XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is an open standard mark-up language optimised for business information. It is a variant of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and adopts the same syntax and related technologies (XML Schema, XLink).
XML enables the tagging of data with identifying information, according to a classification system (or taxonomy). XBRL tags associate the concepts in the taxonomy to a piece of data. Because XBRL tags are computer-readable, they allow the electronic transmission of data along with resources relating to each concept that help define their semantic meaning (i.e. the associated definitions and other metadata from the taxonomy). Electronic transmission of data with semantic meaning enables the automated processing of that information in context, reducing the time and resources that would otherwise be required to manually analyse and compare it.
To find out more about XBRL please visit: http://www.xbrl.org/.