Andrew Delaney introduced the final panel of the day, involving Steve Cheng of Rimes, Jonathan Clark of Tech Mahindra, Tom Dalglish of UBS and Martijn Groot of Euroclear. Main points:
- Andrew started by asking the panel for their definitions of managed data services and data utilities
- Martijn said that a managed data service was usually the lifting out of a data process from in a company to be run by somebody else whereas a data utility had many users.
- Tom put it another way saying that a managed service was run for you whereas a utility was run for them. Tom suggested that there were some concerns around data utilities for the industry in terms of knowing/being transparent about data vendor affinity and any data monopoly aspects.
- When asked why past attempts at data utilities had failed, Tom said that it must be frustrating to be right but at wrong time, but in addition to the timing being right just now (costs/regulations being drivers) then the tech stack available is better and the appreciation of data usage importance is clearer.
- Steve added a great point on the tech stack, in that it now made mass customisation much easier.
- Jonathan made the point that past attempts at data utilities were built on product platforms used at clients, whereas the latest utilities were built on platforms specifically designed for use by a data utility.
- Looking at the cost savings of using a data utility, Martijn said that the industry spends around $16-20B on data, and that with his Euroclear data utility they can serve 2000 clients with a staff level that is less than any one client employs directly.
- Tom said that the savings from collapsing the data silos were primarily from more efficient/reduced usage of people and hardware to perform a specific function, and not data.
- Steve suggested that some utilities take an incremental data services and not take all data as in the old utility model, again coming back to his earlier point of mass customisation.
- Tom mentioned it was a bit like cable TV, where you can subscribe to a set of services of your choice but where certain services cost more than others.
- Martijn said that there were too many vested interests to turn data costs around quickly. He said that data utilities could go a long way however.
- Tom concluded by saying that it was about content not feeds, licensing was important as was how to segregate data.
Good panel – additionally one final audience question/discussion was around data utilities providing LEI data, and it was argued that LEI without the hierarchy is just another set of data to map and manage.