To listen to some, EDI stands for "Everybody's Doing It." But there's more to it than that. The natural gas market is not simply about electronic bulletin boards (EBBs) or electronic data interchange (EDI), which reconciles potentially inconsistent data, protocols, and trading customs among pipelines, shippers, distributors, and end users. Instead, it should be about solutions (em solutions that work across regions, across enterprises.
EDI is tough. It's a pain in the neck. Every pipeline is different. Every trading partner is different. Within those differences lie some meaningful and preposterous anomalies. As a distributor of market data, we at TransCapacity must deal with all of them.
The 80 percent of players that present data in a more or less standardized format don't present any problem. The problem comes from the remaining 20 percent. For every inconsistency, no matter how small, we must capture and dispose of the data in a organized fashion. It is our job in the EDI business to be the experts on all the little dribs and drabs of the gas pipeline business. After all, the point of the Gas Industry Standards Board (GISB) (em and the point of EDI (em is to deliver information to shippers, traders, marketers, buyers, and sellers in the form they need. It is our job to manage both ends (em the minutia in the data, and the big changes in the markets.