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What Goes Around, Comes Around

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If you’ve been in the industry as long as I’ve been here, then you too probably are aware that many new hot concepts have a familiar, and dated, ring to them. I was at a WFIC session on direct feeds last week when a panelist from JP Morgan Chase commented that direct feeds caused him “the most pain, sometimes for seemingly little gain.” That took me back …

I think it was around 1985 when the infamous Paull Robathan (then industry consultant supreme, now owner of English vinyard supreme) commented “digital datafeeds are great because you can process them. But bad because you have to process them.”

Back in the 1980s, the feeds were pretty pedestrian compared to the ultra-low latency (there’s a new term for you) direct feeds of today. But in a world where compute power and communications were orders of magnitude less, handling those feeds was just as tricky.

One theme to emerge from the WFIC panel was the real need for management of direct feeds (re. format changes, bandwidth requirements) and a number of vendors are indeed addressing that, armed with valuable knowledge of managing their own consolidated feed offerings. Another theme was how user firms are leveraging direct feeds not only for a primary purpose of feeding an application, but also for a secondary use, such as delivering to human traders. In short, datafeeds – and datafeed users – are becoming much more sophisticated. Where will it all end?

Until next time … here’s some great music. [tags]world financial information congress,wfic,direct feeds,paull robathan,care bears on fire[/tags]

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