Data collection best practices identified by the IBIA

A set of standards identifying protocols for the collection of sport event data for betting purposes has been published by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA)

There is a lack of general formal regulation and licensing in relation to data collection which includes the supply chain. It is seen to be of a clear benefit that high levels of accuracy transparency are ensured the integrity watchdog explained.

IBIA Logo with ballsIt is thought that this would be an effective mean that in order to achieve a set approach which sole purpose would be to protect the integrity of sport, its data, betting markets generated by that data and consumers enjoying those products.

The IBIA further outlined that: “No data approach is infallible or immune from potential corruption, but measures can and should be taken to guard against such illicit activity and effective controls can minimise the associated risks.”

Such a publication of the best practice standards derived from a call by the IBIA back in May, that required all parties in the sport betting data supply chain to pitch in with the development of integrity protocols.

An affiliate member of the IBIA, Stas Perform made it known to the public that they would be contributing in order to seek high levels of accuracy and transparency with integrity.

Such standards aim to achieve total data that is accurate, reliable and transparent. Furthermore, data must be sourced responsibly in order to minimize risk whilst at the same time in a way that protects against criminality or misconduct.

Additionally, alternative measures have been outlined covering three key areas of focus: personnel vetting and training, data collation processes, and data integrity and reporting.

Focusing on personnel vetting and training, it is required that data collection is to be carried out by persons aged 18 and above, by persons who have had their identities verified including individual background checks ensuring that no conflicts of interest exist.

All parties involved should undergo live training, which must be repeated if a person has been inactive for 90 days or more. Training should also consist of protocols to follow in being able to identify and report any integrity concerns.

Khali AliMeanwhile, the process of data collation must clearly identify the source, accuracy and reliability of data, by marking how it has been achieved. The data provider is also requested to set out the speed, latency and process of transmission to operator clients. It is also requested that such data is securely held for at least three years.

Finally, for data integrity and reporting, a detailed risk assessment must be carried out for all sporting events or competitions on which data is collated, with ongoing monitoring and reviews of potential risks.

It is stated that any issues relating to integrity must be immediately flagged to all parties within the data supply chain including other stakeholders within the industry. With this, it is essential that information sharing agreements are developed and enforced with the necessary regulatory investigators.

Khalid Ali, IBIA Chief Executive stated: “When we started this process, I stated that upholding the reliability and credibility of sporting event data was of paramount importance for IBIA members and that the challenges posed by the pandemic had further highlighted the necessity for robust data chains,”.

“IBIA has sought to meet that integrity challenge and has put in place a set of data standards that reflects the minimum expectations of the association and its members.”

Complying companies which are willing to go through an audit process of their data collation processes which is undertaken by the testing and standard body eCOGRA, will be awarded a Data Standards Kitemark.

Shaun McCallaghanKhalid Ali further explained that “The association believes that data collation is an important part of the wider sports betting integrity debate and these standards and auditing process, to be conducted by leading independent and internationally approved testing agency eCOGRA, represents the next step in the association’s work in this area,”

“We call upon all of those parties engaged in the data collation process to demonstrate that they meet these standards and of their commitment to protecting the integrity of the global data supply chain.”

The Chief Executive for eCOGRA Shaun McCallaghan continued to stress that “Our professional auditing experts have worked with companies operating in both the betting and data sectors, and eCOGRA will seek to utilise that industry knowledge to the best effect in the data standards assessment process.

“We will also be assisting IBIA in an annual stress test and enhancement of those standards.”

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