Big data is rapidly emerging as one of the more contentious terms in modern buy-side technology. Some people argue that it’s absolutely a new phenomenon; others contend that it’s always been there, and it’s just the relativistic levels of data compared to technological capability that matter. Some even say that big data as a term isn’t appropriate, and that it’s just an amalgam of various other challenges. Whatever the case, though, nobody can argue that the analysis of unstructured data, in varying formats, with results that can actually provide competitive advantage, isn’t a major challenge for modern buy-side firms.
Of course, one of the problems with new terms such as “big data” is that people often jump on the bandwagon and say that, yes, their product can definitely, absolutely handle all varieties of data in all formats at any time. Few realistically can. With its recent acquisition of Panopticon, Datawatch Corp. has clearly made the smart choice in buying a software platform that takes the essential challenges of big data, and transforms them into measurable, quantifiable, and useful results.
Working across multiple storage and input mechanisms, including in-memory and relational databases, complex-event processors and message buses, Panopticon is uniquely geared toward real-time analytics on received information. Obviating the need for middle layers such as data warehouses, it can perform real-time analyses of risk, exposure and positions across funds with minimal latency. Performance measurement is visualized through the software, with customizable attributes. Meanwhile, the ability to access the platform through the web or mobile devices demonstrates a striking sense of technological foresight.
While the debate around big data doesn’t look likely to be settled any time soon, even as organizations begin taking their first real steps toward tackling unstructured information in growing quantities, technology like Panopticon provides an intelligent and elegant example of how to correctly apply the associated disciplines of this new form of data management to the capital markets. With regulatory pressures now creating a need to manage this kind of information effectively, and investor demands around transparency pushing new agendas at buy-side firms, big-data technology is rapidly becoming an essential part of any infrastructural toolkit, and Datawatch serves as the industry leader for the buy side this year.
“A quick, accurate understanding of what’s happening is vital to success on the buy side in the age of big data. Our customers benefit from Datawatch’s ability to analyze real-time market activity and perform in-depth analysis of historical trading and risk data by retrieving data directly from sources commonly used in buy-side institutions, including real-time data feeds, in-memory databases, relational databases, CEP engines, message buses and spreadsheets. This architecture eliminates the need for a middle layer, including data warehouses, data marts and proprietary databases that add costs and latency. It’s gratifying to have an organization of Waters’ reputation recognize the value of our technology and the unique capabilities it brings to the market.”
—Ben Plummer, chief marketing officer and senior vice president, strategic alliances, Datawatch
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