Technical Data Corporation Essay

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Pages: 32

Harvard Business School

Rev. December 1, 1987


Jeff Parker was 38 years old, and held BS (1965), Master of Engineering (1966) and MBA (1969) degrees from Cornell University. After receiving his MBA, Parker had been employed in a number of positions in the investment industry. From 1969 to 1971, he worked for Smith Barney



This case was prepared as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. Copyright © 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical,
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The method of distributing the product was somewhat unusual. The data analysis was sent out over a computer network known as Telerate, the dominant distributor of fundamental data (e.g., prices and volumes) in the bond business. By mid-1982, Telerate had over 6,000 customers, each of whom had a computer terminal linked electronically to Telerate's central computer.



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The product had several components, all designed to provide information useful to bond market traders. For example, one service provided by TDC was an analysis of yield spreads on government securities of different maturities (e.g., the difference between the yield available on a short-term treasury bill and the yield to maturity on a long-term government bond). A description of the basic product is contained in Exhibit 1.



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Parker left Fidelity in late 1980 to form TDC. The business plan called for the company to develop an information analysis system for sale to participants in the fixed-income securities business. The latter group would include bond traders, fixed-income salesmen, bankers and pension fund managers.


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A Brief History of Technical Data Corporation

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Technical Data Corporation


analysis programs were run to create summary reports useful to traders in the bond market. These reports were in turn transmitted directly to the Telerate