Derive monthly insights using XMon automated reports

Why monthly invoices are not enough

Invoices received from vendors on a monthly basis provide an a summary of the month’s spend and costs but are limited to current month’s spend. If you’re looking to get a better understanding, control and governance over data usage, you’ll need more analytics, especially relative indicators to quickly compare against last month’s usage and identify sources of usage spikes.

Three metrics to look for in a monthly reference data analytics report:

  1. Data consumer allocation for the current period, in comparison to last month: this helps determine whether specific consumers have changed their data consumption behavior during the current period.
  2. Data category allocation: this allows data operations teams to understand whether new data categories have been requested during the current month that have not been used before.
  3. Asset class allocation: this helps data teams manage understand whether any new asset classes have been accessed during the period and any asset classes that have no longer been used.

Simplifying access to data analytics

Over the last few weeks our BA team has been working on simplifying customer access to monthly analytics and have built automated, simple to understand reports that provide usage insights, showcasing the above three metrics in a synthesized and easy to access format. These reports are sent automatically by XMon, straight to your team’s inbox.

The XMon Monthly Review report is sent automatically at every end of month and graphically displays usage trends, relative indicators and allocation by consumer, data category and asset class for a comprehensive review of data usage as well as a clear comparison with last months utilisation. The screenshot below shows a comparison data category consumption:

Monthly Data Category Access, relative to the previous period

The above example indicates a nearly 50% increase in Historical data spend, while Pricing usage has declined slightly. Data category classification, coupled with other metrics, such as consumer and asset class allocation also available in the report, allow your data operations teams to better understand usage and derive actionable insights based on your firm’s usage patterns.

DataOps as a service and tailored recommendations

Using the monthly report, you’ll be able to trigger more detailed business intelligence extracts from XMon to drive usage optimisations. For example, to understand how a data category’s trends have evolved over the period, simply generate the field analysis report (STD12) and obtain a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons for increasing trends, in minutes. Using the field analysis report you’ll also be able to identify the actions that can be put in place to mitigate the increased utilisation.

If you’re a client subscribed to the XMon DataOperations as a service, you will get the added benefit of a more detailed analysis, run by our team of experts, and monthly tailored recommendations to optimise your spend.

Contact us for more information about our dataOps as a service or for more details about how your firm could benefit from better data usage analytics.

Xignite to Integrate XPansion Analytics and Reporting Tools into Market Data Management Cloud Platform

We look forward to working with the team at Xignite and extending realtime reference data usage analytics to their next-generation Market Data Cloud Platform. Full press release below:

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today announced a strategic partnership with XPansion, a provider of market data usage, tracking and business monitoring software. Xignite will integrate XPansion’s XMon analytics and reporting functionality into their Market Data Cloud Platform to provide capital markets clients even more transparency of their licensed market data usage and costs, allowing them to manage consumption, allocate costs and avoid vendor compliance risk.  

Hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud, the Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform is a market data management solution that enables optimization of market data distributed across an enterprise, providing clients with tools to control, entitle and track data consumption across businesses. The solution is the industry’s only cloud-based market data management and optimization platform that can manage data flow across the latency spectrum, including real-time, end-of-day, reference and historical data. 

Adding XMon functionality will provide clients with enhanced business intelligence, analytics and reporting capabilities. XMon’s dynamic dashboards and reporting tools empower business users to interrogate data usage, control and allocate costs across data vendors. By optimizing vendor data requests and streamlining data access across businesses, clients could see a significant reduction in overall market data spend within the first year. 

“Empowering our clients with the tools to understand how they are consuming data and providing them with technology to establish transparency and control spend in real-time has been our focus from the beginning,” said Amjad Zoghbi, Director and co-founder of XPansion. “Clients consume increasing amounts of data and coupling powerful analytics with a robust data distribution platform is essential in today’s data landscape. We are very excited to be partnering with Xignite and extending XMon’s analytics and controls to their next-generation Market Data Cloud Platform”

“Market data is a complex environment where vendor fees and commercial licensing models continue to change, putting pressure on buy and sell side firms to control access and costs.” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder, Xignite. “Providing clients with a solution to regain control of market data flow and consumption is core to our mission of simplifying the acquisition, management and dissemination of market data. We are delighted to partner with XPansion, combining their superior analytics with the proven data management capabilities of our Market Data Cloud Platform is a win for clients.”

About Xignite

Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud Platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm’s first-level real-time and reference data – making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, 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. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

About XPansion FTS

XPansion is a technology firm delivering enterprise, cloud-based solutions that empower data operations and data management teams to better understand and control data usage and improve data governance. XMon Static Data, our leading solution for reference data usage tracking and control, allows clients to understand data usage and costs, enforce data access controls and optimize reference data spend. XMon Business Process is our solution for internal data lineage and monitoring internal data usage. Our cloud-based solutions can be used alone or combined for powerful and comprehensive data usage and control functionality. Visit https://www.xpansionfts.com for more information.

Announcing our partnership with TRG Screen

Excited to announce our partnership with TRG Screen and look forward to working with the team and extending XMon's functionality to TRG Screen's customers!

Read the full press release below:

TRG SCREEN ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP FOR XPANSION XMON REFERENCE DATA USAGE TRACKING

Adds industry-leading reference data usage tracking to TRG Screen’s range of market data usage management solutions

July 8, 2019 – New YorkTRG Screen (“TRG”), the leading provider of subscription spend management software solutions, today announced it has agreed global distribution rights for XMon Reference Data Usage Management with XPansion.

Under the agreement, TRG will provide sales and relationship management for new customers, while XPansion will provide after-sales support and development, and continue to manage all existing client relationships.

XMon adds a new dimension to market data cost management and provides transparency, control and governance over reference data usage and spend. XMon provides customers with a framework for a solid Data Operations and Data Management function where data consumers are uniquely identified and access to reference data is controlled and metered. Optimization opportunities, such as duplicated pay-per-download charges, are clearly highlighted, and cost allocations based on actual usage can be easily assembled for accurate charge back to internal users and applications. XMon can operate passively – being copied in on requests to analyze the usage – or operate actively as a proxy controlling the outbound flow of requests to reference data vendors.

Adding XMon to TRG’s range of usage management solutions continues TRG strategy of expanding its usage management capabilities to the full spectrum of market data types. With TRG’s ResearchMonitor the usage of all web-delivered and installed desktop applications can be accurately tracked, and with DART detailed usage information of market data terminals can be monitored and analyzed. The addition of XMon for reference data monitoring completes the company’s coverage of all significant market data spend.

“Reference data feeds from vendors such as Bloomberg and Refinitiv are crucial to financial firms but our clients are conscious these can be very high cost services and are concerned they lack transparency on or control of the usage” said Leigh Walters, Chief Commercial Officer at TRG. “Our partnership for XMon allows us to provide a complete solution to our clients – alongside web, terminal and desktop usage tracking – completing the full spectrum of coverage for financial market data usage tracking. We are the only vendor providing a solution which provides market data spend management capabilities for the whole subscription lifecycle coupled with usage management spanning the full spectrum of market data types.”

TRG and XPansion will work together to further develop the strategic direction of the product and to provide integration with TRG’s enterprise spend management platforms, FITS and INFOmatch (the latter which was obtained as part of TRG’s acquisition of Screen Group in 2018).

“Reference data is a growing spend in financial institutions of all sizes” said Amjad Zoghbi, Director and co-founder of XPansion. “Managing reference data usage effectively, requires an in-depth understanding of complex commercial models and compliance constraints. Without a solid technology framework in place, costs of reference data can easily spiral out of control and understanding data consumption can be a challenging and time-consuming task. XMon provides accurate, real-time, information of data consumption by application, user, vendor and allows clients to allocate costs back in a fair, transparent and repeatable way. We look forward to our integration with TRG Screen’s suite of leading products and to extending our capabilities and cost saving opportunities to TRG Screen’s customers.”

About TRG Screen

TRG Screen (“TRG”) is the leading provider of software solutions used to monitor and manage subscription spend and usage across the entire enterprise. Founded in 1998, TRG is uniquely differentiated by its ability to monitor both spend and usage of data and information services including market data, research, software licenses, consulting and other corporate expenses. TRG’s solutions provide its customers with full transparency into their vendor relationships and their subscription spend and usage, enabling them to optimize their enterprise subscriptions. TRG acquired Priory Solutions in 2016 and Screen Group in 2018 and with these acquisitions is now positioned as the global market leader in the financial, legal and professional services markets. TRG’s product portfolio includes FITS and INFOmatch spend management, ResearchMonitor usage monitoring and Quest enquiry management solutions. For more information visit

www.trgscreen.com.

About XPansion

XPansion is a technology firm delivering enterprise, cloud-based solutions that empower data operations and data management teams to better understand and control usage and improve data governance. XMon Static Data, our leading solution for reference data usage tracking and control, allows clients to understand data usage and costs, enforce data access controls and optimize reference data spend. XMon Business Process is our solution for internal data lineage and monitoring internal data usage. Our cloud-based solutions can be used alone or combined for powerful and comprehensive data usage and control functionality.

Visit https://www.xpansionfts.com for more information.

Three principles for efficient Data Operations

 

With the increased proliferation of data subscription models coupled with ever changing complex regulation and end-user expectations of speed in delivery, market data management teams have an increasingly difficult role answering to business requirements while keeping finances and regulation in check.

The problem is not new and has been seen time and again across verticals that have witnessed scale factors that can sometimes inhibit agility.

Similarly to other verticals (Sales, Development etc.) Market Data teams should provide a Data Operations function, that brings technology, finance and business together with the aim of improving efficiency and increasing competitiveness.

The foundation for a data operation function should encompass three principles:

  1. Understand the data landscape
  2. Optimize usage
  3. Operate

Understand the data landscape

Increase transparency by fundamentally understanding how and why users and applications consume data. True transparency starts with a combination of low-level gathering of technical data points as well as the establishment of a functional dictionary that end users and market data professionals can relate to and synthesize.

Establish a process of reporting that provides answers to tactical questions, but also establish long term analytics and trends as well as benchmarks on which business units can judge their usage.

Optimize usage

Based on usage information, obtain insights that will ensure usage is optimal from a cost and regulatory perspective. Establish the foundations to support near-realtime decision making when this is needed.

Operate

Establish controls for data consumption by ensuring company-wide policies are enforced at the consumer level. But also, empower individual business units and stakeholders to answer their own questions around usage, costs and regulation. Queries on market data usage, costs and compliance should take minutes or seconds as opposed to the current norm of days, weeks or even months.

XMon for Market Data Operations

XMon has been built to provide the three principles for an efficient market data operations function: Understand the data landscape, Optimize usage and Operate. XMon empowers your Market DataOps team using a scalable, enterprise solution that provides auditability, transparency and scale.

Reach out to learn more about how XMon can help answer your team’s most difficult questions on market data usage.

Reference Data Management in the Modern Era

For too long market data management boiled down, for the most part, to the timely payment of invoices. With data usage (and costs) steadily increasing and the proliferation of data sources, data types and data vendors as well as the diversification of data consumers (hear data scientists), market data management can no longer be restricted to a reactive, administrative role.

Proactive usage tracking

Managing data effectively, is more fundamental than plotting historical cost graphs and allocating costs based on arbitrary, static formulas. Effective data management requires a proactive understanding of:

  1. Who data consumers are
  2. How are data consumers requesting data and from which data source is the request going to
  3. What such data is being used for
  4. Does the data cost justify its use

In addition to the above, market data management is not only about understanding usage and cost, market data management must include the ability to proactively control market data usage by:

  1. Restricting access to data for individual consumers based on their needs
  2. Controlling which data points (securities, fields) are available to consumers and sometimes enforcing data consumption policies
  3. Allocating costs back to consumers based on fair, factual data consumption analytics
  4. Ensuring data usage is compliant to vendor agreements as well as internal and external policies and regulations
  5. Generating market data usage intelligence through Market data usage reporting

Beyond cost efficiencies

Although cost optimisation is a central focus is any market data management policy, it is by far not the only one. As data usage becomes more complex and more commoditised, tracking data within the firm becomes a necessity to respond to ever increasing regulation and compliance considerations. Data tracking, also known as data lineage is one of the most debated topics in modern market data management circles. Data lineage requires a clear understanding of detailed usage and a factual audit trail that can be revisited on-demand, sometimes weeks or months after the fact.

XMon: Market Data Usage: Under Control

XMon is a fully managed reference data usage analysis and business intelligence plaform. XMon centralizes reference data requests into one data management interface where individual consumers are uniquely identified and data requests are tracked and can be controlled. This provides unparalleled levels of detail for market data usage reporting, ensures cost efficiencies are achieved and market data governance is met.

Reach out to us for more information, we’d love to chat.

 

 

 

Try our online data cost simulator

We’ve just released a online version of a Bloomberg data license per-security request cost simulator. The simulator uses the XMon RestAPI to calculate the cost of a given data request and returns a breakdown by asset class and data category. Use one of the provided samples or copy-paste your own BBG per-security request to try it out and get an estimate of your request cost.

The tool is available here and is totally free to use, go ahead and give it a spin!

The simulator calculates the initial hit cost of a data request and does not take into account multi-hits. Contact us for a full-featured trial of XMon, which includes multi-hit support, advanced business intelligence and cost optimisation analytics. All XMon customers also have access to secure RestAPI endpoints which provide advanced integration capabilities and the ability to programmatically integrate to the XMon engine.

Reach out for a full demo of the product and a discussion on how XMon could help you get back control of your data spend.

 

 

Open Collaboration & Innovation Meetup

October 18, 2018

We’ll be in Paris on the 18th of October 2018 for the Finastra Innovation Meetup. We’ll be talking about innovation, collaboration and the integration of XMon to FusionFabric.cloud. We look forward to an exciting and inspiring session, if you’re around come and say hello!

Click here to register:  https://www.meetup.com/Finastra-Fintech-Makers/events/249701757/

 

[Video] – Data Usage Analysis Report

XMon Static Data – Data Usage Analysis

The Data Usage Analysis report is available on-demand from the XMon Static Data interface and quantifies the cost of duplicate data requests and identifies cost saving opportunities by analyzing individual field usage and their attribution to the overall invoice amount. Watch the short video below to see it in action…

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XMon Static Data – Choosing your integration mode

XMon Static Data provides real-time analytics, transparency and control of static data flows. Using XMon, our customers have made significant savings and established unprecendented levels of transparency and accountability over data usage.

Within a firm, XMon can integrate at three levels:

  1. Data entering the firm: through third party data providers, such as Bloomberg, Reuters and others
  2. Data flowing within the firm: internal application calls and internal data flows
  3. Data exiting the firm: in the form of customer reports or other analytics

Although customer requirements vary greatly for points 2 and 3, point 1 above is generally a standard interface to the leading data vendors: Bloomberg (through their Data License offering) and Reuters (over DatascopeSelect).  In this post, we’ll describe the options customers have when monitoring data entering the firm.

Should we be Active?

In order for XMon to analyse requests, data request files must be sent in for analysis. For this purpose XMon provides two integration modes: Active and Passive, otherwise known as Proxy and non-Proxy connectivity.

Active monitoring, or ‘proxy’ mode

In this mode, XMon acts as a reference data proxy; in other words, requests are forwarded to XMon for processing and then XMon forwards requests to data vendors provided they have not breached any user defined rule. This is – by far – the simplest connection mode. As systems connect to data providers, using the active monitoring mode is merely a re-direction of calls to XMon (generally a minor configuration change in the system is required) and generally applications are good to go: all requests sent through XMon will appear automatically in the dashboard and a new era of transparency will begin. It is however not always feasible (or desireable) to connect data consumers in active monitoring mode. Certain institutions have prohibitive policies which make the active monitoring mode impractical in some cases. For these cases, the passive monitoring mode can be used. We’ll describe the passive monitoring mode in the section below, but first a quick summary of pros/cons of the active monitoring mode:

Psst… Want to know XMon’s availability statistics? We provide public uptime metrics!

Passive monitoring, or ‘non-proxy’ mode

In this mode, XMon receives a copy of data requests and does not forward these to the vendors. In passive monitoring mode, XMon merely gets a file copy or ‘parallel’ call and records it for analytics, reporting and governance.This mode requires that customers have, or keep a copy of all data requests.

So, which mode should you choose?

96% of all requests sent to XMon are sent using Active monitoring. (Click here for more stats!).

This being said, both modes can be used on the same set up! A general approach is to have all development / test / UAT / Staging etc. environments connect through the active monitoring mode and production systems connect through Passive monitoring mode. This provides the advantages of control and live alerting on consumers that may run astray and flexibility and transparency on production consumers.

Want to know more?

Do reach out! And let’s get your data usage under control.

Bloomberg Scheduled Mode: Will it reduce your spend?

Bloomberg have introduced, in addition to the two delivery modes of Bulk and Ad Hoc, a new commercial model for static data, referred to as Scheduled. Similar to the Ad Hoc mode, the Scheduled mode is a request-response service provided to offer optimised access to large data requests that do not frequently change. In practice, the Scheduled mode is a variation of the Ad Hoc mode with a fifteen minute minimal request scheduling time and a different commercial model. This means that Bloomberg require that a request be placed at least fifteen minutes prior to the response being needed. The commercial model for Scheduled mode is based on pre-agreed quotas per asset class and data category.

Clients can of course, have both modes (in addition to the Bulk mode) and use them in ways they see fit and within the constraints imposed by the data vendor for costs and response times.

We have been approached by several customers wishing to understand the impact of using the Scheduled mode on their data costs. As XMon models the Scheduled commercials, the simulation is executed in seconds within the engine.

XMon provides a hassle-free, detailed analysis of the Scheduled mode at the click of a button

The analysis of the Scheduled mode is done through our predefined report STD18 which runs a what-if analysis for this commercial model for any time period. In seconds, customers are able to see whether they would spend more, or less per data category and of course, a tallied-up global saving or loss.

The report extract below is an example showing an overall saving of 18% over the Ad Hoc mode for this example customer.

XMon Bloomberg Scheduled Mode Simulation

As mentioned above, the model requires technical changes as well so the move may involve changes to underlying application calls.

XMon provides a wealth of functionality to simulate, control and understand data costs. Reach out to us for more information about the Bloomberg Scheduled mode or to simulate this delivery on your data costs.