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Tech Innovators Focus On Big Data

A number of entrepreneurs showcasing their latest inventions to venture capitalists at the FinTech Innovation Lab aim to help financial institutions make better sense of Big Data.

For innovative technology start-ups, big data is the name of the game.

With IT budgets growing less than 1 percent, firms are scrambling to deal with the big data juggernaut. They might finally be in luck, as a group of innovative technology start-ups showcasing their products to venture capitalists as part of the second annual FinTech Innovation Lab program, are now aiming to help financial institutions make more sense of the floods of data they are inundated with every day.

Among these start-ups is Centrifuge, a company that helps firms address security and fraud risks by discovering insights, patterns and relationships hidden in cloud, social network, enterprise and public data.

It does this by combining agile data integration with dynamic relationship mapping and interactive visual analytics, which it says can improve discovery time and reduce cost for security and risk applications.

"It's pattern-based visual discovery and analytics against Big Data at a lower cost and faster time. Our secret sauce is patent-pending link analysis, bring your own data integration (BYOD) and scalable processing," CEO Renee Lorton told the audience at the FinTech Innovation Lab, which was co-founded by Accenture and the New York City Investment Fund.

Another start-up focusing on the big data challenge is EidoSearch, a search and discovery engine for financial professionals, which aims to make deep financial research easy, which counts Fidelity among its customers.

The company's Software-as-a-service platform allows financial professionals to generate new trade ideas, discover relationships and reveal trade opportunities spontaneously by using the data itself as a search query.

"It's content-based search. Volatility has been declining for 11 months. You can use that pattern as your search query and find all the times in the past where you had similar volatility. In two clicks you can get that information," David Kedmey, president, EidoSearch, said, explaining that this type of search can be particularly useful for research personnel, as well as portfolio managers looking to see whether risk is going up or down, or quants who can test a great number of models than they could have tested in the past.

Kedmey equates EidoSearch's technology to the popular internet music search engine and player, Pandora.

"Pandora has a music genome with hundreds of elements. We have the same: we look at thousands of features like the roughness or smoothness of the curve. In seconds, you can have actionable results."

Another firm looking to leverage busy financial professionals' need to sift through terabytes of data as quickly as possible is New York-based Visible Market.

The company already has a popular iPad and iPhone app which uses data visualization technology to help investors make quick decisions about the stocks of 1,400 companies and view markets contextually as they unfold.

Explaining the need for a mobile app, Visible Market founder and CEO Jennifer Johnson notes that "mobile search overtook desktop search in late 2011."

The app enables users to zoom in to see specific industries or companies with financial market data provided by Xignite. It offers an interactive heat map and visual watch list of favorite stocks and ETFs, while refreshing every 5 minutes throughout the trading day.

StockTouch uses a game engine for rendering visualizations, providing 30 frame per second animation, and combines this with proprietary data compression. Its server is a cloud-based EC2/S3 with in-memory database for parallel processing and low latency.

Visible Market is now working on helping financial institutions find ways to present their own data in a manner similar to the StockTouch app.

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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