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DataGenic Set To Launch Cloud-Based Intelligent Decision Support for Energy

While in London recently, I met with Richard Quigley, CEO of DataGenic. Among other news, Mr. Quigley told me more details about their plans to roll out a cloud-delivered intelligent decision support desktop platform in the near future that will be focused on mining unstructured data for the energy markets. This news was not just interesting but also quite gratifying for Commodity Technology Advisory as before starting development of the service, DataGenic enlisted ComTech to conduct a survey of 25 trading firms globally to understand how they used unstructured data for trading. The results of this study showed that most traders use three or four terminals and have a preferred news source.

The survey concluded that for around half of those surveyed, the volume of data they have to deal with has almost doubled over the last two-years. Commodity traders will need to cope with and manage, an ever-increasing amount of data in the future. Social media has also become a very popular medium over the last several years and is arguably a relatively untapped source of potentially useful intelligence for commodity and other traders. Social media outlets such as Twitter and the blogosphere are increasingly being utilized in other asset classes to provide traders with trading indicators and sentiment analysis. However, can social media really have any value for commodity traders and how are useful signals to be extracted from among all of the daily noise from such sources?

“The problem is the world has changed—everyone is a reporter of information now, and the way we consume information has changed,” Quigley said. “I think people understand that with the way that Google and Amazon are using Big Data and predictive analytics, but the trading world hasn’t really got to grips with that—and that’s something we’re set to change.”

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Datagenic’s off-the-shelf intelligent decision support platform is fully configurable by clients, and includes market data and news, charts and analytics, as well as unstructured data, such as text derived from social media including blogs, Twitter feeds, communications with brokers, and even internal communications, all correlated using a complex event processing platform. It will also be priced attractively and Mr. Quigley pointed to, which is providing disruptive competition in the US markets by offering a more affordable market information platform, as a comparison.

“We’re trying to understand a bit more about the information that’s flowing through in real time and trying to determine patterns and predict outcomes for the future,” Quigley said. “The unstructured data is probably as valuable or even more valuable than anything that is out there in the marketplace, and is something I feel is not really being done in… the commodities market.”

The first target for the platform will be the oil markets. “Oil is the biggest, most mature commodity market, and is probably simpler than gas and power, so that will be the first market, and we will start to build up the platform from there.”

While he hopes to bring the service to market in the next couple of months, development will continue as “an evolution, not a big bang,” with the product constantly undergoing transition and subject to a constant learning experience around predictive analytics. “With oil, an OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meeting, API (American Petroleum Institute) statistics—they change the marketplace. Those things are quite easy to put into the model. It’s more abstract things that might change the market that you’re not that sure about… [and] you have to dig around out there and understand some of the data mining techniques to understand what’s actually effecting it,” he said.