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London, UK – 8 October 2019 – Nearly two-thirds of financial services firms struggle to store, access and share data, and more than half are considering single data hubs to enhance their ability to make data-driven investment and business decisions, indicates research released today by Waters Technology, the leading financial market technology information provider, and MarkLogic Corporation, the next generation data platform provider for simplifying data integration.

The research, based on a survey of more than 100 firms including investment banks, asset managers and broker-dealers across Europe, North America and APAC, underscores the vast challenges and opportunities for financial services firms to better use data to boost investment returns, improve operational efficiencies and more easily meet regulatory reporting requirements.

To tackle this, 56% of firms are considering a single investment research “hub” to store all research and ancillary information to better make data accessible. Two-thirds of these firms say a single hub will enable them to make better investment decisions, and 59% expect it to enhance the client experience via personalized research, the research indicates.

The research is revealed in a new report, Investment Data Practices Under the Spotlight. Other highlights include:

  • 64% of respondents, on aggregate, believe their organization’s research data is stored in too many disparate systems or locations across the enterprise.
  • 66% of firms, on aggregate, are not able to access all their core investment data in one place.
  • 72% of respondents, on aggregate, have no tools or insufficient tools to create personalized, authoritative research for clients in a timely manner, which hinders the client experience.
  • Half of the firms considering a single data hub say it will help them streamline processes around storing and curating investment research.

“For any buy-side firm that wants to make the best possible investment decisions, having data at their fingertips is critical,” says Giles Nelson, Chief Technology Officer, Financial Services at MarkLogic. “It’s also important to regulators that firms understand how a conclusion was derived, which means they’re able to track data lineage to justify decisions— not only to regulators but to investors or other key stakeholders. This is not about getting every decision right and proving your case, it’s about showing there’s a process, and you have data to support decisions.”

The biggest challenge to achieving approval for investment in new technologies is the business case. However, 69% of firms believe building the case for investment in a data hub around improved operational efficiencies will help them secure the funds. Meanwhile, 49% believe the business case for an improvement in investment decisions that enable them to achieve alpha is also key.

Notes to Editors

Waters Technology was commissioned by MarkLogic to produce the Investment Research: Practices, Challenges and Opportunities report. During the research process, 104 firms were surveyed. These representatives were from a variety of capital markets firms, including investment banks, traditional asset managers and broker-dealers spread across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.