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XBRL Challenge offers $20,000 grand prize

By Valerie Sarnataro, Editorial Assistant Coop

Although XBRL looms as an SEC mandate, uptake is still slow for the XML-based language that handles business information. To spur more interest, the nonprofit  XBRL consortium is staging a contest to find the top open source tools for analyzing financial data. The competition, dubbed the XBRL Challenge, features a $20,000 grand prize to be awarded to the contestant who submits the most useful application using XBRL-formatted data.

Participants may include a company, team or individual developer. Entrants will be granted access to a database of XBRL financial fundamentals from all public companies and documents on how to work with XBRL data. Webinar and in-person meetings will also be offered to aid in working with the XBRL data, including an online XBRL Challenge briefing on August 3, 2011.

Submissions will be accepted up until January 31, 2012, while final judging and awarding of prizes will occur in February 2012. The panel of five judges will include: Alfred Berkeley, chairman of Pipeline Trading Systems; Marc Donner, head of Google Finance; Eric Gillespie, managing partner at Viano Capital; Vijay Khanna, general partner of GIV Venture Partners and Paul Ratnaraj, director of advanced initiatives at Wharton Research Data Services.

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