Feature highlight: Using XMon to track reference data calls from Microsoft Excel workbooks

Microsoft Excel is used extensively by all users in an organization. In the context of reference data, users can create spreadsheets containing data vendor formulas (e.g. Bloomberg Reference Data or Refinitiv) to download reference data and use it for custom reports, analysis and bespoke calculations.

Although extremely useful from a user perspective, downloading reference data in Excel has two pitfalls that can challenge the most hardened DataOps teams.
First, reference data is subject to usage compliance terms and controlling how data is used once it is in a spreadsheet is notoriously difficult.

Second, reference data has associated costs and providing ubiquitous access to reference data directly from a spreadsheet can cause cost spikes and uncontrolled increases in spend.

XMon addresses these challenges and helps organizations take control of reference data usage in Excel workbooks

How XMon can help

In early June, we released a new XMon feature to help organizations better manage reference data access in Excel, namely by:

  1. Automatically detecting Excel workbooks that contain reference data access formulas
  2. Allowing DataOperations teams to track which securities and associated fields are being pulled in Excel
  3. Allowing DataOperations teams to create cost and compliance rules to be notified in real-time if an Excel workbook breaches cost or compliance terms

What this looks like in XMon

DataOps analysts can upload a given workbook to XMon directly or use the XMon tracker agent to detect workbooks with vendor reference data calls. In both cases, XMon will inventory the workbooks found and list them for access. The screenshot below shows what this looks like:

Clicking on the icon displays the workbook factsheet and associated reference data cost, list of fields and list securities detected:

Using the XMon rules engine, data administrators can create compliance rules so they can be immediately notified in case of non-compliance or in case of expensive requests.

Audit and compliance reports

Reporting on reference data usage is notoriously difficult and coupling this with the requirement to understand which users are retrieving data in Excel workbooks can put a heavy load on DataOps teams trying to ensure compliance and keeping costs in check. With XMon, generating evidence backed usage reports becomes much easier, providing data analysts with the tools necessary to track costs and compliance in real-time and generating accurate and timely usage reports.


Reach out for more information about how XMon can help your organization understand, control and derive insights from your reference data usage.


Did your team inflate the data bill?

When management come inquiring about data bills, you need to have an answer. But if all you’ve got is an overview of your company’s aggregate data costs how can you tell for sure what was the impact of the teams, environments or systems you administer?

By splitting up data spending and slicing it into different segments of usage, XMon can help you determine precisely what each team, system or environment’s contribution to the cost is, and whether that usage was too high, lower than usual or as expected – Based on real data usage and in real-time.

Model your systems

Modelling your system landscape in XMon is straightforward, but it begins with understanding your business’s cost allocation methodology. Once this is established, use XMon to build a map of systems requesting static data with their corresponding data vendors, and assign tags to them based on how costs will be allocated internally.

Build your reportsstats

With the system landscape modelled and tags assigned, accessing detailed cost allocation information is just a click away. With XMon, you can re-generate vendor invoices, compare monthly spending, build cost allocation reports find top spenders and much more. So, when your bosses ask, you’ll have answers – but why wait for them to come to you? XMon reports can be scheduled and sent out on a regular basis to relevant people so that up-to-date information is always available, straight in their inbox.

Quantify your impact

Whether the data invoice has increased due to normal business growth, or whether you’ve made savings through internal optimizations or using the XMon Rule Engine, keeping stakeholders -and yourself- in the know about how data is being consumed is key to keeping market data spending under control. Get in touch to see the above in action or to request an XMon evaluation for your organization.

We’re in the final!

We’re greatly honoured to have been selected by WatersTechnology as finalists in their ‘Most Innovative Market Data Project’ 2015 category.

See all categories and the full list here:



Focus on analytics

We were at the Waters Technology Buy Side event last week where panels were focused on enterprise


data management and ways to empower decision makers by providing them with the tools and data they need to help them make informed decisions.

Decisions based on data are made in different areas of the business, from deciding on best recruitment profiles, to deciding on where best to invest and how. Decisions based on factual, timely data collected from internal and external systems and distilled into human digestible information was seen as paramount, a key differentiator and competitive advantage.

 Analytics provide evidence

The parallels with market data management are evident. Decisions on how to optimize costs, what systems to implement, where to invest and how to communicate with vendors are much easier to make when they are based on timely analytics. Analytics provide evidence that can be used to make informed decisions.

In this month’s release, our focus was to improve analytics provided by XMon by augmenting business intelligence reports and dashboard indicators to provide deeper insights into data flows and costs within the enterprise. For example, we added live global cost indicators that show un-monitored costs, invoice re-generation reports, system-level analytics and much more.

As always, we love to hear user feedback so do reach out!

XMon 1.1: Tracking realtime market data subscriptions

We deployed XMon version 1.1 over the weekend. This release includes several important updates and we thought we’d highlight a few of them:

Real-time tracking of end-user market data subscriptions

XMon is now able to track, for each end user, costs related to Bloomberg terminals. These costs can be aggregated by team, by geographical region and by business line. This, combined with our alerting and reporting engines greatly improves our customer’s understanding and control of costs associated with real-time and delayed data feeds.

Alerts and notifications

We added an alerting engine that helps our customers proactively monitor market data spending metrics, contract expiry dates, SLA breaches and much more. This helps our customers stay on top of important updates related to their market data contracts and usage.

In this update, we’ve also added new reports, extended our REST API and improved our reporting data model… Speak to us if you’d like to know more or for tips on how to save on your market data costs!

January update

2015 has well and truly kicked off and we are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

Over the month of January we’ve been very busy extending the architecture and data model of XMon to support Bloomberg terminals and real-time/delayed market subscriptions at the user level. With this, we are now able to provide our clients with full visibility over market subscriptions costs and in addition to reporting capabilities such as streaming data costs per user, per team and per business line over any period of time.

We’ve also now set up agreements with Thomson Reuters and developments to support the TR static data feed – Data Scope Select – are scheduled to start in the coming weeks.

All in all, an eventful January we’d like to think! As always, we love to hear your feedback and discuss data costs and analytics, so do reach out… We’d love to chat!


Festive Update

A month ago we released XMon 1.0 and since then, we’ve been releasing features and updates on a weekly basis. We rolled out five updates since our last newsletter which have all been pushed in a way that is seamless to our users. The updates include improvements to user experience, reporting and administration.

We’ve now also engaged discussions with an additional major data vendor to pave the way for a partnership agreement and inclusion of wider market data business intelligence within XMon. Stay tuned for updates on this end early 2015!

We love to listen to user feedback and our developments are driven by user input, so do reach out if you’d like to discuss any aspect of XMon or to talk about your requirements around market data monitoring and cost management.

Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful festive season and a very Happy New Year 2015!