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October 26, 2011

Sybase Brings Continuous Intelligence to Financial Services

Datanami Staff

This week, Neil McGovern, Director of Real-Time Analytics Strategy at Sybase, which is a SAP company, discussed how financial services firms can use what his company calls “continuous intelligence” to monitor algorithmic trading and to quickly assess and aggregate risk across the organization.

McGovern says that continuous intelligence, which comes through implementation of complex event processing systems, is the key to making informed decisions in near real-time. He says that In today’s capital markets,” to profit from opportunities that are here one moment and gone the next, you need to react quickly; you have to analyze a growing amount of high-velocity data, identify revenue opportunities and risks and they appear, and make split-second decisions to take immediate action. In financial services, continuous intelligence can help your business capitalize on opportunities as they happen.”

The company’s platform harnesses complex event processing (CEP) to analyze and monitor data as it arrives on high performance networks and uses an “intelligent” algorithm to let users know what is in the data, and what important elements it might contain.

At the heart of the company’s CEP-driven financial services strategy is the Sybase Areli ESP product, which “provides an integrated view of your exposures all day long, unobtrusively gathers data for real-time analysis, which can then be captured for further examination or more detailed stress scenarios to provide insight.” McGovern says that since financial services companies keep a vigilant pulse on trading activity to monitor how well their systems and algorithms are performing, it is critical for them to have a deep understanding of the market conditions from the outset. He points to the company’s emphasis on stream processing and R&D as leading the way in this arena.

McGovern says that this marks a shift in the way other BI systems have addressed incoming data. Once data arrived in the system, it had to be captured, structured, stored and then reported—a process that takes time, which of course, is a rather valuable commodity for the harried financial markets.

To put this in clearer context, McGovern uses the metaphor of collecting responses from a group gathered in a room. He says that “traditional” BI way would be to take a vote to gain sentiment by asking everyone to raise a hand. Those votes had to be tallied and then analyzed to gauge a winning result. On the other hand, he says that the continuous intelligence platform using CEP is like asking the question and having the answer at the moment a person entered the room.

McGovern describes CEP, the needs of financial services organizations and their own platform in more depth in the video below.