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Market and reference data management: Challenges abound

Market and reference data management: Challenges abound

The extent to which capital markets firms are able to accurately and transparently analyze their market and reference data spending, while simultaneously managing and optimizing their usage, is not an area that has always received a lot of attention, but is one that is starting to change. More firms on both the sell and buy sides of the industry are looking to maximize the value of their data spend and, perhaps more importantly, fully realize the potential of the data they have acquired, given the vital role it plays across the industry for pretty much all business functions and processes.

When managed manually or by way of spreadsheets and workarounds, market and reference data management functions are invariably laborious and error-prone. Needless to say, it’s an ongoing struggle for most firms, irrespective of their size, levels of sophistication, technological proficiency or technology and operational budgets.

So what’s the answer? In most cases, the way forward entails partnering with a specialist third-party provider—which has its obvious advantages, not least of which is time to market for the implementation of new systems and functionality developed specifically for the tasks at hand. However, as the findings underpinning this paper illustrate, knowing what to do and being able to do it are two entirely different things. In this context, identifying a suitable third-party provider with whom to partner for the purposes of market and reference data management remains a perennial thorn in the side of large numbers of capital markets firms.

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