In our market data visualization and tools vertical we provide a C-level dashboard that gives a high-level overview of all things market data. The cost of market data continues to increase in our industry and having the ability to see a live enterprise snap shot of market data service levels, usage, trends, and summary cost information provides C-Level managers with a full, consolidated view of their environment.
The market data dashboard is something that’s been designed specifically for a C-level executive. It’s a management summary view, so the executive knows what’s happening at any given point in time.
The summary incorporates data notifications including upcoming data notifications for one or two days and some potential pricing impacts based upon changes to the data notifications. Additionally, the dashboard shows the status of the client’s distribution plant, feeds, and the level of a service being provided to the environment. It delivers an overview of network status and a visual regarding the status of the Exchange health across the globe. Should there be an outage anywhere across the global, in any Exchange, the client can take remedial action internally to source data from a different location.
Many client organizations have their own infrastructure. With an industry interest in cloud based services some of the market data platforms are moving to the cloud. Prior to embarking on this transformation West Highland provides a benchmarking and testing service to compare the response, throughput and reliability of cloud based deployments vs. on premise deployments. It is only after this detailed assessment of what performance is should a decision be made to make such a transition.
West Highland begins by establishing the benchmarks at the high, low and normal watermarks. We clearly identify the breakpoints and the warning levels on every piece of software and hardware that functions in a market data distribution center locally deployed. The tests are then conducted against the cloud delivered models. Upon completion the information is reviewed and a detailed report is presented to the client along with recommendations and a roadmap on how to proceed.
One of the major challenges clients have is understanding the quality of their data. It is a requirement to know if you are at a competitive disadvantage to others in the market. Clients gain a competitive advantage by using West Highland’s ALIVE tool, which stands for Application Latency Indicator for Vendors and Exchanges. The tool samples data in real time across all of the firms market data vendors, whether the vendors are consolidated through an aggregator or a direct feed vendor from an Exchange. ALIVE reads and samples items from every source, compares them and records the relative latency. From these records, West Highland establishes a baseline for normal performance and normal behavior for each vendor and Exchange. If there’s an anomaly or an abnormal behavior that occurs, the information is tracked, alerted and reported.
The benefit of this system is demonstrated when a spike or outage occurs. Typically, it’s a blip, it happens, and it may or may not have impacted the client. However, if it’s a sustained outage, it becomes important. ALIVE has analytic tools built into it to identify any pattern. The analysis allows West Highland let the client know if there is a better response available from another vendor or Exchange, at any given point in time. The key value of this platform is seen when the client makes a trade. If a trade is made using data West Highland identifies as being more latent than usual, the implication is that the client was put at a competitive disadvantage over others in the industry.
Understanding how much capacity the client has installed, how much is in use, and what the client’s capacity trends are in relation to industry is critical. The capacity trends view key performance indicators such as the update rate which is important to the market data manager or CTO so they can evaluate potential or new changes to their infrastructure.
A capacity report speaks to all current utilization with regards to items, update rates, and system information. The report is compared to the client’s benchmark, and the prior day, week, and quarter. A final comparison evaluates the client data versus the industry.
The capacity tool is very important to any organization and personnel that needs to know how their market data environment is performing, and where the trend line of the relevant indicators are moving. It allows the client to properly plan and budget for any needed capital expenditures, make any architectural changes, or address improper data consumption by users or applications. The major benefit is that the client now has more visibility into the inner workings of their market data environment and can eliminate abnormal usage, address under usage and mitigate the risk of outage due to not being properly sized for growth.
We bring together all of the information into a clear concise dashboard and set of visualization tools that allows our clients to do modeling, trending and look at overall health and capacity and management of their market data environment.”
STEVEN R. ROE
CEO, West Highland