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Extracting Value from your Markit EDM Implementation

Author: Mick Cartwright

09 | 08 | 2016


Traditionally, Markit EDM has been used to manage and master reference data within an investment organization. With the advent of the browser-based UI and workflow automation, the ability to manage this information has dramatically improved. The security mastering function is probably the most common (but only one) example of how Markit EDM can be used and importantly, is just a small piece in the puzzle of extracting value from your Markit EDM implementation.

There are many variable costs associated with day-to-day ownership of Markit EDM including licensing, infrastructure, and operational support staff. Unlike some of its competitors, the Markit EDM framework does not limit you to basic reference data management. Instead, the platform or toolkit can be adapted and extended to support many data management use cases and provide additional value-added ROI in the platform.

First, let’s consider the mastering of additional reference data domains. Beyond the basic securities master, issuers are the next natural extension. Inherent in the issuer data is the challenge of storing and representing issuer ownership hierarchy all the way up to the ultimate parent. Challenges may exist within the source data itself, but may also be present internally in terms of scope and requirements. What is the appropriate coverage for your organization? Held securities and their issuers? Securities of interest? Investable universe? Counterparty exposure? Which market data sources? The breadth and depth of your desired coverage will impact the scale of any issuer mastering project, and answering these questions can help constrain the project to a manageable, yet valuable delivery. In addition to issuers, the next natural group is accounts or portfolios (and the confusion that exists between an account master and a product master). With its easily customizable workflow capability, you can take Markit EDM beyond simple management of the account or product master and use it as a central control for the new entity or account set-up process, gathering information from multiple sources and coordinating the route of a new account through the organization.  

Behind all of these reference masters lies a coherent set of base reference data (otherwise referred to as domain values or house codes). Across your organization, how many times do systems require country or currency codes, and how often do people just ‘grab the list that is easiest to get‘? Beyond country and currency, do you have central management of common codes and descriptions for the multitude of shared reference data sets such as coupon types, coupon frequency, and asset class, to name a few? We are all aware of the conflict and confusion around classifications. Once you have an approved house lists of codes and descriptions, how do you map these between systems? Again, Markit EDM provides an agile platform to bring consistency, control, and accessibility to this data with the added capability of tying in with metadata solutions behind the scenes.

An additional high-value potential use of Markit EDM is as a data integration hub. This involves mastering data such as price masters or any aggregation of operational data from multiple distinct sources such as a trade hub consolidating trade information from multiple order management systems. A fully-functional trade hub may have many potential layers from simply presenting a holistic view of transactions across the organization, through trade metrics, to full-featured trade hubs involving communication protocols with trade status monitoring throughout the post-trade process. Many of the data hub use cases InvestTech has been part of serve primarily to organize and cleanse the data before onward transmission to the downstream consumers, data warehouse, or third party service where it is exposed organization-wide behind an insulation or reporting layer. There are other uses – OTC trade data enriched with either an external price source, or the daily mark-to-market valuation/exposure can be used to feed collateral management systems like Calypso and Murex.

As we build solutions using the Markit EDM platform, we can think about additional information we might collect on our data – the most common being quality or completeness metrics. In addition to simple point-in-time metrics, InvestTech advocates that this information is collected over time so the improvement in the quality of the data can be tracked and measured, which promotes the advancement of good data governance. These metrics can be captured against the source data, giving you specific measures to use with external data vendors, as well as against the quality of managed data, allowing you to track improvements over time.

Data quality alone is not enough. Information needs to be in the right place and in the right shape at the right time. This leads to the next level of value that can be extracted from the Markit EDM platform – key performance indicators and/or service level agreement tracking. With the appropriate Markit EDM set-up, the information needed to present a KPI/SLA monitoring dashboard or generate KPI and SLA tracking reports is available in the system. Ongoing monitoring can facilitate proactive changes to processes and procedures before internal SLAs are broken. Review of historic data allows you to hold external vendors accountable to their promised SLA agreements.

InvestTech has assisted a wide range of investment advisors with these and other interesting Markit EDM solution use cases. The flexibility of the platform to process a wide range of data domains, master and quality control, and the capability to design custom workflows, opens up many data management opportunities. Combining this technological capability with InvestTech’s EDM experience solutioning across the enterprise data management landscape, including data governance, metadata and data quality management, and data integration and distribution services, can help to ensure that you are maximizing the ROI of your Markit EDM investment.

InvestTech is the leading Markit EDM partner and has implemented the product for over 25 clients. To discuss how InvestTech can help you implement or expand your firm’s Markit EDM platform, contact us at 877.559.6077 or

Posted in: Data Management | Markit EDM | Implementation | EDM