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Also posted on: The IM Blog
Cadis Software is a UK-based company (with offices in New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Luxembourg) that provides enterprise data management (EDM) solutions for the buy side of capital markets. That is, it provides data integration, data quality, master data management (MDM) and lightweight data warehousing for this sector. The interesting question is why you need specialised facilities in this market: why couldn’t you do what you need with IBM, for example?
There are several answers to this question. The first is that the data sources used are not just conventional back-office systems but also market data from the likes of Reuters and Bloomberg and you will not typically get connectors for this sort of data from the pure-play data integration vendors.
The second is that there are specific data quality issues on the buy side. To begin with, Cadis validates incoming data before you can apply data quality rules. This is akin to data profiling in the sense that you are assessing the quality of the data and generating exception reports. Next, you may not have enough information to tell whether two financial instruments are actually the same or, worse, if one instrument is equivalent to multiple other instruments. So you need some specific capabilities that won’t be in a standard data quality tool. More generally, Cadis uses probabilistic and fuzzy matching to automate matching processes, as well as providing manual capabilities and exception workflow. The company also provides pre-built rules for matching within financial services environments, using standards where they exist (they don’t always: there are no standards for derivatives, for example).
Third, the master data management in this market is rather different, as what you ultimately obtain is a golden copy of positions, securities and accounts/counterparties, which may in turn make use of golden copies of things like prices and assets. In other words, not only are there multiple domains but they all interact so that you can’t really consider them independently or implement them separately, as you would do in most MDM environments.
Finally, there is the data warehousing. This you could do using a third party product. What Cadis provides is primarily web-based reporting. One notable ability is that it can do transactional cubing on the fly. However, the warehouse is not intended for heavy-duty analytics. The data integration capabilities provided by Cadis can be used to load data into a third-party data warehouse where appropriate.
On top of all this the whole emphasis of the suite of products (which you license individually or en masse, as required) is that the people who understand the data should be the people who manage the data. In other words: business people not IT. This is the direction in which the leading data integration vendors are moving but Cadis is several steps ahead.