Following on from its upgrade in October last year, EDM vendor SmartCo has released yet another new version of its Smart Financial DataHub (SFDH) solution, which it claims provides its clients with faster and more comprehensive market data management capabilities, additional security features and enhancements to key financial modules. Patrick Archer, SmartCo’s UK and US head of sales, and Thierry Zemb, head of product management at the vendor, explain the key features to Reference Data Review.
“The new version is aiming at answering current clients’ wishes due to evolving needs, but more importantly at providing features needed by the market in general,” explains Archer. “For instance, the fast time-series request is a new feature to help institutions to evaluate and back test investment strategies in statistical applications, answering the need to better use acquired and cleansed data. In the same way, even if the 4 eyes functionality has been necessary to some clients, it is also a common need that we had to tackle.”
The new version of the solution has extended the data quality controls and series jumps comparison tools that were already available in the previous version for end of day prices to intraday prices. The golden copies generation module also now allows the setup, without any coding, of multiple source management with complex rules such as average value, matched sources, and any kind of selection or calculation rule, says the vendor.
“The market data functionalities have specifically been improved to provide better support for intraday pricing, which is an important evolution of the software, and which enables us to cover more client needs. The extension of the golden copy generation is a natural evolution of our golden copy generation. After having the chance to support more and more specific cases, we can now easily support all the cases that we ever met during client implementations,” explains Archer.
On the market data management front, SFDH also now allows for faster real-time requests and extracts of large historical time series of various measures and provides immediate results usable in statistical or mathematical applications, according to the vendor.
SmartCo has beefed up the solution’s security features, says Archer. “On the security side, we continue to improve the security of the data, either on securing the administration process, or on securing the data storage. Last, ex-post controls have been added because we came across projects where the clients wanted to quickly load existing data, and wanted to increase the data controls by reviewing and adjusting controls levels afterwards,” he continues.
Therefore for enhanced control of manual data inputs, a ‘4 eyes’ validation principle can now be activated on any data perimeter managed within the application. To verify the consistency of data stored in the application, data quality controls can now be applied on the existing data. In addition, to verify the consistency of data currently stored in the application, data quality controls can now be applied ex-post on the existing data sets, the vendor claims.
The new enhancements to the solution’s financial modules includes the addition of an indices and benchmarks master file, which manages the composition of filtered indices or benchmarks in addition to market index securities and composite indices or benchmarks. The corporate action management module for enabling storage and data quality management of corporate actions is also now able to process the impact of corporate actions on securities characteristics using a fully user definable rules engine, says the vendor.
According to Archer, the vendor involved its clients in some of the development process: “The development of about 60 improvements (including about 10 totally new features) has been run over the six last months, but the most important aspect of this is that it is the result of more than one year working with our clients and on potentials new projects and carefully identifying the new needs coming to the market.”
The roadmap for the changes was presented to the vendor’s clients around six months ago and those that chose to, got involved in some of the specifications, says Archer. “Now, half of our customers are willing to take benefit from this release in the very short term,” he adds.
Zemb explains why he thinks that despite the competition in the market, the new version will attract new customers: “Our cutting edge technology covers the most complex business needs in the master data management (MDM) area for the financial industry. The richness and the flexibility of our dynamic data model, and the comprehensive and very large range of functions and services provided within the plate form, allow us to address the (quasi-) totality of data management requirements.”