November 2018: Data and Tech Couples Therapy

Data and technology have a co-dependent relationship, for better or for worse.

Jamie Hyman 2017

WatersTechnology editor-in-chief Victor Anderson and I have done some hiring together, and whenever he describes for candidates the relationship between data and technology, he always uses a biological analogy: If technology is the bones of the market, data is the blood. And while data and tech’s co-dependent relationship is has reached official adage status, the relationship itself changes as the market evolves, so there are always fresh questions to answer and surprising new angles to consider.

For our sibling publication WatersTechnology, Anthony Malakian provides a thorough examination of this evolution through the lens of alternative data, as firms looking to cash in on the alt data boom are navigating how to prioritize while they compete with other hungry banks, traditional data vendors and among their own internal businesses.

I continue my focus on semantics with a feature explaining how, when it comes to standards and ontologies, the dependency runs both ways: Brilliant ideas in semantics require technology capable of carrying them out, while technological advancements— such as blockchain—need standards in place to progress.

For his analysis of firms with a technology vendor arm developed within, Max Bowie considers the sometimes-fraught tech and data relationship with an eye on strategy and timing. Should in-house leave the nest, and if so, when?

And as March 2019 approaches, Brexit concerns continue to heat up. While politicians negotiate (or don’t, as the case may be), regulators realize there is one topic that is non-negotiable: Data must continue to fl ow between agencies and across borders to keep catastrophe at bay. James Rundle and Amelia Axelsen team up to break down what options the regulators have to keep data moving to where it is necessary and reveal why so far, none of the solutions appear sufficient to solve the problem of data, Brexit and borders.

This November issue is sent off right after my return from Hong Kong, where I attended the Asian-Pacific Financial Information Conference. Our Asia editor, Wei-Shen Wong, and I will publish stories culled from APFIC 2018 on over the coming weeks, but I thought I’d tip you off to some early themes: cloud is still a popular topic, but perhaps not as popular as alternative and environmental, social and governance (ESG) data—where to get it, what to do with it, how to use it in a way that is both effective and compliant, and ultimately, whether its returns are worth the cost. 

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