SS&C Technologies announced the release of Explorer, a data visualization and analysis tool that will be part of the SS&C Portia platform.
Explorer allows asset managers to integrate and visualize data from their investment accounting system via grid and pivot views. Users will be able to consolidate data streams into one dataset.
Christy Bremner, SS&C senior vice president and general manager, tells Buy-Side Technology that there was near-universal request among their client base for a flexible way to view both SS&C Portia data and data outside the solution. Bremner says clients went as far as even creating report exports from SS&C Portia and building in-house applications via Excel and Access to be able to interact with the information.
While Explorer took only four months to build, over a year was spent planning it as Explorer went through multiple iterations before the final design was approved, according to Bremner. The use of an Agile development methodology made it possible for SS&C to quickly create prototypes and adjust them based on feedback from clients.
During development, the biggest challenge was optimizing tens of millions of rows of data for rapid retrieval, according to Bremner.
"We needed to provide our customers with the ability to quickly interact with the large data sets without 'standing up' additional infrastructure or being forced to support new technologies," Bremner says.
Bremner says that SS&C will look to continue to invest in SS&C Portia over the next six months, specifically addressing cash management, corporate actions and regulatory requirements. Enhancements to Explorer will also be made in advanced charting, web service API access and mobile device support.
"One of our guiding design principles was to create a simple yet rich user interface that requires little training for our clients," Bremner says. "This emphasis on ease of use enables firm-wide access to data. By making data easy to view and query across the front-to-back office, the need to maintain extensive report libraries is drastically reduced."