Energy Risk Asia Awards 2016
The spread of liberalisation across Asian commodity markets, and the region's increased connectedness to global markets, has left participants with vastly increased data needs and a mandate to manage that data much more effectively.
With over-the-counter markets playing an even greater role in Asia than other regions, the integration of non-standard data is key. Systems must be able to access, manage and analyse information from sources such as broker spreadsheets, pdf files or even online chat messages, notes Chris Harrison, chief product officer at Chicago-based data management firm GlobalView.
Integration has been a major focus for GlobalView in recent years as it developed its MarketView product suite as an enterprise-wide data management solution. This development, Harrison believes, makes GlobalView a disruptive force in the commodity data management space.
As an enterprise-wide solution, MarketView offers a single interface so organisations do not have to connect disparate systems and processes manually. "Over the last few years we have really focused on developing the "best of breed" enterprise-wide solution," he says.
"So not only do we continue to provide very advanced software analytics for traders and risk managers – the typical front and middle-office users – but we also provide a wide-ranging set of data management and integration tools. Rather than requiring someone to manually input that information into the system, we essentially allow them to normalise that data and push it into our data stream."
Over the past 12 months the vendor has launched two products designed to enhance integration capabilities. The first, the MarketView Prop Data Hub, enables users to view internal data silos alongside market data feeds, essentially creating a full, on-site enterprise data management system with the reduced footprint and cost of a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based system.
Not only do we continue to provide very advanced software analytics for traders and risk managers – the typical front and middle-office users – but we also provide a wide-ranging set of data management and integration tools
Chris Harrison, GlobalView
"This is another core area of focus where we've been really disruptive this year and last – helping our customers manage and integrate their own proprietary data," Harrison says. "Rather than looking at their own proprietary data separately from market data, users can easily and elegantly blend the two for analysis and integration of both data sets."
The MarketView CurveBuilder also enhances commodity data management and integration by providing all users, not just middle-office specialists, with access to the curve manager via the desktop. "Many of our larger customers build out hundreds, if not thousands of curves a day, usually using Microsoft Excel, which is great for manipulating data, but not in relation to version control – providing transparency, ease of distribution, a clear audit trail and so on. MarketView CurveBuilder was developed to provide all of the benefits of Excel without these risks," says Harrison. Users can build and test curves that can be viewed by anyone with access to the solution, rather than sending out spreadsheets by email, followed by updates to detail any subsequent changes.
Demand for unique solutions is a key theme across the global commodity markets as a whole, according to Harrison. "The market data business has changed pretty dramatically [in recent years]; the industry used to simply accept off-the-shelf solutions, but that's no longer the case. We have seen a huge trend among our customers [for solutions that are] totally unique. They need the tools to develop those types of solutions, and that is where our focus is. It's our desire to be agile and nimble and build technology that allows our customers to be agile and nimble as well," he says.
Ease of deployment has also been a big focus for GlobalView. "I think we're very disruptive from a deployment and an integration perspective," says Harrison, citing the data provider's SaaS-based applications that have a small footprint, ensuring fast deployment. "That doesn't mean our solutions don't do very sophisticated and complex things but, as it relates to getting organisations up and running and using the tools, we can do that in days rather than months."
Harrison believes GlobalView's aims around integration and deployment will be supported by its acquisition by Austin, Texas-based oil and gas analytics firm Drillinginfo last October. And it certainly looks like the commodity data industry should anticipate further disruption as a result of this development. "Without getting specific about our strategy, we are going to be really aggressive," Harrison says.
"GlobalView was always profitable as an organisation but it has never had the resources to do more than one large [project] at any given time. With the acquisition of GlobalView by Drillinginfo, that will change... I think you will see the company being very aggressive on the acquisition front, as well as [in terms of] organic growth."