AIM Software has released GAIN Data Portal, a solution designed to help financial institutions improve control and costs of market data while avoiding breaches of data vendor agreements. Breaches can occur when trading terminal data is exported to spreadsheets and used for tasks such as risk calculation and trade compliance, which are not included in data vendor agreements.
GAIN Data Portal is a centralised system that executives pre-defined requests to data vendors. Olivier Kenji Mathurin, head of strategic research at AIM Software, explains: “We propose that firms keep their Excel sheets in place and that instead of using formulas to download data from a terminal, which in many cases is prohibited, they use formulas to directly download content available and exposed by GAIN as GAIN exposes only data from compliant vendor products that are fully licensed by the client. The data is easily made available to spreadsheets, as the portal exposes the data using OData, a standard protocol supported by Excel.”
Considering the potential to breach data vendor agreements, he says: “One out of every four terminals is installed on desks of non-trading people such as those in the back office, risk, compliance, and other middle-office functions. This increases the compliance risks associated with exporting data from trading terminals. With the multiplication of spreadsheets, the overall amount of data requested can increase considerably, breaching volume limits. Typically, a data vendor would investigate the reason for high volumes, identify non-compliant uses of spreadsheets, and perhaps issue costly back-billing for such use.”
AIM Software developed GAIN Data Portal in response to a call for help from a financial institution facing a major data compliance issue and as a result of its June 2016 user meeting that reinforced the fact that control over the use and cost of reference data is among firms’ top three challenges.
Building the solution was a matter of putting together the company’s enterprise data management (EDM) platform, which already requests, processes and stores data from vendors including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, IDC and SIX Financial Information and exposes the data in various ways including a web service applications programming interface, with a web user interface that allows configuration.
Discussing the benefits of GAIN Data Portal, which has been tested by a pilot client and is now widely available, Mathurin says: “We see three key benefits – cost control, provided by the capability to control which data requests are executed and when; independence, allowing business users to directly access the data within their spreadsheets; and rapid setup, with the product being installed and configured in a few hours and fresh data then being downloaded by Excel spreadsheets.”