It is going to be fun to use all that SEC XBRL information! Here is a little sample I put together from the data set I extracted:
I just tossed some stuff together. The chart I made shows net income (green bar) as compared to income tax expense (red line with yellow diamond) for Food Stores.
Not a big deal you say. Could have thrown this together in a matter of minutes in Excel. Go to each filing, find the two numbers for each company, copy and paste them into Excel. Repeat for each of the 18 companies. OK, now do the same thing for each of the approximately 68 different industries/activities and the some 7,000 public companies. Want different data points, maybe assets or research and development?
Hopefully you are starting to get the point and see the huge marginal benefit in terms of cost savings related to reusing all this information.
And this benefit is not limited to SEC XBRL financial information. Any time you want to collect information from sources external to your organization or department think of what a pain it is. Consider trying a global standard format for collecting all this information.
Sure, software has a ways to go before one can say with a straight face that business users can do this themselves, no IT department. We will get there. We will get there.