02 November 2016

A Critical and Empirical Examination of Currently-used Financial Data Collection Processes and Standards

A critical and empirical examination of four currently-used financial data collection processes and standards

Data standards, and standards in general are an often under-appreciated, if not misunderstood element of everyday life. There are thousands of them in action at any given moment around the world. From electrical sockets to DVD formats to the world’s currencies, they are what make our lives work. However, they can confound the simplest task like turning on a lamp if the plug doesn’t match the socket. When one begins to examine this topic, one quickly realises that not all standards are created equal. That is, not all of them serve their initial or stated purposes or their end users equally well. Why is that? What differentiates efficacy among and between standards, and how could one assess a standard?

The goal of this paper is to provide a framework for such an assessment within one subsector of data standards—i.e., within the world of financial data standards. We have chosen five financial data standards to examine in detail within this framework—FIX, FpML, ISO 15022/20022, XBRL, and the U.S. CFTC’s Swaps Data Repositories (SDRs). Finally, we gather and analyse empirical data by surveying standards designers, data input personnel, and data end users.

by Steve Yang, Susan Yount, Suzanne Morsfield

  • Columbia Business School Stevens
  • Institute of Technology
  • Susan Yount