For years, reference data management has been regarded as a necessary evil: a mission-critical function that requires significant resource in terms of data, staff and IT infrastructure, but which represents no true commercial differentiator for financial institutions across the board. Banks, brokerages and asset managers across the industry have long dedicated similar levels of resource to cleansing, normalising and aggregating the same data sets, creating a massive duplication of effort.
Past efforts to create some form of shared central utility to take away the pain of this have failed. Until now. The industry has its first viable utility in the form of the SmartStream Reference Data Utility (RDU), backed by its founding partners. This paper examines what was behind the decision for these Tier 1 banks to buy into the concept, the benefits they are receiving and how can adopting such a model help other financial institutions.