EDM Council releases formal ontology standard

Source: Enterprise Data Management Council

The Enterprise Data Management Council (EDM Council) received approval for Fibo Foundations as the first of thirty data content standards for the financial industry.

The Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO) is an open standard for defining the business terms and relationships associated with financial instruments, pricing concepts and financial processes. These “common language” standards are used to align the way financial institutions describe complex financial instruments and financial processes so that industry participants and regulators can harmonize reporting, validate data quality, aggregate transactions and analyze risks across the global financial system.

According to David Newman, Chair of the EDM Council’s FIBO initiative and SVP Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy for Wells Fargo & Company, “FIBO provides a type of ‘Rosetta stone’ to help unlock the complexity of financial transactions and increase transparency in support of global financial system stability.” Newman went on to explain… “FIBO Foundations provides the essential building block for this type of analysis and is a critical development for the financial information industry.”

The EDM Council, under the technical governance of the Object Management Group, was able to expedite the release of FIBO Foundations as a result of its new ‘Build, Test, Deploy and Maintain’ (BTDM) methodology. “The BTDM process promotes collaboration among financial institutions, technical experts and ontology vendors to both model the complexity of financial processes and express it in the Web Ontology Language standard known as RDF/OWL” explained Dennis Wisnosky, Senior Advisor to the EDM Council for FIBO.

Wisnosky developed the BTDM methodology while implementing semantic processing as the Chief Technology Officer of the Business Mission Area within the US Department of Defense. According to Wisnosky, “the release of FIBO Foundations and the industry’s use of the BTDM methodology pave the way for expedited development of the additional finance industry domains needed to support risk analysis and enhance the efficiency of operations among financial institutions.”

The BTDM development process for FIBO brings together subject matter experts from the financial institutions (including such firms as Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co., Bloomberg L.P., Nordea Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Citi, HSBC, Manulife, and State Street Corporation) to ensure structural validation of the conceptual model; and semantic processing vendors (such as Thematix, Adaptive, Cambridge Semantics, Semantic Arts, Complexible, Mphasis, IBM, NoMagic) to automate testing of the ontology. These members operate as a series of FIBO Content Teams (FCT’s) who are each contributing to the build out and testing of the FIBO ontology.

EDM Council members have already made substantial progress on a number of other FIBO components including FIBO-Business Entities (the model of entity types and ownership concepts); FIBO-Securities (the baseline model of how financial instruments are constructed); FIBO-Loans (the model of mortgages and other lending instruments); FIBO-Business and Commerce (the model of contractual agreements); and other domains that are currently working their way through the EDM Council/OMG process. 

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