The EDM Council, a not-for-profit trade association for the financial industry, has released a draft of its new Semantics Repository for industry evaluation.
The Semantics Repository provides a comprehensive conceptual data model and data dictionary that describes all the facts about content stored in the various master files of financial institutions.
The EDM Council is managing the web-based Semantics Repository as an open resource for collaboration among industry participants. During the review phase, the conceptual model and every attribute definition will be validated by industry experts for both logical structure and precision of meaning.
"Data precision drives every trade, client interaction and business process, yet we still grapple with common terms that have different meaning, common meaning that use different terms and vague definitions that don't capture critical differences," said Michael Atkin, managing director of the EDM Council. "This is out of place in our interdependent industry and results in excessive mapping and unnecessary manual reconciliation."
To reduce costs and promote confidence in data among users, precise data terms and their definitions need to communicate efficiently between systems and sources. Data is an essential building block for business process automation and as financial transactions are legal processes, firms must fully understand all of their investment and settlement obligations at the nuance level.
According to Atkin, "many of the data attributes used by the financial industry start as part of a legal document and are very precise. If the attributes in these documents were tagged when they were created, we would reduce the need for data transformation and improve quality, accuracy and transparency. As a result, source tagging will provide more effective supply chain management and more efficient business processing."
The Semantics Repository has been designed to be technology independent and focus on the business meaning of data attributes, including how facts relate to one another. It covers the full spectrum of data including reference data, analytical information, real time and end-of-day pricing, and corporate actions for all financial instrument types.
Once created and validated by the industry, the Semantics Repository can be used as a common data dictionary for internal mapping within financial institutions, as a common language for data vendors and set of tags for source mark-up at the point of data origination.
The Repository was built on contract to the EDM Council by Mike Bennett, a principal at Hypercube Ltd., a London-based consultancy specializing in data semantics and modeling and has been under construction since May 2008.
The Semantics Repository can be viewed at hypercube.co.uk/edmcouncil