Opening Cross: Carry On Demanding

July 6, 2015 Max Bowie

Waters Technology Market Data cloud apiData consumers are a demanding bunch, and data providers often undertake initiatives that require any significant investment only once customer demand reaches a critical mass to ensure their investment is covered. Let’s face it, some vendors would attribute less functionality and a price hike to “customer demand for streamlined products and simplified pricing,” but for the most part, data suppliers are pretty good at responding to client demand—in many cases, their ability to retain those clients depends on it.

Now, clients are demanding the ability to access more content on-demand. And data providers are responding.

For example, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., under the direction of chief data officer and former NYSE head of market data Ron Jordan, is putting the finishing touches to a platform that will allow it to provide access to its data on an “as-a-service” basis and create more flexible offerings and price points. This means the clearer can offer more granular datasets instead of a one-size-fits-all/take-it-or-leave-it approach of offering large datasets where few may want the entire content they contain, and provide sub-sets of that data in response to clients’ specific requirements. This not only means that clients get what they want and not what they don’t, avoiding the stress on their systems of handling large datasets when just a fraction of that will meet their needs, but it also allows them to pay only for what they want and not what they don’t.

Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters has built a family of new, open-source APIs for its real-time content and TREP (Thomson Reuters Enterprise Platform—formerly RMDS) data platform that will make it easier for firms to integrate content from the vendor and alternative suppliers alongside one another, using the same Thomson Reuters data formats, or to plug in other vendors’ transport layers yet still present the data using a consistent data format that corresponds to their existing content from Thomson Reuters. While not strictly an on-demand access initiative, the move—which officials say is not designed to fend off potential competition from web services data providers, for example, but to open up new user bases among those who may not have the resources to work with its old APIs—will certainly make it easier for clients to mix and match content and platforms in a more “on-demand” manner.

All this is a far cry from data as they knew it in John Sussex’s time on the Liffe trading floor, when the main sources of price data were the pit display boards and someone shouting a quote, when sentiment analysis was gauging the buzz of activity on the floor, and when “on-demand data” meant asking someone for a price.

In an Open Platform, Sussex describes the disruptive effect of Liffe rolling out its first electronic trading system, and the impact it had on floor traders now forced to work via computer terminals (such as trying to talk into a mouse) or to take their skills to other open-air marketplaces. This disruptive catalyst brought change for all—good for many, and tough for others. And the disruptive effect of on-demand pioneers such as Xignite has made data consumers and vendors realize that old models can change and old molds can be broken, and which has forced change.

At a conference nearly 10 years ago, I recall a presentation on the potential for pay-as-you-go data. Achieving this goal is not just a matter of vendors changing their licensing models to make it commercially possible, but also delivering the technology infrastructures to make it a reality. And while the industry isn’t quite there yet, with new vendors offering disruptive commercial models, and platform providers offering more granular datasets and API access, we’re closer than ever.

We’re also pretty close to summer vacation season, so IMD will take a break from publishing a printed issue next week, returning on July 20. But to sate your demand for market data news, keep up-to-date at insidemarketdata.com, which we’ll continue to update as usual throughout the week. Bon voyage!

Source: Inside Market Data

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