Semantics for midsize Banks

The presentation derived from a custom overview of the FIBO data model for a European retail and commercial bank. While every bank and data architecture team is different, challenges and solutions apply to most banks of similar size and semantic technology sophistication. This general introduction addresses the generic Everyone’s Midsize Bank, EMB.

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Text of the presentation

FIBO is the authoritative model of Financial Industry concepts, their definitions, and relations.

The Enterprise Data Management Council (EDMC) is the Global Association of over 200 Financial Institutions (FI).

•             Data Management best practices

•             Development and implementation of Data Standards.

EDMC members, mainly the large FI*, developed the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO), a business conceptual model.

More than 1600 classes detail financial instruments, business entities and processes.

*The EDMC membership Tier A starts at $200 billion in assets under management. Midsize banks for FIB-DM licenses, and this document are banks with assets between $50 and $200 billion. 

Everyone’s  midsize Bank (EMB) Data architecture team

                What?   How?

•             Logical & Physical Data Modeling              • Data Modeling Tool

•             Data Management & integration               • Vendor Data Model (s)

•             Data Management Capability

•             Policies, rules, and standards

Assessment Model (DCAM)

•             Support for programs and projects


•             Looking at FIBO

•             Ontologies

•             Semantic technologies • Industry Standards

Recognized FIBO and Industry DM expert

“Jurgen was a key participant in our work on the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO) – an open ontology about financial instruments, entities and contractual obligations. He is a skilled ontologist who understands the application of linked data and semantic technology. I’ve had him speak to our industry when I ran the Enterprise Data Management Council and relied on his expertise to advance our work on semantic standards.” (Michael Atkin, Managing Director at the EDM Council)

“Jurgen has taught my team and me so much about data, specifically ontologies, structures and standards. We started out as a group with no knowledge of ontologies, triple stores, RDF, OWL or industry standards like FIBO. He trained my architects (some of whom I’d now call ontologists) and he’s been an excellent source of knowledge for all things data, especially new innovations in language and semantics. We’ve relied on him as our resident expert and I’ve loaned him out to other parts of the bank (who’ve also learned about semantics and ontologies). Jurgen was a great addition to our team, a great contributor to our work and I’d have him back whenever I can.” (Shannon Walker, Director at Deutsche Bank)

“Calling Jurgen a data modeler is a huge understatement. Jurgen’s contribution to our work in GTS was foundational and invaluable. Part evangelist, part subject matter expert, part data modeler, and part strategist, Jurgen brings the force of his personality and vision to every assignment, which happens to be a very good thing for the enterprise. Jurgen is also very willing to contribute not only to the strategic agenda but also to the workaday agenda, creating work products which move the project forward. In the era of model-centric enterprise architecture, Jurgen can be a game-changing component to your strategy. Above and beyond professional qualifications, Jurgen is also a good colleague and a good business partner.” (Vin Siegfried, SVP at Citi bank)

There is a chasm between semantic and conventional data management.

Large Financial Institutions (FI) already implemented FIBO.

The EDMC specified FIBO in Ontology Web Language (OWL).

OWL runs on specialized databases, RDF (triple) stores

Mid-size banks face high barriers: Tooling, database systems, and human expertise.

OWL needs highly specialized ontologists.

IT-departments must still support and design relational databases. No midsize bank has an RDF-store in production

FIB-DM is the bridge across the chasm.

The Industry Standard is available in your Data Modeling tool.

Semantic Enterprise Information Architecture

Semantic Model-Driven Development, common names, definitions and design patterns.

70% of FIB-DM entities are a subtype of the concept entity

The concepts and vocabulary directly derive from the data model.  

The concepts and vocabulary directly correspond to the ontology. 

Guide to the Reference Sheets


                Concept Name (Abbr.)   Subtypes

                Explanation and examples of concept relationships          

significant Concept Relationships

Finance key point

Barriers to leveraging FIBO for DA (stories)

Large New York Bank needs Schema for the new Security Master System, trying to leverage FIBO for Logical Data Model.

Challenge: Data Architects are not familiar with RDF/OWL and have no experience in Protégé or Topbraid Manual workaround: Ontologist writes SPARQL queries to extract metadata into MS-Excel spreadsheets.

Update: In September, the NYC bank downloaded the FIB-DM core.

Connecticut Hedge Fund Ontology For SEC compliance needs a relational platform

Challenge: Converting operational ontology of some 200 FIBO and hedge fund specific classes Manual workaround: Transcription of graphs into ERWin diagrams.

Challenge: Data Architects are not familiar with RDF/OWL and have no experience in Protégé or Topbraid

Manual workaround: Manual transcription of ontology graphs into your data modeling tool.

                EMB       Copy & paste FIBO documentation.

Data Architect


Configurable Ontology to Data –Model Transformation (CODT)

                Sparx imports Comma Separated Value, CSV files. To support the Class    XLSX

Data Architect


Domain ontology generates a perfect CDM          

                Ontology graph, FIBO     Conceptual Data Model, FIB-DM

This entity-relationship diagram is the best representation of the Bank Account, its provider, and ID.

There are no missing and no superfluous entities and relationships in the design. 

The FIBO in Sparx Enterprise Architect   

The packages in the browser reflect the

Data Architect

FIBO module structure.

Notice the property tags with complete FIBO documentation and lineage.

FIBO/FIB-DM modules/packages

Version, support & maintenance



                Paradigm             As of November 10, 2010:

143 Downloads (form submissions)

Most downloads are from Banks and Investment Companies on ERWin and PowerDesigner.

16% of FIB-DM users are on Sparx EA.


FIB-DM has a major annual release, following the EDM Council FIBO Production schedule.

There are interim model upgrades when new ontology modules release into production.

Licensees with maintenance contracts get the FIB-DM version six weeks after the FIBO release.

The current FIB-DM version is as of FIBO Q4 Production, released in January 2019.

The next major release comes in February/March 2020.

Path and special offer for EMB

Immediate ROI using

the FIBO content and     2021, Semantic design patterns from      Enterprise


day one.              2020, train GDO                Architecture

architects in

                OWL.     Easy to learn a new language, OWL

Customize FIBO                 and tooling; if you already know the 2019, adopt the       to become the   content and design. Industry               SEB Enterprise

                Standard, FIBO Ontology             Become a reference

data and              implementation, and I can concept model             teach and advise you.

Further reading and watching

Education path, visual guide to FIB

The FIB-DM website

•             scalable SVG diagrams of the complete subtype hierarchies

•             Diagrams of the Concept Maps

Follow the FIB-DM LinkedIn page for news, updates, and to read and share comments.

Watch FIB-DM Education videos on YouTube.