Carbonn's Copy: Furnishing Your Data Needs

carbonnier

Last month, my wife and I were faced with the task of moving house. Although our new home was only a few miles down the road, the process was complicated because we were moving from a furnished to an un-furnished property, which presented us with purchasing decisions to kit out our new base.

Working within our budget constraints, we had to prioritize where to spend and where to skimp. Some procurement processes were easier than others - three trips in one week to IKEA is more than I'd wish on my worst enemy - but we always knew that once we got the furniture home, and I had assembled it, we could do whatever we wanted with our purchases.

For example - after I had cobbled together a bookcase, which Mrs. Carbonnier instructed me to place in the bathroom, she then proceeded to fill it with wicker baskets to hold her cornucopia of toiletries, rather than the books it was originally designed to hold. Luckily, I didn't have to report back to IKEA exactly how, where and by whom the bookcase would be used, and we didn't get anyone from the store visiting our home to inspect whether it was being used appropriately.

By contrast, the buying decisions faced every day by market data managers are infinitely more complex - principally because they are not purchasing data outright, but licensing its use. Data managers really do have to monitor and manage exactly how data is being used, who is using it, and provide accurate reports back to data licensors to prove that they have complied with licensing terms and conditions.

To complicate matters, those terms and conditions keep on changing, and seem to get more and more onerous each year. For example, this week's issue sees Nasdaq OMX delaying the introduction of new commercial terms for its Nordic equities data to give customers more time to get to grips with the new policy.

Being able to navigate such policies successfully puts ever more emphasis on maintaining the right systems to accurately monitor and report data usage. And according to one data manager that I spoke to recently, having the right systems and controls in place can make the difference between paying for data on a "per instance" basis - literally every instance that it appears on a screen - or being able to pay "per user", taking advantage of allowances either for single- or multi-vendor netting of user accesses.

For those firms looking for a helping hand in controlling their data spend, firms such as Euro Market Data can offer products to navigate exchange data policies - with its Exchange Guide continuing to grow its coverage - as well as consulting services to help user firms analyze their data environments and optimize their purchasing decisions.

But faced with so many difficult decisions, it's no wonder that data managers and other industry professionals might want to further their education, which is why industry association FISD has devised its Financial Information Associate accreditation and is now looking to establish a curriculum committee to oversee the program, while StreamBase has also launched its own certification scheme to ensure that a ready stream - no pun intended - of able developers are on hand to assist clients with implementing its real-time data technologies.

Finally, while I only had to move a couple of miles down the road, spare a thought for Xenomorph chief executive Brian Sentance, who recently crossed the Atlantic to support increasing demand for the vendor's time series analytics and data management platform in the Americas, and talks to IMD about the experience.

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