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April 16, 2020 | by Chris Marti, MSCI Vice President, Data Analytics

How MSCI Ensures the Most Accurate, Reliable and Timely Metals Industry Data

A fact-based, intelligently evaluated business strategy is critical for your success. Metals industry data informs decisions, but unless that data is vetted, accurate and current, you won’t know if the decisions you’re making are the best they can be. Our Metals Activity Reports (MAR) are just that: reliable monthly reports that provide MSCI members with smart analyses of metals shipments, inventories and other metals industry statistics. An indispensable resource for the metals industry, these reports are the broadest data source in the industry by a wide margin, covering almost every metals type and shape that service centers stock and sell. MAR reports are also published separately for the U.S. and Canadian markets, reflecting the unique properties of each.

MAR also delivers the highest quality information. We say that with confidence, as we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure its accuracy, working with a highly regarded professional economics firm who carefully and meticulously manages the program. The MAR report includes no biases and no opinions. The metals industry data the report provides is pure, confirmed, statistically sound and seasonally adjusted to reveal the true business trends that underlie seasonal patterns. In fact, we have the deepest historical data set for both shipments and inventory. Our accurate reporting spans decades, and has proven accurate when compared to external data sources through both bull markets, and bearish ones.

Three Ways We Ensure the Highest Validity for Our Metals Industry Data

Finding accurate information for the metals industry can be difficult, as information needs to be collected manually, diligently combed through, thoughtfully analyzed, and done so in a timely and efficient manner. MAR reports are more comprehensive and detailed than anything you will find from industry sources. We work with respected economic consulting firm McCoy Scott & Company. Carolyn Scott, one of the owners of that firm, says, “The principals of running a data program rely on careful data collection and processes. We’ve worked with MSCI for a long time, and pride ourselves on delivering authoritative, accurate information. MSCI wouldn’t want it any other way, and neither would we.”

That process includes these three steps:

  1. Vetted Reporting Companies

In order for their information to be included in our reports, MSCI members have to demonstrate that they can produce a substantial amount of accurate data in a timely fashion. Participating in the MAR is not simply an “opt-in” choice. Some companies who want to get in don’t have the rigor or immediacy of relevant metals industry data to qualify.

Not only does this practice help ensure quality, but the speed of our reporting puts the MAR data almost a month ahead of other reports.

  1. Meticulous Reporting Systems

Each metric in our metals industry data is ruthlessly analyzed and dependent on meticulous reporting protocols. They include:

  • Well-defined inputs. All data inputs must be identically defined by every contributor. In other words, apples must be measured against apples. Ours are.
  • For data to be pertinent, information must be received and measured consistently. We have a highly interactive, specific collection system to ensure the right information is shared with us, every time.
  1. Manually Reviewed Inputs

Although our sources are trusted and the industry’s finest, we take nothing for granted. Each data point is:

  • Reviewed. Data questions and anomalies revealed by quantitative review are followed up on directly.
  • Verified. If any of the metals industry data appears to be misreported, our professional economics firm will investigate it thoroughly.
  • Accepted, once verified. Other industry reports may skew answers to align with expectations, especially in a down market. Opinion is not part of the MAR industry data. Once a number is validated, it is not adjusted based on “gut instinct” or to support assumptions.

Stay Ahead of the Market

The Metals Activity Report is the industry’s most reliable and proven source for metals industry data, and is only available to MSCI Members. If you’re not already subscribing to MAR, you’ll soon find each MAR issue is an indispensable tool. Just like many of our members, you’ll rely on its monthly analyses of metals service center shipments and inventories for your intelligent strategic and tactical planning.

Subscribe to the Metals Activity Reports today!