Financial Data and The Semantic Web
When someone references the phrase 'financial data', most people immediately think of the many rows of numbers that are included in the financial reports of publicly traded companies. FASB and IASB control how this type of financial data is reported. They give guidance to an organization's financial professionals and accountants about how such terms as "revenue", "expenses", "inventory", "depreciation", "net income", and "earnings per share" should be calculated and then reported. This type of financial results data is then used by others, for instance, to evaluate the credit worthiness of the organization, to determine the size and terms of any extension of credit, and potentially whether the organization is worthy of investment. This data is certainly central to helping answer the key question is the potential investment return adequate relative to the perceived risk(s) and other investment alternatives.
The term 'Semantic Web' was coined by Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee to refer to a "web of data" that can be processed by machines. Subsequently, this term has evolved to also refer to the collaborative movement led by the international standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), that promotes common data formats on the World Wide Web. By encouraging the inclusion of semantic content in web pages, the Semantic Web initiative aims at converting the current web, dominated by unstructured and semi-structured documents into the envisioned "web of data". The Semantic Web stack builds on the W3C's Resource Description Framework ("RDF").