The information giant once again stormed the Rankings this year, winning Best Low-Latency Data Feed Provider for the third year in a row, and Best Reference Data Provider.
Out of the big information vendors, very few can match the sheer size and power of Thomson Reuters. From its newsgathering and reporting operation, through to its financial products and market intelligence, there’s little in the data world that it doesn’t at least somewhat influence. For reference data, in particular, Thomson Reuters is considered to be a market leader with its DataScope platform, and its scooping of two awards at this year’s Waters Rankings affirms that. Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, the company doesn’t view the technology as the important part as much as the data itself.
“DataScope is a delivery platform that we use to aggregate the content. We view the product as being the reference data itself,” explains Tim Rice, global head of pricing and reference data at Thomson Reuters. “The two grew up together in a combination of fixed-income reference data from the Bridge Information Systems assets that Reuters bought a number of years ago, and then the exchange-traded franchise in reference data that Reuters already had as a result of its business in the exchange-traded marketplace. And then, with DataScope, we combined some assets from both of those delivery platforms with some better technologies in order to enable seamless aggregation of our fixed-income and exchange-traded security reference content.”
With several different vectors affecting the reference data space—the legal entity identifier, Solvency II and Fatca regulations, among other areas—Thomson Reuters is finding that requests are diversifying for the different services it offers buy-side and sell-side firms. The common thread, though, is data management between disparate origins.
“The big thing is around the area of multiple sources in data management, and getting everything together,” Rice explains. “We do everything we can to manage multiple sources of content internally to expose it in a single delivery mechanism. I think, for our clients, the big challenge and attraction is the ability to aggregate sources and have a common symbology to be able to navigate that content around an organization.”
This, of course, isn’t always easy to achieve. Thomson Reuters itself hasn’t been immune to changes and reshuffles in order to more accurately align its focus in order to deliver on client expectations, with departmental moves having altered the way in which, at least internally, it operates.
“The key things we’re continuing to do here is join up more content for our customers,” says Rice. “In terms of the recent structural changes, they’ve aligned our DataScope and reference data business into the investor side of the company. That breaks down barriers, allowing us to combine some of the other content more seamlessly for our customers. We’re seeing demand for what I call non-traditional pricing and reference data fields, joined up with the traditional data delivered to customers over a single platform. We’re doing a lot to harvest the specific content, not necessarily in bulk, but for customers looking for additional fundamental fields that fit well into their portfolio analytics on their side,” he says.
When asked what he sees as the real differentiator, though, Rice moves away from technical words on symbologies, legal entities, corporate actions, and everything else that might be associated with reference data. “We get feedback from a lot of customers on the ability for them to provide feedback to us and our ability to quickly respond to concerns on data enquiries, and in adding additional reference data content that may be new and relevant to the market,” he says. “One of the things we pride ourselves in is our service and response model, and the feedback loop we’ve developed with our customers.”
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