FISD Best Practice Recommendations

A key activity within FISD is the development and promotion of Best Practice Recommendations (BPRs) and other documents designed to increase understanding and enhance consistency among participants in the market data industry. These BPRs and documents set a basic standard of suitability and efficiency for industry policies and practices. BPRs are typically produced by FISD working groups composed of individuals representing a diverse spectrum of FISD member firms including exchanges, vendors, consultants and consumers.


BPRs represent a consensus resulting from significant discussion and debate among the members but it should not be inferred that all FISD members (nor even all members of a particular working group) are in agreement with all recommendations nor should it be inferred that any particular FISD member is currently employing each of these recommendations in its policies and/or contracts. Adoption of BPRs is entirely voluntary, and Content Providers and Audited Parties reserve all rights available to them under existing contracts. Other documents like White Papers, Position Papers, and Discussion Documents are generally the results of discussion within FISD groups, but do not represent a consensus position among FISD members.


Listed below are short descriptions of FISD Best Practice Recommendations and other papers with links to the full documents. In addition, the BIPPS Working Group has compiled an FISD ‘Glossary of Terms’ that provides definitions of terms and phrases contained within these documents.

Audit Process

Best Practice Recommendations

These Best Practice Recommendations are intended to set out in general terms a minimum standard of good practice and cooperation between the parties to an audit. The Best Practice Recommendations outlines the obligations, responsibilities and expected behaviors of all parties participating in the audit.

Consumer Position Paper

This position paper has been developed by the members of the FISD Consumer Constituent Group to address general issues and concerns that they have about market data auditing. The document does not represent a broad FISD consensus, but it is hoped that it can be used to facilitate constructive dialogue among FISD members on the issues it raises.

Derived Data

A critical issue for Information Providers, Distributors, and Subscribers is the policy treatment for derived data products that use Information Provider content. These recommendations should assist the market data industry in addressing the issues associated with these types of usage. [This document was revised in November 2015.]

Internal Administrative Usage of Data

The purpose of this document is to recommend a standard policy under which Distributors and Subscribers would be exempt from Information Providers' end user/variable fees for various forms of internal administrative usage of market data.

Units of Count, Delayed Interval, and Subscriber Agreements

These recommendations are designed to create and encourage greater uniformity among the policies and procedures of Information Providers and Distributors. Increased standardization is expected to provide benefits to all market data participants. Three key areas are targeted for greater uniformity including the delayed data interval, unit of count, and Subscriber Agreement streamlining.

Non-Display Usage Policies

A critical issue for Information Providers, Distributors, and Subscribers is the policy treatment for non-display applications that use Information Provider content. These recommendations should assist the market data industry in addressing the issues associated with these types of usage.

Service Levels and Communications

This document is designed to create a clear and detailed framework on minimum standards and benchmarks for service level response time and escalation procedures to serve as a non-binding best practice for industry wide reference and adoption.

Service Levels and Communications – Executive Summary

This document is designed to provide an abbreviated summary of the Best Practices and suggested recommendations contained in the full document.

Service Levels and Communications – Alternative Data Service Levels

This document describes the best practices recommendations for service levels, response times and communications procedures for Alternative Data.

Billing and Invoice Processes

The broad objective of this document is to identify the billing practices, specifications, and processes that can be standardized to the benefit of all parties involved in the billing process.

Exchange Contract Guide

This document provides a common legal and commercial framework to serve as the starting point for contract negotiations among exchanges, vendors and client firms. The Guide’s database covers all the provisions in exchange contracts, provides commentary on the underlying business concepts and includes links to representative sample contract text. NOTE: The Exchange Contract Guide is NOT an FISD Best Practices document.  FISD Best Practices are created within FISD Working Group which are open to all FISD members. Best Practice documents have been reviewed and approved by a majority of the FISD Executive Committee members. The Exchange Contract Guide is a legacy document created by Rights Management Associates Ltd., an independent consultancy specializing in market data licensing.

Vendor Scorecard

This document is intended to be a tool for the exclusive use of FISD members as they develop and enhance their own scorecards to facilitate 1-1 communication between a customer and a vendor. The form contains 70+ attributes grouped into six main categories:
-Commercial Models and Contracts
-Product Quality
-Product Support
-Relationship Management
-Risk Management

Members have four key areas of flexibility in how they use the scorecard:
-Rating attributes can be added and/or deleted.
-The relative weight of the various categories can be adjusted.
-The scope of the evaluation can be as broad as the entire vendor, or as narrow as particular   products or specific geographic areas.
-Ratings can be performed as frequently as desired.