Sell-Side Technology Awards 2020: Best Sell-Side Data Management Product—IHS Markit

Sell-Side Technology Awards

It’s ironic that the best sell-side data management product was originally developed with buy-side clients in mind. The EDM platform has come a long way since Markit’s 2012 acquisition of Cadis Software, which originally developed the platform. Since then, its client base has gone from being mostly European to 50% US-based and 30% EMEA (with the remainder spread across the Asia-Pacific region), and from being exclusively buy side-focused to winning a growing presence on the sell side among banks, outsourcers, and fund administrators. This year’s award is IHS Markit’s sixth win in a row and its seventh overall, with GoldenSource winning the category back in 2014.

James Penniman, IHS Markit
James Penniman, IHS Markit

Targeting different audiences with the same platform requires the vendor to adopt different approaches, depending on clients’ needs. “We provide an end-to-end platform supporting the data curation lifecycle across all asset classes, but our approach differs when looking at the buy side versus the sell side,” says James Penniman, vice president and global head of business for the EDM platform at IHS Markit. “On the buy side, firms tend to take a consolidated approach to solving data challenges across the front, middle and back office. However, for the sell side, we tend to take a more niche-focused approach, solving targeted business challenges within separate parts of the business.” 

Penniman says the inherent flexibility of the platform has also enabled the vendor to offer it to other industries besides the financial markets, such as energy, and maritime and trade. First, other industries face data challenges far larger than those affecting financial markets firms. According to Penniman, datasets such as geospatial data used in oil exploration and drilling involve far higher data volumes than financial market data. Second, IHS Markit can leverage the maturity of data management in the financial sector to advance other industries.

“The energy and maritime industries are going through the same issues today that the financial services industry went through 10 years ago, such as [a reliance on] Excel spreadsheets, access to data, multiple siloes, and how to pull together and validate that data, and make actionable decisions off it,” Penniman says.

The vendor is currently undertaking a significant modernization effort to scale the platform and make it more “elastic” by leveraging cloud resources, while making it easier and more seamless for business users to work with, whether they are loading data, or working with the data in downstream systems. 

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