Rule 2 Objective: Discover what data is available, its’ utility, quantify and qualify its attributes, to form the product base of the data business

Why? Data will make money if you know what you have, then put it to work

Cerberus protects the gate to Hades. Sometimes it feels like trying to discover what data assets exist is akin to entering a data underworld complete with unfriendly guardians determined to keep data’s lost souls safely locked within. It is only by venturing into the depths can we identify what resides there, its composition, its value, and then naturally having identified, categorised, and formatted it, release it.  

The Key factors are:

• Building a data inventory of content establishes the offering

• The inventory needs to be constantly kept up to date

• Historical time series data creates depth and adds value to the data consumer

• Identify future and potential additional datasets to expand the business

• Internal ownership must be established to ensure data production is known

• Each data point is unique, therefore it needs to be individually identified

• Data needs to be categorised, but a lot of data cannot be placed in 1 single category, e.g. convertible bonds.

The 4 attributes are:

Rule 2 Future Development

The process of data categorisation ought to be straightforward, but even leading market data vendors can get this wrong by failing to impose a standard methodology for identifying data and then accessing it. At one stage InterActive Data had so many systems for ticker symbologies it just acted as a barrier to business. As the data inventory expands so must the rigorous application of rules for managing the data inventory.


• Create a methodology for documenting available data

• Apply it uniformly and consistently, without subjective deviation

• Establish a framework for referencing underlying data to its various attributes

• By asset class

• By type of data

• By underlying attributes

• The methodology must be flexible enough to allow for the addition of new datasets, new types of data, and new attributes

• Maintaining the data inventory in real time

• All changes, additions, and deletions must be included in the audit trail

•Ruthlessly and meticulously apply data inventory rules

Getting Rule 2 right maximises data utility

Rules 2 to 8 to come!

Keiren Harris 11/03/2021

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