FIBO Summit at Semtech

May 31, 2013

FIBO Technical SummitElisa Kendall, a Partner at Thematix, will be leading a discussion about FIBO at the FIBO Technology Summit  on June 5 in San Francisco.  The event happens concurrently with the Semantic Technology and Business Conference, and is housed within it.  The FIBO Technology Summit is an industry-only event attended by many stakeholders in the financial, semantic technologies and services, and academic communities. Elisa has been a substantial contributor to FIBO and is currently assisting the EDM Council in modularizing, transforming and validating the original model to support standardization.   More at:

FIBO stands for ‘Financial Industry Business Ontology” and it is a specification undertaken by the Enterprise Data Management Council, or EDM Council.  It is specified as a domain-specific conceptual ontology that aims to capture the precise terminology used by financial institutions and the regulators that oversee the industry.  Its stakeholders have spent the last several years working towards consensus on the meaning of the terms defined in the ontology, sufficient to support compliance and reporting applications internationally, i.e., across and among a variety of regulatory organizations primarily in the US and EU.  The ontology itself is an annotated, high-level set of graphs that define and logically link legal entities, relationships among organizations, policies and processes, instruments, etc..  It is like a roadmap of the industry.  It is intended for this conceptual ontology to be readable and understandable by executives working in the industry.  He or she should be able to easily see his or her role in their business and how their business is connected to other roles and businesses.  An initial draft of some foundational terminology and terminology required to describe business entities will be provided to the community for review at an Object Management Group (OMG) technical meeting next month in Berlin.

Object Management Group

FIBO is reaching a stage of development whereby it needs to be applied in specific business applications to test its efficacy and ensure that it meets community requirements.  However, the conceptual ontology is not focused on any particular operational usage within a financial institution, across institutions, or between the institutions and regulators.  An operational ontology, on the other hand, allows these definitions to be used in an IT system for some purpose, such as to provide the basis for reporting information to various regulatory bodies, or to sort financial products into categories.  Any operational ontology should be faithful to the conceptual ontology from which it is derived, and will necessarily extend it to include technical detail, such as the exact form of data expression of the characteristic features of the financial product that allow it to be categorized.

The resulting operational ontologies must be “people readable”, machine-readable and executable.   The process of building, verifying and converting the relevant parts of the FIBO conceptual ontology for use in operational demonstrations, as an initial step towards true operational usage and widespread adoption, is essentially manual and arduous.  The process will not scale, in other words, even sufficiently to allow parallel development of specific, vertical, product oriented modules, let alone support the more general requirements of the industry.

We will have some things to say about our experience at the Summit.  Please come back next week for the post-event update.  If you fill out the form below, we give you a heads up when we have something to say. 

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