The financial industry is undergoing a fast data revolution and we hear from a lot of our clients about why fast data is becoming an increasingly critical requirement in their IT infrastructure. This blog looks at some of the key trends for leveraging fast data in the financial services industry today.
1. Moving Data at the Speed of Business
Financial service institutions are realizing the benefit of moving at the speed of business. Traditionally, how data has been used in financial services is through batch processing, usually overnight batch processing. You run a batch job over several hours to aggregate market data from the previous day or company filings, and master as well as clean them. This allows businesses to have their data ready for their first meeting in the morning and the business assesses the strategy based on the data you provide and stick to that strategy throughout the day.
This trend has dramatically changed in the past few years. Now, businesses change their strategies throughout the day. They make different decisions throughout the day. They need data throughout the day. They need up-to-date information throughout the day. This has created new requirements for instant data access, as well as new requirements for the IT infrastructure to meet these new data demands.
2. Focus on Business-Driven Applications
Another trend is to focus more on the business-driven applications. One of the traditional data strategies in financial services is to build a data warehouse and gather as much data as possible, and then wait for use cases to come. Your data scientists, your quant analysts, your financial analysts, they’ll come and figure a way to use that data, but this is not how you’ll use fast data. When it comes to fast data, you don’t want to build anything that is not going to be used by the business. This is why microservices is a great fit in a fast data platform.
3. Data Agility Separates Winners from Losers (Near Real-Time vs. Real Real-Time)
Data agility refers to the ability to understand the data in context and make business decisions in real-time. Having access to near real-time data is a huge disadvantage in the current financial markets. If your business has only access to near real-time data and your competitors have access to real real-time data, then it will be a very difficult competition for your business in the current modern financial markets.
While the cloud and virtualization are already being adopted, fast data enhances and really enables you to maximize your leverage of cloud and virtual resources. When you think of fast data, unlike batch processing, you have to think of it like running a system that runs 24/7. There will be no downtime, which makes uptime management extremely important. And fortunately, time management can be done easier and much more effectively in a cloud or virtualization environment.
Another benefit of the cloud and virtualization is fast hardware provisioning. Resource management is very important in a fast data stack and you don’t want to overinvest – or underinvest – in your hardware. The cloud and virtualization makes it much easier for you to manage those resources.
5. Agile Integration of AI and Machine Learning with Real-Time Business Decision Making
Finally, fast data enables agile integration of AI and machine learning. A lot of businesses use machine learning and AI to find new insights that they can use to make better business decisions. Rather than wait for the end of the day to put all these newly found insights and logics into your system, what businesses require is that at any time throughout the day, when a new insight is found, it can be quickly integrated into your system and help with making better real-time business decisions.
These are just some of the key trends we’ve noticed here at VoltDB when working with our financial services clients. To learn more about how VoltDB and fast data are revolutionizing the financial industry – and for expert insights on building fast data applications to stay ahead of your industry peers – check out our recorded webinar “Fast Data in Financial Services – Key Trends to Maintain a Competitive Edge”.