Direct Feeds Program

A Paradigm Shift

As market data rates continue to skyrocket, legacy data delivery solutions have struggled to keep pace. During times of high data volumes, systems have bogged down and the delivery of data updates have been delayed. This increase in market data latency creates a disadvantage for trading applications and has prompted consumers of market data to turn towards direct feed solutions where communication lines are run from the customer’s site to exchanges and ECNs and customers manage their own ticker plants within the enterprise.

Challenges for the Market Data Team

Managing an in house ticker plant introduces a new set of challenges for the market data managers and their support staff. Users want access to low latency full depth market data to increase profitability and will do whatever they need to do to make this happen. As a result, elements of the market data distribution work flow become de-centralized with business units taking responsibility for data presentation (book building), exchange driven feed changes, and other operational responsibilities.

Risk to the Enterprise

The shift of market data operational responsibilities to the business units increases risk to the enterprise and distracts the business units from its primary objective, generating profits. When operational problems arise, the support team is at a disadvantage as they in all likelihood were not the group who engineered the deployment of the direct feed system. Monitoring the system becomes problematic as these systems may not have adequate tools and are new to the support staff. Exchange driven feed changes affect all groups whose applications consume direct feeds, increasing the number of development efforts and production releases needed to accommodate a change. The business units are not experts in exchange reporting requirements and responding to an exchange audit will be much more difficult.

West Highland's Direct Feed Services

West Highland’s direct feed consulting services combines decades of experience monitoring and supporting market data distribution systems with first-hand knowledge gained from building a direct feed solution that provided a consolidated full depth view of liquidity to electronic and “High Frequency” applications. Below is a sampling of the types of issues that West Highland helps its customers address:

 Data Presentation:  What feeds should be used and how should the data be consolidated?
 System Monitoring:  What components should be monitored and what tools should be used?
 Working with end users:  Understanding their needs and how best to service them.
 Centralizing market data services:  Relieving business units of market data related tasks.
 Latency measurement:  Tools and methodology for monitoring latency.
 Capacity Management:  Defining scale out models and identifying when capacity will need to increase.
 Staff Training:  Crash course on direct feeds.
 Mitigating exchange reporting risk:  Ensures that data use is in line with contractual agreements and that customers are prepared for exchange audits.

Engaging West Highland for a limited consulting assignment helps ensure that customers receive maximum benefit from the direct feed investment.


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