Asset Control Adds ACX Cloud-Based Data Exploration and Distribution Platform

Blog entry

Asset Control has released ACX, a cloud-deployed delivery, storage and analytics platform designed to manage increasing data volumes, reduce infrastructure costs and provide business and technical users with easy access to data exploration. The platform is an additional module in the company’s AC Plus product family and includes open source technologies, although it is not an open source product.

Martijn Groot, vice president of product management at Asset Control, says: “Our clients have outgrown technology infrastructure that has lots of duplicated data stores, which make it difficult to mine and access data, and can no loner cope with regulatory, business and data lineage requirements. They need to escape the boundaries of enterprise data management (EDM) and embrace data management that puts data in the hands of users and enables broader business use cases.”

He adds: “By designing ACX specifically for the cloud environment, it can not only provide easier access to data, but also help firms reduce infrastructure costs by moving data into the cloud and sunsetting some internal systems.”

The platform was developed in conjunction with clients over the past year. Open source components were selected on the basis that they are scalable to match growing data volumes and are easily deployed in the cloud. They also offer a more attractive licensing model for users than EDM solutions.

Groot comments: “While banks like the capabilities of open source solutions, they also need the solid support of a service contract.”

From a practical perspective, ACX integrates with AC Plus, which provides operational control and financial data mastering, while ACX stores complete data and records of change to support data exploration. The platform also makes it easier to integrate data back into workflows.

ACX can be deployed in a public cloud, it is currently in the Google cloud but is cloud agnostic, or internally in a firm’s private cloud. Its use cases include model development, stress testing, product control and compliance with complex regulations such as Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB). The platform is being tested by a Tier 1 bank and Groot says it is gaining interest from other large banks that need to review their technology landscape.

The platform’s technology stack includes the Cassandra highly scalable NoSQL database; Spark, an open source component used for data processing and allowing users to bring models to the data; and Kafka, messaging software for fast real-time streaming of data that ensures any updates are instantaneously reflected in ACX.

It supports NoSQL based market data discovery and distribution with programmatic access to market data via REST services and native integration with Python and R. It can also be integrated with third-party business intelligence tools, all of which reduces time required for risk model development and deployment. Business users can access data directly through enterprise search capability and use Spark to manipulate data and develop and onboard financial models.