What Do You Know and When Do You Know It?

Recent IRD features focus on the challenges of collecting and accessing data in timely fashion

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Mastery of identifier and customer data, along with a better grasp of previously inaccessible data, is becoming key to gaining predictive value from reference data resources

The common element in several stories in this month's issue of Inside Reference Data is making efforts to find previously inaccessible data, collect new data or reconcile gaps between different sources of data.

Starting with "Shedding Light on Dark Data," we hear from a few regulatory data specialists who describe "dark data" as any data that is disconnected, not being used properly or otherwise inaccessible. While dark data's "disconnected" nature is similar to the gaps in reporting data described by Sapient's Randall Orbon in this month's Industry Warehouse column, that description is not the complete picture.

The more important aspect for defining dark data is making connections among pieces of data that are already there, says Thomson Reuters' Tim Lind in the former story. Accessibility of the data is only the first part of the problem, and solving that still leaves firms having to figure out what predictive value the data may have once put into fuller context.

Two more stories in this issue center on collecting new data, namely know-your-customer data and legal entity identifier data. In "Know Your KYC Goals," Swift's Bart Claeys speaks about the progress of the organization's KYC Registry, particularly its expansion to include data from smaller firms. As with dark data, obtaining more complete customer information for reference improves one's ability to manage exposure and risk. Claeys and Swift are aiming to make the KYC Registry even more valuable through a new profile feature that will bring information on correspondent firms' activities into the database.

In "2015: Year of the LEI Break-Out?", Joanna Wright explores the prospects for the legal entity identifier (LEI) to hit a tipping point, after which it will really be prevalent in many or all markets globally. The European Central Bank's Francis Gross says a critical mass of industry leaders now understands the need for the LEI, but universal use of the identifier must be achieved for it to become valuable. Executives from the London Stock Exchange Group and Omgeo say they do expect to see more adoption of the LEI this year.

Inside Reference Data has also been watching Fatca compliance developments closely in recent weeks, and that is reflected in this issue. In "What to Factor in for Fatca," GoldenSource's Steve Engdahl notes that the formats for reporting and filing are proving challenging, and Societe Generale's Elaine Kiggins points to issues with local jurisdictional requirements. And in our front page story, "Fatca GIIN Numbers Seeing Turnover," we hear from a tax reporting provider who has observed that the Internal Revenue Service's database identifying parties for Fatca reporting purposes, begun last year, is not being kept up to date. It's another instance in which firms have to chase down relevant data.

For more on Fatca compliance issues, please also see two recent online columns: "The IRS's Weak Tea" and "Will IDES March Forward?"

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