Sell-Side Technology Awards 2019: Best Data Provider to the Sell Side—FactSet

FactSet wins this year's best data provider to the sell side, thanks largely to its Open:FactSet Marketplace offering, unveiled in April 2018.

FactSet takes the title of best data provider to the sell side at this year’s Sell-Side Technology Awards from previous winner SIX, due largely to its efforts in helping clients maximize efficiency. One example of how FactSet is helping clients with new enhancements in this area is by using machine learning to develop an algorithm to identify companies vulnerable to shareholder activism. “Our sell-side clients can now more proactively advise the companies they work with about potential threats and defensive strategies,” says Kristina Karnovsky, head of research at FactSet.  

FactSet is focusing on enhancements that “connect the dots” between content sets and surfacing insights to its users. To achieve this, it will continue to expand its open and flexible technology. 

The firm has evolved over the past 40 years, from starting as a paper report—Company FactSet—that was delivered around New York City by bicycle messengers. Today, it delivers content and analytics through web-based workstations, application programming interfaces, mobile solutions and data feeds, among others. It is keen to partner with its clients and help them with modular, flexible solutions as they move from siloed terminals and portals to multi-vendor ecosystems. “With the launch of the Open:FactSet Marketplace, our clients and prospects can discover pre-linked third-party data alongside FactSet’s own data, and generate ideas using tools and cloud-based research and production environments,” Karnovsky explains. 

She adds that sell-side clients continue to demand high-quality and clean data as poor data leads to lost business, missed opportunities, and wasted productivity. “As our clients invest in automating workflows and reducing the number of human hours it takes to produce work, the quality and reliability of the data that powers algorithms and processes is more critical than ever,” Karnovsky says.

FactSet launched Open:FactSet Marketplace in April 2018, an online platform that provides fundamental and alternative data, and a cloud-based environment to test data. It currently features more than 40 data feeds. The company is working with data providers to review and integrate data before making it available, so that users can link the feeds to their models, systems and proprietary datasets. 

In November last year, it added detailed bank regulatory financial data to its platform, providing users with access to extensive information about US public and private banks incorporating financial data from US regulators. This allows users to analyze and compare performance on metrics, including profitability, capital adequacy, loan/deposit composition, and asset quality, among others.

Moving forward, in addition to expanding its technology, FactSet will evaluate and add new data providers to its platform, allowing clients to develop customized solutions. 

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