Best Big Data Analytics & Technology Provider: S3 Partners

IRD/IMD Awards 2017

IMD/IRM Awards 2017 Best Big Data Analytics & Technology Provider
Max Bowie; Justin Freedland; Sat Bhattacharya; and Shaleen Dastur, S3 Partners

Before taking a position, trading professionals perform predictive analytics to gain a competitive edge. Tools that shed light on market positioning are therefore vital from both a performance and a risk management perspective. S3 Partners, the winner of this year’s Best Big Data Analytics & Technology Provider award, has set out to offer market participants predictive analytics that provide better investment outcomes. The vendor has impressed with the launch of its Blacklight app’s crowding kit, Black App, which delivers real-time short-interest analytics on crowded trades.

In a fast-paced market, traders and portfolio managers often need information on short interest before exchange reports are published. S3 Partners’ compelling offering addresses this challenge, offering users real-time data via Black App. “We saw that many, many market participants were using old, stale and unreliable data when calculating short interest, and we decided to create a better, real-time alternative,” says Robert Sloan, managing partner at S3 Partners. 

The financial technology vendor has leveraged its treasury and collateral management software-as-a-service platform—Blacklight—consolidating more than five million trading and financing data points daily from the largest mutual funds, custody banks, prime brokers and hedge funds. The result is an analytics tool that sifts through market information on single-stock, exchange-traded funds and indices, to give users a comprehensive understanding of the current market status before making an investment decision.

Black App users can see accurate real-time short-interest levels on a per-share and percentage-of-float basis, weeks ahead of exchange reporting. This allows them to identify how short selling, short covering, long selling and potential short squeezes impact portfolios. Armed with this data, trading professionals can avoid potential pitfalls—such as getting stuck in a short squeeze—which can have a significant effect on the overall portfolio performance.

For judges, the potential value to clients stood out. They called Black App a “simple solution to a complex problem, which is what users need,” and praised the offering for its “profound level of analytics”.

Sloan says the feedback from users so far has been “outstanding”, and despite Black App providing short-interest data two weeks before exchange-reporting obligations, the short-interest predictions have been within 7 percent of the exchange-published figures 97 percent of the time.

 In 2016, S3 Partners announced a partnership with Bloomberg, which now sees it publishing Blacklight’s market standard financing data for more than 27,000 securities and Black App is available through the Bloomberg app store—or directly from S3 Partners.

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