Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cloud Platforms Help Wrangle Trader Data 

A new data-as-a-service platform targeting high-frequency traders adds momentum to the growing trend toward combining cloud-based computing with precise market data. In this case, a widely used time-sensitive data format called GPS packet capture.

Manhattan-based financial software and data management specialist MayStreet this week rolled out a data platform that targets precise, GPS capture data, otherwise known as .pcap, collected by liquidity sites and processed by cloud-based computers. The platform is designed to address the growing need for speed along with extremely precise data presented in specific formats such as .pcap that are more amenable to market research and compliance workflows.

What differentiates MayStreet's data platform, the company claimed, is its ability to handle data in a variety of formats ranging from .pcap files to binary-compress formats. The combination of packet-capture data and MayStreet's software and cloud-based computing is intended to help build research and compliance infrastructure for the U.S. equities, options and futures markets.

MayStreet CEO Patrick Flannery noted in a statement that the goal was to make available to more traders the same "foundational tools" used by leading high-frequency trading firms. The combination of precision packet capture, cloud computing resources and the company's software suite are intended to help buy- and sell-side firms merge large volumes of market data in a variety of formats with information on trading activity.

The payoff, Flannery asserted, is "a comprehensive view of the markets at exacts points in time in the past."

The company's approach also reflects the ongoing search for competitive advantage in cutthroat capital markets that place a premium on high-quality data, flexibility and reduced operating costs. Hence, industry watchers note that more trading firms no longer wanting to manage their own IT infrastructure are shifting their operations to the cloud as reliability, trust and security improves.

MayStreet's data platform for traders also illustrates a shift within the financial technology sector to what analyst Terry Roche of market research TABB Group calls "third-generation platform services." Cloud-based platforms combine computing with big data analytics, mobile technologies and social media platforms.

The emerging platforms "will enable a holistic global community to collaborate, be informed [of] market ideas and opportunities delivered with high levels of security, efficiency, resiliency and regulatory compliance," Roche noted in a research paper.

Moreover, cloud-based platforms "will eventually affect all financial services workflows," Roche predicted.

While latency issues remain an ongoing technical challenge for high-frequency traders, MayStreet's platform also underscores the growing role of latency in data analytics. One reason is that traders are required by law to retain massive amounts of data. That has created a requirement for low-latency platforms to churn through data to meet regulatory reporting requirements.

"The bigger the data set the faster the computational regime to analyze that data in a time sensitive manner," Roche said.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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