Symbologies provides an unique instrument identifier, or ticker, defining what an instrument is, and how to find it. Creating a best practice symbology requires a complex yet simple to understand methodology which follows accepted international standards, is intuitive, yet remains proprietary to its creator. In this article we are focused upon business application and not any related fees. This is a contentious area currently and the subject for another article.

Automated processes are driving the increased use of Market data around the business especially for non-display applications, trading engines, risk management, portfolio management, and client and regulatory reporting to name just some which places high emphasis on the quality of the instrument identifiers that are ingested.

Poor identifier methodology is a barrier to business.


Classification is the art of providing ‘buckets’ to which instruments and datasets are assigned to within an overall hierarchy. This allows data supplier to bundle specific market data into relatable products and data consumers to identify the information they need.

The interesting thing about market data is the hierarchical structure needs not be linear in application. While the diagram below displays classification in an hierarchical format single items of data can be brought together from across the different buckets to create non-linear datasets of data with common points of reference. For instance, if I want just cash securities data for the UK I can bring together information that is:

1.Sourced from listed and OTC venues

2.Has been assigned as Equities, Fixed Income, or in the case of warrants both

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