The New Industry

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At the beginning of the year, it’s practically impossible to avoid reading an article with the headline “New Year, New You.” But in case anyone has missed out on these life-changing tips for 2011, here’s a list of what reference data practitioners should learn, quit and fit in this year:

Learn: Recruitment is an ongoing problem in the data management industry, and firms are struggling to find experienced candidates to fill reference data positions. Industry association FISD has tried to help solve the issue by launching a certification scheme, which could help motivate practitioners to stay in the financial information industry, as well as expand people’s knowledge. The scheme is already up and running, and now is the time to start studying.

From a consumer-perspective, the data management work is often associated with project-based roles, and for these positions, it can also be useful to learn more about project management methodologies, such as Prince2 or Six Sigma. That’s at least how I kicked off the New Year. I tested a Prince2 Foundation exam course with Attra Partners, and took the exam, as part of a bid to do more research into how the use of structured methodologies can help firms succeed with reference data projects.

Quit: Firms may be used to operating in silo-based environments in their own organizations, but it is no longer sufficient to operate with silo-based industry groups to facilitate change. Different industry groups representing the same market have to stop talking about how to solve the same issues in different forums. This has been highlighted in the recent discussions on creating a global legal entity identifier, and EDM Council, for example, has focused on collaborating with other groups to ensure there is one “single conversation” on the topic. If the industry came across as more joined-up, it would be easier for regulators to get an overview of the key expectations and make a better-informed decision.

Fit in: While the rest of the world follows up on resolutions to spend more time with their families, reference data practitioners should plan to spend more time with regulators. There is an imminent need for market participants to contribute to the regulatory discussions, particularly in the counterparty data space, where the Office of Financial Research has called for feedback on legal entity identification. For all subject matter experts, now is the time to fit in regulatory response-writing, and get your views on the agenda.

There are great expectations for how the reference data industry will develop in 2011, and with an array of ‘new you’s’ we should be well on the way to show we can live up to the hype. Happy New Year!

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