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Market Data Expense Management 2021: Customer-Driven Innovation and Automation

Jun 29, 2021

Fund managers in major financial services organizations and major banks truly depend upon a robust feed of market data to support their critical decision making. With trillions on the line its really no wonder that market data is in their top five expense items, topping $30 Billion in total spend in 2020. 

This is why effective management of market data is so important to all large investment managers, and why the many complexities and challenges market data management presents have been such a focus at Calero-MDSL. 

Market data contracts are complex, the dynamics of the many available sources can be very confusing, pricing, terms, and conditions frequently change, and the metered services are, at best, challenging to track accurately and consistently. Compounding these issues is a growing demand for integration with a broad variety of other systems. 

Customers Determine Priorities 

The Calero-MDSL Market Data Management (MDM) platform is a dynamic, living system that is constantly updated based on feedback from our MDM customers as well as industry trends and issues. 

Data Notifications, as an example, were presented as high priority. Frequent pricing and other changes make mayhem with cost control especially since fund managers have been required heretofore to constantly check and recheck to spot changes as they happen. Our MDM system now automates notification of every relevant change as it takes place. Going forward into the last two quarters of 2021 this automation will be extended with a series of structured processes that will serve to execute many of the actions that become necessary to adjust for these changes thereby releasing human beings from that onerous responsibility.  

In addition to customer input, whenever a market data vendor exposes a new application programming interface (API) we immediately explore it to identify opportunities that would be of value to most or all of our MDM customers. For example, for integration around order provisioning (eBonding), finance detailing, inventory sync and general data exchange.  

Other innovations go much deeper and wider into making operations easier. The underlying workflow engine is undergoing significant evolution to advance it from the current serial flow of one task after another after another to an environment in which multiple actions are taken automatically through the addition of pipelines and milestones. Best of all, users will be able to configure these activities themselves thanks to simplification of the process and significant improvements to our user interface. Given that most of our MDM customers are using the software themselves in self-service mode, responding to this suggestion was critical to achieving far greater customer satisfaction across the majority of our installed base. 


Flexibility is a very important characteristic. Users need to be able to reconfigure our interface to suit their specific way of doing business. Our new upgraded workflow engine will support this, and our new user interface will make it much easier for users to see and understand exactly what they’re doing and how well they’re achieving their intended changes. 

One good example of an important application of this flexibility is in contract workflow. Contracts are frequently updated and changed. Some of these changes necessitate changes to the way they are managed in our system. Previously, customers would have to issue a request to us, wait for us to develop the necessary changes, and then implement those changes to process the revised contracts. In the new engine, they can make the necessary process changes themselves which saves them tremendous amounts of time. 

Calero-MDSL Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Strategy & Focus 

Our systems are designed to support the entire end-to-end MDM process that begins at Contract procurement of market data services, and from the initiation of a request for these services, through management authorization. Our eBonding process facilitates the actual provisioning of the new service including recording of entitlement, addition to inventory, through invoicing and, ultimately, payment to the MDM vendor. 

One important point of pride is that many of our MDM customers have been with us for over twenty years. We believe this is the best testament to our continuing commitment to constant improvement and constant innovation.

Written by Alistair Brooker