Data Policies, Is “Keep It Simple” Better Business?

Over the last couple of decades technology has influenced data policies.  The internet introduced a distribution network and an e-commerce capability for broker dealers and market data vendors; delayed data and redistribution policies were tweaked and expanded.  Electronic / algorithmic trading brought us the advent of Non-Display Usage policies.  The policies gradually became more complex and prescriptive: to account for unforeseen usage at the outset, and to protect against “bad actors” who identified policy loopholes.  Over the last few years we’ve seen a number of information providers “unwind” restrictions and simplify data policy language; why?

  • Did the information collection and administration associated with more restrictive policies work – effectively?
  • Was the barrier to entry for complex policies too high; did it constrain / delay subscriberships?
  • Was it financially “worth it”?  Did the restrictive tariffs cover the additional administration costs?
  • How do more complex policies affect the information provider / subscriber relationship?

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