Winning is about consistency, not just speed
There’s an old saying in motor racing: to finish first, first you have to finish—meaning, even with the fastest engine and most skilled driver, your car and team must be resilient enough to survive the grueling challenges over the distance of a race.
The same applies in the market data and reference data industries, and our annual awards recognizing excellence in these areas. Not only must the contenders be the best or fastest over one lap, but they must also deliver consistent performance over a full race, and sustain that over a championship season.
Why so many Formula One racing references, you may ask. Not because industry marketeers love to portray their solutions as race cars, but because our guest speakers and presenters were Leigh Diffey and Steve Matchett from NBC Sports’ F1 commentary team. Leigh and Steve compared the data volumes and analysis performed trackside by race engineers to the data needs of the capital markets, and compared the stringent reporting demands placed on financial firms to the limitations placed on racing teams by the sport’s governing body.
And, just as the F1 rulebook sees changes year to year, this year’s awards format also saw some modifications: certain categories were moved from being decided via an online poll to call-for-entry categories decided by a judging panel. As a result, we saw companies having to actively pitch their services, rather than relying on market presence to be a shoe-in, and we saw some new faces among the winners. And with further changes planned next year, we hope to see more new faces and encourage greater competition among contenders.
But that’s not to downplay the much-deserved success of those who have won this year and in previous years, such as Bloomberg being named Best Data Provider (Vendor) every year since our awards’ inception. And special mention this year goes to FactSet Research Systems, which won the inaugural Overall Best Data/Service Provider award based on its wins and the breadth of its other entries in categories where the vendor came close. Just like the F1 championship, that award isn’t like winning each race, but about scoring points at every round, which add up.
We hope this will serve as an added incentive to future entries, and encourage even more submissions next year.