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Deutsche Börse democratizes data with Marketplace offering

Deutsche Börse democratizes data with Marketplace offering

Deutsche Börse Group (DBG) is set to unveil its Marketplace, a one-stop data shop designed to simplify and streamline data acquisition and consumption for its clients, while also surfacing data from across the firm to its own users. Jan Stiebing and Sven Wohlfarth discuss the thinking behind the initiative and the problems it intends to solve for its customers.

DBG is on the cusp of launching its data Marketplace. What is the premise of the Marketplace and how did it come about?

Jan Stiebing, Deutsche Börse
Jan Stiebing, Deutsche Börse

Jan Stiebing, head of business strategy and mergers and acquisitions, Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services (MD+S): The notion of bringing together data consumers and producers is nothing new. What is new are the technological advancements and how data management and governance are changing along with this, which enables us to improve internal and external data sharing. What typically took a lot of time and effort due to data sitting in multiple silos is now much more streamlined. So, there are internal as well as external “time-to-value” arguments to be made. When we talk about launching our Marketplace, it doesn’t mean we want to be the new Bloomberg or Refinitiv—it’s more about streamlining internal processes and making data more easily available, accessible and discoverable; internally initially, but then also externally so we can address past limitations.

You didn’t mention “data catalogs”—many capital markets firms are creating their own internal data catalogs as a means of surfacing and sharing data across the business. To what extent is DBG’s Marketplace going to be a glorified data catalog that surfaces and “advertises” data to existing and prospective consumers?

Jan Stiebing: A data catalog as a tool for a specific data domain is something many people within DBG are familiar with. What we intend to implement now is a central data catalog spanning essentially all of DBG’s entities. We have many entities—some are regulated, some are not, some we’ve acquired, and some we’ve grown organically—so it’s a heterogeneous landscape, which is similar to many other companies. But now we are aiming to create a central data catalog where all our data comes together in a way that doesn’t require everyone to have a strictly harmonized architectural setup, but rather taking what is already there and introducing federated governance, which is all about balancing central and non-central powers, and making sure it all still comes together and complies with regulatory requirements. This, in combination with a more domain-oriented governance and looking at data-as-a-product, is very powerful in enabling everyone in the organization to do their best when it comes to data.

If I had to name one thing that has been made very clear by generative artificial intelligence—known as GenAI—and all the recent technology advances, it’s that data quality is the critical foundation for sustainable insights.

That’s a good point—pulling together data from across the organization and surfacing it through a single portal is only half the challenge. The other half centers on data quality and ensuring the data being offered to consumers is clean, consistent and accurate.

Jan Stiebing: Correct. Just connecting data is not enough. You have to think about what it is going to be used for and what happens to it afterwards. It’s a matter of data quality, data management and data governance all together. The data catalog is just one piece of a bigger puzzle about what we do with data to make it more transparent about where it sits, what it represents, where and how it was sourced, where it goes and what happens to it.

DBG is in the process of reorganizing itself into what it describes as a “data-driven organization”. Can you explain the thinking behind that initiative, what it means practically within the organization and how it came about?

Sven Wohlfarth, Deutsche Börse
Sven Wohlfarth, Deutsche Börse

Sven Wohlfarth, head of data services operations, Deutsche Börse: Just over a year ago, we announced a strategic partnership with Google and one objective of that project was to create a group-wide data-driven organization. Essentially, it’s a group-wide approach to establishing a data mesh. Not all entities within DBG will be part of the data mesh from the outset, although the big ones will be. For a data mesh to be fit for purpose, you need clear, consistently applied and embraced data governance across the entire organization. Creating a data-driven organization is therefore 99% cultural. Once you have good data governance and you have created a data mesh, then you can establish a marketplace, which allows you to license data externally.

Our Marketplace has two views: there’s an internal view and an external [client-facing] view with three examples of data offerings—a Clearstream data business, an MD+S business and an application programming interface platform. They are scattered around the organization and there are many entry points at which customers can license our data or retrieve information about our data, and the idea is to consolidate that.

Has there been a lot of standardization and consolidation going on as a means of simplifying and improving efficiencies across DBG’s entire data domain?

Sven Wohlfarth: Yes. From an internal perspective, it’s quite interesting how we see the Marketplace. It doesn’t make much sense for Clearstream to build its own marketplace or data shop. Similarly, it doesn’t make much sense for Kneip to have yet another data shop with another logo and SAP processes behind it. The idea is to leverage what is already there and create organizational efficiencies.

On the tech side, the Marketplace is the first cloud-based approach with common standards. Prior to that, we had various versions of the cloud—a DBG version, a Eurex version and a Clearstream version. They all had different rules and checks in place. Now it’s centralized, it is very efficient, and it provides a secure approach to sharing data, licensing data and making that data available on a global scale.

What will the Marketplace proposition look like in its early stages?

Sven Wohlfarth: We will start with a few customers, but we have to go to them with an offer so we can begin a conversation about how we can match our offer with their demands. Remember, there are already data marketplaces available, such as Snowflake and Databricks, and some of our customers already use those services. The idea is to have a central point where we locate all of our data and then distribute it to exactly where our customers are. We want to make it as convenient as possible for them to consume our data so they don’t think about going elsewhere. If a customer wants their data at 4am, they know it will be there and it will be of super high quality.

What do you see as the problems the Marketplace solves for DBG’s customers?

Sven Wohlfarth: There are a few. Some customers subscribe to large volumes of data, which can be complex to ship or download. With our Google Cloud setup and the whole cloud-native approach, it’s super easy to share large volumes of data. That’s one area we make it as convenient as possible for our customers—it’s secure and easy, and you don’t need to be a data scientist to download our data and integrate it into your processes.

The second example is our contracts and the way we manage subscriptions. When it comes to terms and conditions, the idea is to have a single standardized format so, if a client wants to add another product, it doesn’t come with its own terms and conditions. Typically, when a firm subscribes to data and it’s a new contact, they are required to involve their legal team. But, if there is a standardized approach to licensing data, it’s easier from a procurement perspective for our customers to leverage all of the data products we have at the moment, because it doesn’t involve 20 different people—you just speak to the Marketplace operators. That approach makes the entire end-to-end process as convenient as possible for our customers.

Do you have anything to add with respect to the benefits to users?

Jan Stiebing: I would say there are two core benefits. The first is around providing a single gateway into DBG’s rich data trove. Currently, if you’re a trading member of one or more of our businesses such as Eurex, Xetra or Clearstream, you have separate accounts and dashboards—you don’t have an integrated view of what you’re doing with us. But financial markets transactions are connected, right? So having the ability to see your pre-trade, at-trade and post-trade data across all asset classes will be a huge benefit.

The second benefit is more and faster data innovation because we are streamlining the processes behind the data product life cycle and implementing governance and technology changes around it. Right now, we depend on data being discoverable and finding the right person to provide access rights before you can even start building new data products and services. There is so much more value in the business, which is yet to be realized because our data is not fully accessible and/or sharable. Providing a secure place from where we can share data across clouds and individual businesses with our clients and allowing users to bring their own data supports greater insight, which has not been possible so far. It will be easier for users to access data because it is in one place and there will also be more insights because it will become easier to interact with the data. We are very excited about laying the foundation in 2024 for future innovation from data and artificial intelligence. Look out for more news on our Marketplace to come.

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