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Xignite’s Dubois: Covid-19 Expected to Accelerate Shift to Cloud for Market Data

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The Covid-19 pandemic and its concomitant shift of much of the work force to home-working may force a re-evaluation of on-premises market data management. After an initial delay as the pandemic kicked in, financial institutions’ interest in cloud-based delivery of market data is now accelerating, according to Xignite CEO Stephane Dubois.

Xignite has seen a surge in API requests over the period of the lockdown, with the company reporting more than 12 billion requests per day. Driven by record market volatility, Xignite has seen a jump in server requests across the board – from retail web-sites to online trading firms through to robo advisors and institutional trading firms.

Xignite recorded API request volumes of around 200 billion / month for the three months ending in February, when requests began to rise. Xignite says it received more than 365 billion API hits in April, the peak of market activity, with early indications suggesting volumes pulled back slightly in May. As investors sought to chart or otherwise analyze the impact of market volatility on their portfolios, Xignite says requests of historical real-time data grew by 280% during the period, while requests for historical equity data rose by 50%.

Xignite has been a pioneer in cloud-based market data delivery, with its AWS-based Market Data Cloud Platform. The platform offers the kind of  transparency on a firm’s usage of first-level real-time and reference data usually associated with institutional set-ups. This allows firms to control entitlements and data usage, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs.

Dubois says the biggest increase in data requests has come from retail applications, followed by online trading and robo advisory services. While demand from institutional users hasn’t been so volatile, Xignite has seen demand from some asset management firms jump by 25% to 30%, Dubois says.

He reports that institutional interest in cloud delivery has picked up following the initial impact of pandemic. With many staff working from home – at the likelihood that at least some portion of these may continue with this arrangement for some time – firms are realizing on-premise data management is difficult to support.

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