Published: Oct 27, 2020 by John Placais
When processing incoming data, whether it is investment prices, estimates, or your holdings, timing can become very important. Most companies want to know every single day how their portfolios are doing and whether market changes will trigger action. Depending on your firm, a lot of data may be needed to feed into your decision to buy or sell.
As we have said before, data is the life blood of any financial firm. It is important for your data to be trusted and correct, but it is also important for your data to be there when you need it. Data can be generated at any time of day, from any part of the world. Traditionally, EDMS systems are triggered daily to begin what is known as the “daily cycle”. That is when someone turns the crank and processes begin to happen. Data files that have been waiting start being looked at and brought into the system. Calculations on received data can begin once all data was loaded. Eventually some PDF reports are generated, hopefully with timely and correct data.
The problems that can arise during this daily cycle can include anything from missing data, to incorrect data, to badly formatted files. When you finally start your daily processes, you may not find out until after the market opens that you don’t have access to all your data yet. Someone in operations may need to investigate and triage the issue. They may have to then reach out to a vendor to ask for a correction, the vendor then needs to generate a new file, send it to you, and your EDMS then has to process it.
This all can take time, it can take time away from making important decisions that may affect the performance of your portfolios, especially during uncertain times, or an unpredictable exogenous shock to the market. The sooner you know there is a problem with your data, the sooner you can fix it, which means your firm can make decisions faster.
An EDMS should support the ingestion of data in real-time. It should be aware of different countries, different time zones, and different markets. Your EDMS should let you know as soon as possible if there is a problem and help remediate the issue if possible. Your EDMS should do everything it can to speed up the time it takes from getting a bad data file, to finding the problem, and fixing it. Imagine having all your data at your fingertips faster than your competitors do.
After you receive incoming data, you will likely have some automated process performing some actions on it. If you have received a new investment, then that needs to be added to your security master. If you have received a new price, then you need to update your portfolio’s performance. Whatever the process is, it should happen as soon as possible, so that your data can be ready when you need it, and so that any potential problems can be fixed immediately. We have seen many companies struggle with the occasional issues that bad data can create, do everything you can to lessen the time between receiving data from vendors, and getting results.