Opening Cross: So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye…

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No, I’m not going anywhere. But as we usher in the opportunities of a new year, we also bid farewell to some of those faced in years gone by and either overcome or replaced with new challenges.

For example, over-the-counter derivatives pricing provider SuperDerivatives can look back fondly on the first year of its DGX data desktop, but is also looking ahead to the coming year, when it plans to consolidate on DGX’s initial success by expanding its asset class coverage and social media capabilities, and adding connectivity to messaging platforms.

Whether Dow Jones and former chief executive Lex Fenwick will look back so fondly on his two-year tenure is less clear: Fenwick abruptly bade farewell to Dow Jones last week after engineering major changes at the news vendor, including the rollout of its DJX news and data terminal and the introduction of new commercial policies—though it seems Dow Jones may be looking to bid farewell to some of the more prohibitive aspects of these, with plans to expand DJX and to review its institutional licensing policies, which hit parent News Corporation’s last quarterly results. With this news just before its upcoming Q2 financials, one wonders what impact they will have this time.

Another exec bidding farewell is John Eley, who has left Pivot Inc to join enterprise data management software vendor GoldenSource as CEO. With the EDM space consolidating, it’s worth noting that Eley has sold two previous companies where he served as CEO—Pivot to CME, and Hotspot FX to Knight Capital.

It was Savvis’ sale to CenturyLink that eventually saw the vendor bid its name farewell last week in favor of new moniker CenturyLink Technology Solutions, to capitalize on the scale of its parent organization. But, officials say, that’s all that changes: CTS will maintain its focus on providing hosting, co-location, cloud and managed services to the capital markets, while leveraging CenturyLink’s other network assets to win new business.

Firms are also bidding goodbye to the old ways of analyzing data: Startup asset manager Linkul Value Management is using the Platinum fundamental analysis platform from Chicago-based vendor YCharts as its primary stock analysis and testing tool. Because the platform is tailored for this kind of analysis, and significantly cheaper than typical data solutions, LVM president Ryan Linkul says that if the platform meets his needs, he may wave goodbye to a traditional vendor display that he uses as well—at least until his needs grow. And with YCharts CEO Shawn Carpenter describing this kind of startup fund as one of the vendor’s sweet spots, other small firms may follow suit and bid farewell to traditional solutions.

Another non-traditional approach is that being offered by cloud-based analytics provider Kensho, which last week unveiled “Warren,” a “virtual market research assistant” to which users can address questions in natural, free-form text, and receive answers that include tables of data, charts and graphics, and natural-language descriptions. Think Apple’s “Siri” for market data. The application is designed to address the disparity between the large number of smart people working in front-office roles and the much smaller number of those who can program effectively enough to access the data they need, says Kensho CEO Daniel Nadler, who as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve was frustrated by the inability to find answers to simple queries—let alone the complex ones demanded by financial markets—while consumer search engines and tools such as real-time navigation were “leaps and bounds ahead.”

In fact, Kensho’s non-traditional approach is being enabled by another non-traditional delivery method: Nasdaq OMX’s FinQloud financial cloud service, which has slashed the time, effort and expense that Kensho would otherwise have needed before being in a position to bring Warren to market.

But sexy as these technologies may be, at least Warren is screen-based and doesn’t have a sexy voice and sense of humor like Siri. Sorry, Joaquin Phoenix!

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