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Data Provider of the Year—Bloomberg

Inside Market Data & Inside Reference Data Awards 2022

Brad Foster, Bloomberg
Brad Foster, Bloomberg
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A glance at the list of category winners in this year’s Inside Market Data & Inside Reference Data Awards reveals one big winner: Bloomberg. Not only did the firm win the data provider of the year award for 2022, but it also walked away with the best data analytics provider, best evaluated pricing service provider and best market data provider (vendor) categories. No firm has won more than four categories in any of WatersTechnology’s awards programs, which date back to  2001; the feat has only been achieved four times since then, two of which have come courtesy of the New York-headquartered data and technology giant.

Upper Echelons

Bloomberg is by no means the only large, well-established market and reference data provider in the marketplace, yet it moves consistently in the upper echelons of the industry, regardless of how you choose to segment it. When asked to put his finger on what separates Bloomberg from the industry’s other leading lights, Brad Foster, head of enterprise data content at Bloomberg, cites what is arguably the most successful and ubiquitous piece of technology ever introduced across the capital markets: the Bloomberg Terminal.

“The first thing I would say is that the Terminal has helped to create that footprint for us,” he explains. “The other thing is we are super-focused on understanding client challenges and problems, and we build our products around that. Many of those challenges go beyond a desktop solution and go into solving for a streamlined, connected back-office workflow and enterprise workflow around things such as portfolio optimization, attribution, profit and loss, and risk.”

Naturally, Bloomberg’s data suits those business processes and workflows, and Foster is quick to point out that the firm has spent a significant amount of time understanding use-cases across the enterprise and building products that not just satisfy clients’ data content requirements, but also allow them to seamlessly knit together the various constituents of Bloomberg’s data offering. “For them,” he says, “the time-to-value in terms of using that data and making it useful is a lot shorter.”

It goes without saying that, for a firm such as Bloomberg to retain its position at the helm of the data industry, it is critical to maintain a view of the industry’s data-related trends, to fully understand clients’ current and future needs, and to respond to those needs by offering high-quality data that specifically addresses their various pain points. To that end, Foster explains that the firm will have multiple areas of focus as it expands its enterprise content offering that includes the following targeted priorities.

ESG Data

The first is well understood across the industry and is an area of interest for many data providers: environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and climate risk data. “Some of our big focus areas continue to be providing transparent, reliable and readily usable ESG and climate risk-related data,” Foster explains. “For example, we provide company-reported data as well as carbon emission estimates data for 50,000 companies globally. We developed estimates in part because many companies don’t report carbon emissions data and, when they do, it is often inconsistent between companies. What sets Bloomberg apart here is that we have figured out how to connect ESG and climate risk data with other types of existing data, such as company fundamentals data, so that clients can extract additional value immediately.”

Research and Regulations

Research data is the second area of focus for Bloomberg, which Foster says is geared towards the equity quant research audience in addition to portfolio and risk managers. “We want to increase our footprint with the equity quantitative research audience,” he explains. “We are building an easy-to-use, point-in-time company financials actuals and estimates product available in a single data cube that provides clients with ongoing and historical data. Beyond this, our goal is to more systematically support portfolio and risk managers who require company segmentation data to understand their exposure in aggregate at the portfolio and index level. We’ve been steadily building out our segmentation data to address this need.”

The third area, which is top of mind for many market participants, is regulation. “We don’t anticipate regulations to slow down anytime soon, especially around ESG,” Foster says. “Today we offer more than 60 regulatory products, which is roughly double the number of reg products we offered just two years ago.”

Funds Data

Other data the firm is looking to develop includes funds data, which, according to Foster, has been an 18-month investment for Bloomberg and will continue to be so for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023. It plans on relaunching its security master data later this year, which clients can combine with fund pricing and holdings data for exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. Foster says: “We’re serious about the funds data space as it supports investment, compliance, risk and disclosure workflows across a wide spectrum of use cases.” 

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