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Market Data Trends: How to Strategize and Plan Ahead

The financial services landscape is still transitioning - along with the rest of the business world - into post-pandemic mode. Work arrangements are moving from what has been a fully remote workforce for most organizations to either work from home (WFH), full-time office or hybrid. Employee roles are also shifting as enterprises explore ways to reduce manual tasks, free up workers’ time for higher-value activities and nurture productivity.

To help understand how those changes will impact market data management in the coming year, we’ve put together a summary of the trends, updates and key items to consider.

Trend: Market Data and Compliance

Compliance is a trend where challenges (and solutions) continue to evolve. Companies seeking to remain compliant with their contracts’ terms and conditions have been stymied by ambiguous and confusing contract language. We’re pleased to see a growing list of providers offering T&Cs and Data Usage Rights that are more straightforward and easier to understand. Some are also beginning to make their contracts digitally available, further enabling financial services organizations to accurately interpret their responsibilities and limitations using technology when available.

Although we see a trend toward more easily understood contracts, it isn't yet industry-wide. Those that rely on revenue from fines for noncompliance are, of course, less keen to help firms avoid penalties. But customers are increasingly aware of the need to monitor the regulatory and contract language, and more are demanding the ability to understand their obligations. As the wave of expectations builds, vendors will feel greater pressure to contribute to strong compliance measures rather than hinder them.

As the trend builds momentum in the industry, Calero is switching its focus from providing workaround solutions, to industry- aligned technical solutions supporting the ODRL standard.

Trend: Automation and Integration with Vendor Systems

Market data users are expanding their reliance on automation and integration tools. Businesses want staff to focus on higher-value work and employees want to free themselves from manual and laborious activities. To support this trend, Calero is delivering automation capabilities as part of our market data management solution, including file uploads, reporting, invoice reconciliation, order management and provisioning/entitlement. When employees join or leave an organization, we can automatically initiate or cancel products and services. Employees no longer need to spend time managing lists of products one at a time from multiple vendors, and new workers have what they need to be productive sooner.

The automation trend feeds into more efficient engagement with vendors using eBonding, too. Rather than manually contacting a vendor to place each new order - perhaps a new joiner in the bank needs five different products - our system automatically requests the products, gets them approved and funnels them into the vendors’ systems for immediate entitlement, all without a single e-mail or phone call. Vendors also benefit, when they enable market data management solution connectivity through their portal APIs, reducing the need for Account Managers to interpret and log updates to their entitlement systems. Customer satisfaction scores will likely trend up for providers that streamline the process through eBonding (achieving the goal of being easier to do business with). They’ll be able to have invoices paid sooner, as well.

Trend: Automation and Integration with Other Internal Customer Systems

Technology sprawl is happening at every level in the enterprise, and it’s prompting more financial organizations to pursue additional integrations. Along with integrating their market data management solutions, more businesses have expressed a need to build connectivity across their internal systems. This includes compliance, governance, HR management, AP and procurement. Banks that implement a strong integration strategy reduce the need for multiple system logins and duplicative data entry will see increased efficiency and data accuracy. Our MDM solution provides a central pivot point that can access APIs to drive updates both to and from other internal customer systems - particularly useful during the employee onboarding and offboarding processes - and can play a key role in the trend towards corporate-wide system integration.

Trend: Multiple Logins/Access Points to Market Systems

Another trend sprouting from the WFH movement is the need for traders to maintain multiple logins to market data systems. Prior to the pandemic, traders were traditionally on the trading floors, subscribed to a single set of products for their onsite location. Now many are transitioning to hybrid work, with a few days a week spent in the office and the remaining time at home. Some employees might also use local satellite offices or hot desks in a central corporate environment. The number of employees needing the ability to login to not just one, but to multiple locations, is increasing along with the prospect of additional costs to support the new paradigm.

The demand for technology solutions to facilitate monitoring of extra expenses associated with multi-location (or “anywhere”) login capabilities is booming as companies see their costs ramping up. The MDM solution from Calero applies cost analysis to this new work environment - who’s requesting multiple access capabilities, which requesters need additional access based on their job roles, and which users don’t require this current setup, etc. This enables organizations to allocate login and terminal access efficiently and identify new measures to keep costs manageable.

Trend: Alternative Providers for Cost Savings and Streamlined Due Diligence

Financial services firms aren’t the only ones searching for cost-saving opportunities, but there's a shift in how this industry evaluates them. The days of continuing with an existing vendor through long-term engagement and trust, or simply because it’s convenient, are disappearing. Today’s future-focused institutions no longer want to renew contracts at a cost similar to their current agreement. Instead, more expect an analysis that enables them to explore alternate vendors that can deliver the same market data for a lower cost.

Demand for systems to manage contract renewals as part of the larger due diligence and fiscal management effort will grow. Traditional reliance on senior analyst knowledge on suitable alternatives is falling back. More financial organizations want technology to help identify competitive alternate vendors for each contract that’s up for renewal.

"A recent survey of market data professionals found that providing alternative vendor and service information would be the most valuable data addition to their inventory management tool." - Michael Atkins, Sr. Service Operations Manager (MDM) - Calero

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