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Open Source Symbology and Data are Gaining Traction Based on Real Benefits

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Open source identifiers are becoming more mainstream, with many financial institutions adopting them to reduce the complexity of managing multiple identifiers, decrease costs and increase efficiency.

The challenges and opportunities of open source symbology and data were discussed during a recent A-Team Group webinar hosted by A-Team editor Sarah Underwood and joined by Richard Robinson, head of industry strategy and initiatives for open symbology at Bloomberg; and John Eliseo, global head of content modelling at Thomson Reuters.

The speakers started with a brief explanation of the meaning of open source symbology and data, noting that open source symbology essentially provides an identifier schema and that open source data is free to use, store and extend, and can be used to code programs without restriction.

Considering the problem solving capabilities of open source solutions, a quick poll of the webinar audience resulted in 68% of respondents saying open source identifiers could help their firms resolve the complexity of identifier management, 51% saying that open source identifiers could help the sourcing of identifiers, and 32% saying open source identifiers could reduce the cost of identifier management.

Picking up on the poll results, the speakers noted that open source identifiers will not entirely replace other identifiers, but said they would resolve the problems highlighted in the poll and give more importance to data rather than the identifiers themselves. Looking at the drivers behind open source solutions, they suggested industry organisations, commercial firms and regulators will all have a place in pushing forward open source technology and adoption.

While the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is perhaps the best known open source identifier in the industry at the moment, Robinson and Eliseo noted increasing acceptance of the concept of open source solutions and described their own firms’ work with open source identifiers – the FIGI, which is issued by Bloomberg, and the PermID which was developed by Thomson Reuters to support the merger of Thomson and Reuters internally and is now widely available in the market.

Looking at take-up of open source identifiers, a second poll questioned how interested firms are in adopting them. The results were positive, with 40% of respondents being very interested in, and working with, open source identifiers, and 23% being very interested in, and planning to implement, open source identifiers.

The speakers went on to provide guidance on how to implement open identifiers, noting data governance as key to the process, and identified significant operational gains that can be made from implementation. Forecasting the development of open source symbology and data over the next few years, they expect adoption of open source solutions to accelerate and suggest there will be multiple providers, each with it own area of expertise.

Listen to the webinar to find out more about:

  • Open source symbology and data
  • Open source identifiers
  • Approaches to adopting open identifiers
  • Potential implementation challenges
  • Benefits of open source identifiers
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