Why Work with Intrinio? #2: Sourcing & Transparency

Chelsea Caltuna
November 2, 2020

“We aren’t permitted to identify our primary data partner.”

Have you read a disclaimer like that before? If it doesn’t send a chill down your spine, it should. Knowing where your provider gets their financial data is critical to developing confidence in your data.  

In part two of this blog series, we’ll cover the problems that can arise from a lack of transparency in data sourcing and explain where and how Intrinio gathers its data.

Why do you need to know the source of your data?

If your data provider isn’t forthcoming about how they’re sourcing the data, you could run into serious problems. Here are a few potential issues:

Your data could be cut off with no warning.

If your data provider isn’t the original source of the data, you could lose access abruptly and without warning, leaving you scrambling to find an alternative. You’re especially vulnerable to this from free sources (just look at Yahoo Finance), but even if you’re paying for the data, you simply have no way of gauging the trustworthiness, reliability, and health of the original source. If they shut down operations, you could be facing a lot of chaos until you find a replacement for your algorithm or app.  

Your provider might be stealing the data.

If you’re not sure where your provider is getting their data, they may actually be stealing it. Data scraping is a common practice among some online platforms, but it opens you up to all types of issues, from terrible data quality to a sudden loss of access. Plus, it’s probably not how you want to do business – you wouldn’t buy a stolen watch, right? If you have a serious business use case, you’ll want to stay far away from any data that is being sourced illegally.

There might not be any support or resources.

Many providers don’t offer support, resources, or data quality checks for third-party data, which is sometimes all they sell. If you’re a developer, data is probably useless to you without strong documentation, SDKs in your preferred programming language, and a ticketing system to flag data quality issues. And if you don’t know where the data is coming from, you’re really stuck if you have a problem that your provider won’t step in to resolve.

How does Intrinio source its data?

We provide full transparency into our data sources. Here’s a look at where we get our data.

The SEC

Our fundamentals and SEC datasets products are both sourced directly from the SEC. We leveraged our XBRL expertise to build a proprietary Standardizer. Our advanced machine learning pulls filings from US public companies off the SEC website and delivers the data in a standardized, as-reported, or structured format.

Many data providers either don’t source their own fundamentals data or use manual mapping, which is human-intensive and requires hundreds of (often overseas) workers to map and check the data by hand. Our automated process is just as accurate (if not more), and since we own the process from start to finish, we can offer far greater control and customization.

Trusted third-party vendors

We have a network of trusted data providers that we work with for other products, such as market data. These are reputable names like QUODD and ICE. Our providers vary by product, but we’re happy to share full sourcing information for the dataset you’re interested in. We deliver all products via the Intrinio API and offer comprehensive resources and responsive support for every client, regardless of the data they’re using.

Interested in learning more about Intrinio? Request a consultation with our team to start building a custom data solution (that you can have confidence in).

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