Many businesses have become so enamored of the phrase "information age" that they end up buying too much information at too high a price. Such is the case with banks and brokerages, which routinely purchase a surfeit of market data on which to base trading and investment decisions.

Our analysis reveals, for example, that foreign exchange traders typically use only about 65% of the data their banks or brokerages buy for them.-rarely for less than $40,000 a year. That means $15,000 of waste per trader, or $20 million to $30 million a year for a top securities firm.

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