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EDM Council Publishes Lengthy Update on Semantics Repository

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The EDM Council has this week published a full update on its Semantic Repository project, following the completion of its initial development work on static data. The industry group has been working to make the repository more user friendly, says Mike Atkin, managing director of the EDM Council.

The industry body is asking for members that are interested in working on mapping and integration of the repository to internal environments to come forward. The group wants to start running the current version through its paces in a practical sense, says Atkin.

The full report on progress follows:

“The EDM Council’s Semantics Repository has been completely updated based on member adjustment to static reference terms for tradable securities. We’ve also made a fair number of technical enhancements to promote usability. The web version (www.hypercube.co.uk/edmcouncil) is up to date and the complete model can be accessed as spreadsheets and diagrams from the ‘Technical’ section under ‘Downloads’.

The Council stands ready to offer support to any member interested in integration and assistance to technical teams looking to map the Repository into internal applications. We are at a point of maturity (and feel confident) that the Repository can be reasonably tested against internal data environments and validated by business subject matter experts. We are interested in talking to you about using the Semantics Repository to address current integration challenges and the practical mapping of the EDM model to internal metadata repositories.

For the immediate time being, the Council is pleased to offer these ‘use case’ evaluations as a member service (no additional fee). We are doing so because the Repository is gaining significant traction in the industry as well as increasing attention from those charged with regulation and market oversight. We want to make sure that the “view of the world” we’ve captured from the development process stands up to validation tests in production environments. In essence, we want to run the Repository through its paces before we move on to the next stage. For more information on applications testing with your firm (or for a WebEx demo), please contact Michael Atkin or Michael Bennett.

Content completed: static data reference terms for tradable securities have been finalised pending business SME review and adjustment.

Content in process: the goal is to complete ‘dated terms’ before we break for summer recess.

Technical enhancements: changes made or being contemplated based on participant feedback.

Tables and spreadsheets: Entries in the spreadsheets have a status indication colour and have been cross referenced to source terms and definitions.

The goal of the EDM Council’s Semantics Repository is to standardise the terms and definitions of all reference data attributes stored in master files of financial institutions and passed among supply chain partners. Precise nomenclature translates into a common language between systems and sources, reduces the cost of doing business and promotes confidence in data among business users. The Council strongly suggests that consistent semantics forms the foundation of effective data management and is an essential building block for operational efficiency, transparency and business process automation.

As you evaluate this ‘draft version’ of the Repository, please remember that it is designed to serve three distinct purposes:

A common data dictionary for internal mapping within financial institutions. The Repository is designed to fit into your quality assurance framework at the business conceptual level for terms and definitions. It can replace existing informal documents (spreadsheets and diagrams) and help with internal reconciliation. The Semantics Repository is maintained in a formal notation that can be used to directly specify data model changes.

The goal is to separate data content from technical design and reduce the amount of mapping required when integrating new systems or adding new messaging schemas. Using the semantics model as a common point of reference should reduce the number of mapping exercises required for integration activities and help users better understand the distinction between ‘business meaning’, ‘logical design’ and ‘technical mapping’.

It is possible and permissible to copy the Repository locally and extend it with terms that are specific to an individual organisation. For questions on incorporating the business conceptual model into your environment, creating a development repository based on this model, and using Enterprise Architect please contact Mike Bennett.

A common language for data and processing vendors. The Repository was originally conceived as a mechanism to help financial institutions compare data delivered from multiple sources and integrate both internally generated and externally acquired data into applications environments.

We are pleased to report significant interest and positive responses from data providers, software/applications vendors, platform companies and systems integrators on the importance of adopting common (industry standard) semantics. The Council is currently fielding a number of inquiries from the vendor community on the incorporation of the Semantics Repository into their environments. We applaud their wisdom and efforts. For questions on doing comparative analysis of the semantics model for practical deployment, please contact Michael Atkin.

A common set of tags for source mark-up. From our vantage point, reference data is mostly factual. It begins at the legally controlled and very precise issuance process and is maintained by an equally precise corporate notifications process. It is during the intermediate stages of data collection and aggregation that data is transformed.

The ultimate goal is to tag data attributes at the point of issuance (origination) and eliminate the need for multiple transformations at every stage of the data manufacturing process. We are actively participating in the global regulatory debate about the merits of source tagging – and are pleased to report that the Semantics Repository is figuring prominently in demonstrating that the concept is both practical and viable.”

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