The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

The Proof is in the Pudding

Share article

Lunch – London, so curry, of course – with a disillusioned reference data friend the other day leads us to take stock a bit of where this reference data marketplace has arrived, and from whence it came.

Reference Data Review will be four years old this year. Looking back over the archive – as we do as we put together each issue – we find a unique and valuable treasure trove. But not just of data or information, not just the facts of the evolution of this marketplace. Rather, what will continue to make Reference Data Review unique is our cataloguing of the attitudes of the players within the marketplace as they have twisted and changed over time.

Four years isn’t a very long time. But in reference data it’s been an age. When we started out with Reference Data Review, it was a little-known backwater, really, of the much more sexy and lucrative market data industry, an area we knew well from years of experience within it. Today, it’s a recognized, perhaps mature, subsegment of the financial data marketplace. One that’s possibly overcrowded with too many me-too events, and a raft of bottom-feeders struggling to get in on the act.

But the plus side is how the market’s attitude has evolved from those early days of Reference Data Review. Then, it was all about definitions, approaches, corporate governance, buy-in and ROI. It was about Powerpoint presentations, vapourware and acquisitions of major centralized databases that ultimately faded and died.

Of course, it still is about all those things. But on top of that, our industry now routinely throws up real implementations. This issue, for example, lists a range of projects, ranging from the mighty – ING – to the not so. And this is only the deals we managed to squeeze into this month’s 16+ pages.

So why was our reference data friend so reticent?

Perhaps because of the slow pace of change, in the face of a myriad compelling reasons why financial institutions should tear out their ageing IT infrastructures and replace them with architectures that make data a help rather than a hindrance? That’s part of it.

What’s transpiring from all the white papers, trade conference presentations, operations group powerpoints and, indeed, contributed Reference Data Review articles, is that many of the projects being undertaken by real people in the marketplace aren’t always the over-arching, architecture-busting sea-change implementations that many in our space had envisioned. Rather, they’re highly selective deals, aimed at addressing a very specific business issue. Much like most business projects should be, really. Is it time, then, to pack our bags and go home? Of course not. We just need to get used to operating in what is turning out to be the equilibrium state of the industry, where reference data projects are conducted to deal with practical problems. Nothing wrong in that.

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: How to leverage the LIBOR transition to improve your data management game

The transition away from LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) is well underway, but there remains considerable ambiguity around how the final stages will be executed – especially with regards to benchmark replacements in markets outside the UK. What are the options, where are the uncertainties and what stage have firms reached in their preparations? The...

BLOG

GLEIF Deploys Workiva Platform, Expands into North America

The GLEIF Foundation partnered with XBRL International and Workiva in June 2020 to publish its annual report in both human and machine-readable Inline XBRL and HTML format, with GLEIF’s LEI embedded into the financial information. It constitutes only the second official business report globally to automatically link the filing entity to its verified LEI reference...

EVENT

TradingTech Summit London

The TradingTech Summit in London brings together European senior-level decision makers in trading technology, electronic execution and trading architecture to discuss how firms can use high performance technologies to optimise trading in the new regulatory environment.

GUIDE

High Performance Technologies for Trading

The highly specialised realm of high frequency trading without doubt is a great driver for a range of high performance technologies that are becoming essential tools for Wall Street. More so than the now somewhat pedestrian algorithmic trading and analytics/pricing applications that are usually cited as the reason that HPC is hitting the financial markets,...