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SEC Commissioner Stein: A Vision for Data at the SEC

In the keynote address to the Big Data in Finance Conference, SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein laid out A Vision for Data at the SEC.

Notable quotes of Commissioner Stein included (summarized by XBRL-US):

  • " …recognizing that the growth in data represents both an opportunity and a necessity, how can the SEC best position itself to respond?  …  The first condition to success is acquiring the right data.  We need data that is relevant, timely, and high quality.  This is not about simply increasing the volume of data - this requires being smart about the data we gather.
  • "Another condition to success is ensuring that computers can quickly and reliably interpret the data.  Structured data can be an important part of this.  SEC reporting in the last few years has begun to embrace better practices for structured data."
  • "We should also embrace identifiers, like the "legal entity identifier," or LEI.  I remember vividly the uncertainty following Lehman's collapse.  Regulators and counterparties were left to sort through the rubble, trying to piece together the consequences.  It was a problem of modern complexity but without an equivalently modern solution.  LEI helps solve that problem by providing a uniform and reliable way to identify counterparties. This frees regulators to focus on the financial risks instead of data issues.  The new mutual fund reporting forms also include an important new requirement for funds to obtain an LEI."
  • "An important part of defining our vision should be the creation of an Office of Data Strategy.  For some time, I have asked that the SEC develop an executive team responsible for creating and overseeing such an office.  The office would be responsible for coordinating the creation of a data strategy addressing how we collect, manage, use, and provide data.  This is a critical next step in turning our ad hoc growth as data users into a deliberate plan.  The office could lend its expertise to, and would coordinate with, our policy, exam, and enforcement offices.  Having a data strategy, and a team dedicated to it, is especially important in light of our limited resources.
  • Just as the telegraph ushered in a new information era, the spread of data and data tools is changing how information is used and shared.  The promise is tremendous, and if the SEC can successfully harness the new technology, investor protection, financial stability, and the markets will all benefit."

All this is very encouraging.  If you want to brush up your digital skills, Framework for Understanding Digital Financial Report Mechanics has the information you need.

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 07:55AM by Registered CommenterCharlie in | CommentsPost a Comment

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