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Data Management

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Quandl to Distribute Nasdaq OMX Index Data for Free

Data portal Quandl forms its first partnership with Nasdaq OMX, providing global indexes to a younger generation of financial analysts.

Quandl, the Toronto-based search engine for economic and financial data, is now distributing Nasdaq OMX index data through its portal, free of charge.

Nasdaq OMX is the first index provider and first major partner to distribute its proprietary index-level information through Quandl’s open data platform.

The entire Nasdaq Global Index Family will be accessible directly from Excel, R, Python, Matlab, and many other tools, like Stata and Tableau for visualization, as well as through a free and open application processing interface (API). "Nasdaq's coverage is total, giving Quandl users a complete index solution," commented Quandl CEO Tammer Kamel in the release.

Nasdaq OMX's Global Indexes span geographies and asset classes and include diverse families such as the Global Equity, Dividend and Income, Fixed Income (includes BulletShares), Green Economy, Nordic, Commodity, and Sharia Indices.

“It definitely benefits Nasdaq by putting their data in front of the company’s userbase,” said Kamel. “They’re getting in front of younger financial analysts who value the tools.” Since Quandl charges zero dollars for the core data set, it attracts junior analysts whose companies won’t buy a Bloomberg machine, so they sign up for Quandl. “That person is going to be a financial decision maker someway and is more likely to go with Nasdaq index group data because it is familiar.”

Kalman finds that Nasdaq has a “more progressive attitude towards data that is much more aligned with our mantra than some of the other data providers.” To some extent, this stems from the fact that Nasdaq is a newer entrant into the space, he said. 

“Providing easy, user friendly, flexible access to our data is a guiding principle of the Nasdaq Index Elite Partner Program,” commented Oliver Albers, head of sales for Global Information Services, in today’s release. “Quandl, trusted by thousands of professionals as a reliable data source, is the next-generation data distribution model for financial services, and we are excited to work with them to ensure all investors have the capability to access our high-quality index content.”

Making waves in data distribution
“Quandl is built on the premise of being a 21st century platform using a 21st century business model,” said Kamel, in an interview today about the Nasdaq Index Group partnership.

The startup collects and organizes more than 9 million datasets from 500 sources including central banks, exchanges, brokers, statistical agencies, think tanks, academies, and private companies. It also offers historical databases for commodities, FX rates, futures, and stocks.

While traditional market data vendors -- such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters -- tend to restrict data usage on their own platforms, Quandl offers unlimited and unrestricted access for free. According to Kamel, Quandl is about “usability.”

Quandl has about 100,000 monthly users. Macro-traders are signing up to use open data. “They want to use R, Python or Excel, MatLab, and other tools. That is what we’re betting. If you give people tools with minimum strings attached, you can create a better solution,” says Kamel.

Eyeing the business models of older market data companies that restrict data and charge high fees for all-you-can-eat solutions, Kamel says not everyone wants news feeds, videos, and messaging systems.

“We think the data proposition for data platforms is going to change from just having data to how you organize it. Is it complete? Do you have quality control? That’s the difference with Quandl,” says Kamel, a former Wall Street quant/computer engineer who launched the company two and a half years ago. The site went live 18 months ago.

Quandl is “riding the open data wave,” Kamel says, but it’s not married to this model alone.

For the first 18 months, Quandl loaded its site with all the public data it could obtain. “That got the ball rolling for us.” The site has tens of thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of monthly visits, according to the CEO. Now Quandl is gearing up for the next stage, which entails forming proprietary data partnerships with Nasdaq and other well known entities. Some of these proprietary partnerships will result in databases on Quandl that ask users to pay a fee.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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