BST Awards 2020: Best buy-side data management product—IHS Markit

Buy-Side Technology Awards 2020

The global spread of Covid-19 in the first quarter of this year prompted many capital markets participants to put projects on hold while dealing with pressing issues like staff safety and creating compliant work-from-home setups. IHS Markit’s clients were no exception, and during February and March, many “hit the pause button for a couple of months,” while they figured out their response to the crisis, says Jamie Penniman, vice president and global head of business for the vendor’s EDM Platform. 

However, the vendor didn’t spend that time resting on its laurels. Instead, being less busy dealing with client activity, officials decided to spend that time upgrading its EDM (Enterprise Data Management) platform. “We saw that two-month blip as an opportunity to modernize the platform,” including improving its user experience for creating workflows, creating front-end dashboards, and capturing data from external systems, Penniman says. 

The flexibility of the modernized platform allows the vendor to more quickly respond to client demand for new content, such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, and information on private markets. “The catalyst was the growing demand we were seeing and clients shifting to more ESG portfolios and facing challenges around calculating ESG data for their portfolios,” Penniman says. “It’s easy to shift to support ESG because of the flexibility of the platform.”

After initially hitting the pause button, demand picked up again. The vendor set up its implementation and training teams to operate fully remotely, and completed 43 engagements—including new rollouts and upgrades at existing clients—so far this year. “That’s a significant accomplishment by our implementation team. And kudos to our clients as well for being able to adapt,” Penniman says. 

Other improvements scheduled for the EDM platform this year are focused on making business users’ jobs easier, such as designing its user interfaces to integrate data, interrogate systems to understand their data and metadata, and create their own rules and workflows, enabling users to do more with their data without having to rely on technical staff.

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