Waters Rankings 2015: Best Data Analytics Provider ─ S3 Partners

S3 follows-up on its BST Awards win as the best newcomer.

Earl Monroe and Bob Sloan

Waters has, over the years through its various awards programs, "discovered" several new third-party providers, which has, understandably, raised eyebrows. S3 Partners, winner of the best newcomer category in last year's BST Awards, is one such example of an unheralded technology provider making a name for itself, although one advantage the Waters Rankings have over Waters' other three awards-the Buy-Side Technology Awards, the Sell-Side Technology Awards and the American Financial Technology Awards ─ is that it's the only program where the outcome of the each of the 30 categories is determined exclusively by the publication's readers.

Needless to say, when the votes were tallied for this category, we were particularly interested to see how well S3 fared against an impressive line-up of established tech providers in an increasingly competitive space. That Waters' readers returned S3 to the winners' circle speaks volumes about how far the firm has come in the past 12 months. It's also an emphatic endorsement of the Buy-Side Technology judging "process" and the outstanding work done by the judging panel in terms of identifying the technology providers and products most in demand by the buy side.

Speaking to Waters' James Rundle in the wake of last year's BST Awards success, Bob Sloan explained that S3 Partners provides its buy-side clients with two things ─ time and what he describes as "capital-efficient relationships." According to Sloan, buy-side firms experience challenges when it comes to transforming and storing data in an acceptable format, allowing them to use it when and where they want to.

"The acronym SaaS means four things in addition to its traditional meaning of software-as-a-service," Sloan explained. "The standardization of data as it comes in is an important area ─ it's a highly fractured environment for information, so you have to standardize it. Then you can use your technology ─ you can action it, you can analyze it, and you can solve for things that are meaningful to the business.

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