBRL format will clearly benefit investors, analysts, and a host of others by making more accurate, actionable data available in ways not even imagined today."

XBRL US has assembled a panel of respected judges with a diversity of perspectives on financial data:

o    Alfred Berkeley, chairman, Pipeline Trading Systems, LLP, former president of the Nasdaq Stock Market
o    Marc Donner, head, Google Finance
o    Eric Gillespie, managing partner, Viano Capital
o    Vijay Khanna, general partner, GIV Venture Partners, early stage VC firm
o    Paul Ratnaraj, director, Advanced Initiatives, Wharton Research Data Services

"We are excited to be involved with the XBRL Challenge," said Paul Ratnaraj, Director of Advanced Initiatives at Wharton Research Data Services, a sponsor of the XBRL Challenge. "XBRL dramatically alters the way investors can analyze corporate financials. We want this to spark new ideas about how information can be used in the marketplace and how analysis can be performed more effectively."

Individuals or organizations can learn more and enter the contest on the XBRL Challenge page on Facebook at http://xbrl.us/challengefb or by visiting http://xbrl.us/challenge. Updates will be shared on Facebook and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/xbrlus using the hashtag #XBRLCHALLENGE.
Developers and other prospective contestants may participate in a special briefing on Aug. 3, 2011. Go to http://xbrl.us/challenge and click on the link on the right-hand side. All final submissions must be received by Jan. 31, 2012.

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