The data you need to sharpen your edge – Refinitiv
The financial services industry (FSI) lives and dies on accurate information, rapidly and reliably delivered where it’s needed. Accuracy, speed, and reliability equals edge, and the edge is what breathes life into the FSI every day. Delivered consistently over time, edge equals insight – and that can be the difference between a good day and a bad day, a good steer and a bad steer.
Even governments, well-known as slow-moving on the technology uptake, are realising that open financial data helps drive economic growth. McKinsey & Associates states, “Analysis suggests that the boost to the economy from broad adoption of open-data ecosystems could range from about 1 to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2030,” and, “research suggests that more than half the potential value remains inaccessible, particularly the value that financial institutions could gain directly through greater efficiency and reduced fraud costs.”
But as the amount of data available grows hugely, the edge gets harder to find, because value gets harder to see in a data-blizzard. Even when big FSI companies invest heavily in technological solutions like data lakes, simply capturing data doesn’t give you the edge. It doesn’t turn data into actionable value.
That means you can frequently end up paying through the nose for technology that, while it’s nice to have, is of no little practical value to your day-to-day financial decisions. There’s undoubtedly valuable material in there somewhere – but it would take you longer to go through the massed data to find it than it would ultimately be worth.
Focusing the information firehose
That’s where companies like Refinitiv come in – providing a combination of contextualized insight for the decisions you need to make day-to-day, and the most useful, valuable data as and when you need it to guide your decisions towards profitability. Whatever your role in the FSI, getting that kind of quality data, targeted towards the needs you have, and in the time frame you want, can help cut through the data-blizzard and give you back the edge you need. As data lakes become stagnant, curated data streams stir the waters.
We spoke to Matt Eddy, Head of Real-Time Customer Managed Services at Refinitiv, an LSEG business, about how the company adds value to companies in the FSI, even if they have their own data lake.
“A lot of our customers across the FSI have absolutely invested heavily in data lakes. Have they done it right? Possibly… possibly not. And, if you get it wrong, that’s when your data lake becomes a data swamp. If you haven’t properly governed your data inputs, you end up with lots of data of minimal actual use. In a lot of these companies, their data lake volumes aren’t shrinking, they don’t want to throw data away.”
Refinitiv’s mission is, he said, “To simplify and standardize companies’ relationship to data.”
What that means is that Refinitiv is ‘slicing and dicing’ through the available data, to feed only relevant, pre-normalised, value-added material to screens across the FSI – without bringing spurious information that needs to be parsed again by in-house systems.
Developing a method of parsing data, or having it curated before consumption, is becoming hugely important. In 2021, a survey of financial professionals commissioned by Google Cloud found that 93 percent of exchanges, trading systems and data providers offered cloud-based data and services and that all planned to offer new cloud services that included derived data. Data ingestion and use is, it’s said, more common on the buy-side, but it’s still a huge influence.
But there’s more to the process of sharpening the data edge than mere access. The point about having accurate, rapid access to FSI data that helps you make better decisions is that you want it with as little fuss as possible. But translating that into a customer experience (end-user experience, trader experience, et al.) has been tricky in the past, because in less tech-enabled days, there has been one way to do things – whether or not one size fitted all.
DIY – if you want to
Refinitiv has a range of access methods, that allow its clients flexibility not only with their payment model, but also with their access and support needs.
“As an example, with Real-Time – Optimized, which is our AWS-hosted feed, we’re rolling out a self-serve self-authentication, self-entitlement process,” Matt explained. “The idea is that once our clients have purchased the product, they’ll get access to a portal, they’ll create their own ID, add and remove permissions as they need and be able to monitor and manage that connection without any kind of engagement if they so wish. We’re also taking that one step further and looking to roll it into ecommerce channels as well.”
In other words, if you want to define the parameters of the data you get without being handheld through an induction process, you’re free to do that. But Matt was also keen to say that for those who wanted old-style, end-of-the-line customer support and guidance, that remains available too. The point is that the FSI, like the rest of the tech-enabled world, is changing – and Refinitiv aims to be there for both early adopters, leave-me-be’ers, and the “What does this button do?” crew who quite like their hand held when the way they get their daily data changes for the better.
Resonating with cell phone contracts, with Refinitiv’s data services, they aim to offer the option for customers to either buy the credits they think they’ll need for a given period of time, and then stay within those limits, or they can buy a kind of “all you can eat” package, and access any available data however many times they like, as long as their contract runs.
Whether you need strong, dependable data on the latest trends, or proven analytics to help you see the market more clearly in a given light, companies like Refinitiv take you through the data-blizzard and remind you what’s actually worth knowing for your bottom line. Companies like Refinitiv are focused on finding a cure-all for the snow-blindness that too much data can bring.
They’re a way of helping companies re-sharpen their edge in the financial services industry. And they’re continually evolving to meet that industry’s increasingly complex needs.
For more info on how Refinitiv can offer you real-time data insights, click here.
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