On February 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the launch of the “Financial Explorer” on the SEC’s website, an online viewer that will help investors analyze the financial results of public companies. The Financial Explorer lets investors generate financial ratios, graphs and charts depicting information derived from financial statements provided to the SEC as “interactive data” using the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Information including earnings, expenses, cash flows, assets and liabilities can be analyzed and compared across competing public companies. The Financial Explorer is available at www.sec.gov/xbrl.

In addition to the Financial Explorer, the SEC currently offers investors two other online viewers – the Executive Compensation viewer and the Interactive Financial Report viewer, also available at www.sec.gov/xbrl. The Executive Compensation viewer enables investors to compare executive compensation for the largest U.S. companies. The Interactive Financial Report viewer helps investors gather, analyze, and compare key financial disclosures filed voluntarily by public companies using XBRL.

The SEC is developing these tools to assist ordinary investors in analyzing financial data provided to the SEC in XBRL.  http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-22.htm