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SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 BY XLEDGER STAFF WRITERS

Smartphones make it intuitive to magnify text. A number, a word you can’t read—spread your fingers, easy as that, and voila—it’s larger.

Yet the more complex something is, the more clarity matters. Zoom in on a low-res image, and what was once a perfectly coherent whole becomes a mass of blotches and blocks. Even the clearest image goes blurry if you look closely enough.

As humans, we can only drill down so far before we lose our ability to visualize the whole. We need tools to help us see—magnifying glasses, microscopes, electron tunneling.

Now think in accounting terms. Financial statements—income, cash flow, balance sheet—are aerial-view documents, with ten or twenty or a thousand transactions to a line. Now think of what it would be like to drill down, zoom in, boil that data to its most granular form. What if you could see each transaction? The documentation behind it?

If you’re reading on a smartphone: it’s okay—go ahead—put your fingers on the screen and spread them until this sentence expands beyond legibility. Now pinch until the letters shrink to mere points.

Imagine that with each zoom-in or zoom-out, you saw more, learned more. That you could see and manipulate data at every scale. That you could make decisions with a confidence born from irreducible knowledge.

Imagine—

How intuitive would that be?

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