IBCS standard


Standards are the key to interoperability. Whatever appliance you buy will fit into your electric socket. In your country at least.

Standards also provide a second, important, advantage.

Standards make you save time by eliminating a ton of small choices you would otherwise have to make, and substituting them with a set of (hopefully well thought) pre-defined rules.

You do not want to reinvent the wheel because (i) it has already been invented and because (ii) if you try you have little chance of coming up with a much better wheel.

This is the situation you face when you plot a chart. There are a ton of big and small formatting details to define: colors, number format, axis,…

If you use common sense, chances are your choices will be OK and not make a big difference. However, the simple fact of having to make those choices will make you lose time.

So it makes sense to “outsource” the definition of all the formatting rules to an external entity capable of coming up with something better.

This is IBCS.

IBCS is a little known (outside Germany and Switzerland) set of rules designed to improve financial plots and tables.

One of the most original ideas of IBCS is data density.

This is the idea that, as long as the charts you show in the same page are relevant and integral to a story, it actually helps to have them on the same page.