Data Transparency, XBRL, and More: What to Expect at GovDATAx 2019

Data Transparency, XBRL, and More: What to Expect at GovDATAx 2019
October 22, 2019
“The Financial Transparency Act will bring financial reporting into the 21st century, will make information easier to access, and will reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens for businesses across the country. This bill is a true win-win because it helps investors, businesses, and the government.”
—Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets

GovDATAx, the premier event on government data policy, takes place Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C., and there is plenty on this year's agenda for the data community to discuss.

For starters, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have increased their commitments to standardized, machine-readable data in nonproprietary formats, which should make it easier for companies to submit required information and for data users to analyze that information.

In September, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) introduced bill H.R. 4476, also known as the Financial Transparency Act of 2019. The legislation would require U.S. financial regulatory agencies to adopt data standards for the information they collect from regulated entities and make it available online as open data—machine readable, searchable, and downloadable without proprietary restrictions. You can hear more on the Financial Transparency Act from Rep. Maloney at GovDATAx.

In addition, former House Speaker Paul Ryan is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the 2019 event, presented by Data Coalition and Workiva.

Here is what else to expect at GovDATAx 2019.

Deep dives into data transparency

With a theme of Unleashing Data for the Public Good, the conference agenda includes sessions on using data to ensure accountability, make more informed policy decisions, and identify trends.

My colleague Renata Maziarz will lead a fireside chat with Dino Falaschetti, Director, Office of Financial Research (OFR), Department of the Treasury, and SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson on understanding markets and financial risk. Imagine if businesses had more consistently reported standardized, machine-readable data to regulators before the 2008 recession. (The SEC didn't mandate XBRL® filing for corporate financial statements until 2009.) Would it have enabled regulators to more quickly analyze data to mitigate or even prevent the financial collapse of 2007–2008? Either way, I'm looking forward to the panelists' thoughts on how high-quality market data can affect data modeling, accountability, and market stability, as well as what that could mean for future policies around data transparency.

While GovDATAx speakers will discuss lessons learned from the past, you can also expect a look toward the future, including what artificial intelligence and blockchain could mean for open data and vice versa.

I also predict you will hear updates on research that is currently in the works.

Join the conversations

Register for GovDATAx if you haven't already, and share on social media what you are hearing at the event by tagging your posts with #GovDATAx.

See you Oct. 30.

XBRL® is a trademark of XBRL International, Inc. All rights reserved. The XBRL® standards are open and freely licensed by way of the XBRL International License Agreement.

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Dean Ritz

About the author

Dean Ritz is a subject matter expert in information modeling with over three decades of experience in various data-dominated domains, including artificial intelligence, expert systems, object-oriented programming, and most recently the modeling of financial information. As a Senior Director at Workiva, he applies his expertise to product strategy for collaborative work management and the management of the company’s expanding patent portfolio. His interests extend to the topics of rhetoric and ethics, with scholarly work in these areas published by Oxford University Press (2011, 2009, 2007), and Routledge (2017).