Supermarket-Inspired Sweep Tool Promises to Add Value to ‘Big Data’ on Trading Desks

Terry Flanagan

A trading tool, which works on the same principles that supermarkets use to analyze customers’ purchasing habits, has been launched to extract value and provide insight from the huge reams of trading data out there.

Bright*Sun, a London-based technology firm that works with financial organizations to unlock value in their data sets, has unveiled a new analytics tool, Bright*Trade, which it says is novel to the trading environment, that can explore the vast amounts of ‘big data’ on trading desks and can reveal who’s traded what, at what times and under what conditions. From this, Bright*Sun’s analytics tool can then try to predict what is likely to happen in the future.

Stephen Piron, director, Bright*Sun Group

Stephen Piron, director, Bright*Sun Group

“The data we use is already there on the trading desk,” Stephen Piron, director of Bright*Sun Group, told Markets Media

“So our tool sits on top of that data and then the first thing it produces is a summary of who is trading what, when and what time. Then there is the ability to drill down—by time of year, time of day, particular instruments, particular counterparties and particular traders. Then it makes predictions on these patterns on what might happen in the future.

“It is all about taking the idea of ‘big data’ and smart analytics technology and making sense of all this ‘big data’. It is exactly like what big supermarkets do. If I buy a lot of bananas from a supermarket, it would be no coincidence that I then get coupons for bananas in the mail.”

Bright*Sun is seeing take-up from brokers who want to use the technology.

“There is a lot of intelligence in the data; we extract that,” said Piron. “Bright*Sun puts this sort of information at your fingertips in an intuitive and interactive format. It lets traders, analysts and risk officers ask questions of the data, to dive deep and draw out invaluable insights.”

For instance, Piron says the Bright*Trade tool can predict the likelihood of who is likely to be a buyer of Japanese yen at a certain time of year.

“Bright*Trade performs better the more data it consumes,” said Piron. “It gets smarter. Your trading desk gets smarter.”

Getting to grips with all of this ‘big data’ is one of the hot industry topics and more firms are waking up to the possibilities of mining it and gaining valuable insights.

“As the volume and complexity of data barraging businesses from all angles increases, [organizations] can take steps to harness the tremendous potential teeming within all of those data streams,” said Jeremy Burton, executive vice-president, product operations and marketing at EMC Corporation, a provider of IT storage solutions for financial services firms.

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