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An Interview with Mr. Richard Quigley, CEO of Datagenic

It is always a pleasure to talk to Richard Quigley, CEO of Datagenic and recently, I asked him a few questions partly as an update to a video interview that we did at E-World last year and partly just to gauge how things were going at the company with a particular emphasis on its entry in to US markets. The following interview has also been issued as this weeks’ ComTechAlert Newsletter.

 

  1. A few months ago, you talked about the new product Genic DataiQ in a video interview that we did with you, can you tell us a bit more about the status of the product?

    Genic DataiQ is one of the most exciting new products in our portfolio that helps to showcase our underlying state-of-the-art technology through an intelligent, real-time and data agnostic front-end. Genic DataiQ is currently on trial with a number of clients within the Commercial & Industrial sector, a key target market for DataGenic with a formal release date of 1 April 2015. The planned date for general release is the end of April 2015, when a wider group of commodity clients will have the opportunity to use the Community edition for free (delivering a variety of delayed and end of day market data content and news feeds) or upgrade to the Professional Edition. Clients can quickly add modular services including real-time market data, internal data additions, forward curves, API access as well as a variety of additional applications that form part of the Genic DataiQ ecosystem.

  2. How does Big Data and Social Media play into Genic DataiQ and DataGenic’s products and services generally?

    The DataGenic family of products are underpinned by the use of artificial intelligence as a key market differentiator and enabler for our clients. However, in order to provide our clients with the technology for ‘smarter trading’ in today’s Big Data landscape, encompassing both structured data (market pricing, fundamental data, economic data, etc.) and unstructured data (social media, weather, news, emails, etc.), we are building a responsive and intelligent framework. This allows the integration of data sources, historic and real-time, to create enriched data streams that provide a unified and holistic dashboard view of market intelligence.

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    Genic DataiQ has been engineered to act as the interface to smarter trading, providing real-time feedback to participants using our complex event processing engine. This platform will allow traders to test/ simulate their market strategies before use in a production environment.

    Big Data is transforming the business landscape, and, is in my opinion, the next driver for innovation, competition and ultimately profits.

  3. What are you seeing in terms of challenges and activities around Big Data in commodity trading?

    There are many challenges that exist around Big Data that not only include creating a responsive technical infrastructure within an organisation to cope with the doubling of corporate data year on year, let alone external data, but also releasing the necessary investment to initiate, operate and sustain the program. However, the biggest challenge for Big Data on the trading floor may be people. Traders are a unique bunch of individuals – each has their own way of ‘listening to the market’ – whether that be the through use of technical indicators, news channels, speaking with brokers, reports, emails, fundamental analysis, instant messages, market depth, etc. It would clearly take a super human effort for a trader to be on top of all the information that is available at any one time, yet convincing traders to adopt this new technology may take some effort.

    In my opinion, there needs to be a top down approach to Big Data programs, to understand the need for change by embracing this unstoppable deluge of data into actionable and ultimately profitable trades. Without C-Level buy-in, projects like these may find it difficult to get the momentum they require to get going and be sustainable for long term leverage.

  4. And what are you seeing in terms of interest and trends around the use of social media too?

    The biggest issue regarding ‘social media’ within our industry is its relation with business information. It is not just the volume of it, but the variety of formats, and most importantly the quality affirmation (source and author credibility) and reliability. “Is it correct and can I make a trade based this information?” We’re all aware that business models (of any kind) have a tendency to break down when low-quality data is used and this is constantly flagged as one of the main challenges around social media by many commodity trading organisations.

    I think time will time tell regarding the suitability of social media for trading decisions. However, let us be clear – it is merely one of the inputs towards smarter trading – it’s not the silver bullet or transformational in itself. The best way to view this new era in trading is to treat this data as part of the overall decision making input and to grade the information. For example, sentiment analysis on buy/sell Brent is one-dimensional, but when assimilated with all the other information available the trader’s level of market intelligence may be raised.

    I am aware of a handful of early ‘proof of concept’ projects within the industry, specifically targeting the use of social media in trading and Big Data; small projects that will help to achieve C-Level buy-in for this new and challenging, but incredibly exciting environment.

  5. It looks like DataGenic is growing with the opening of an office in North America and recruitment in India. What is the strategy for growth for DataGenic?

    This is an exciting time for DataGenic. The opening of the office in Houston late last year underpins our strategy to service the US market, arguably the biggest market for our software and services and which is economically performing better than our ‘home’ market of EMEA. Although DataGenic already have clients that operate in the Americas, further client acquisitions, technical implementations and support are always easier when managed locally.

    Timing in business is one of the variables of success; another is finding the talent to go-to-market. We are delighted to have Eric Fishhaut (co-founder of GlobalView and industry veteran) onboard to build and manage our business and service our clients. He has been joined by Don Muzzie, another talented individual who was the global sales manager for GlobalView and instrumental in the company’s success.

    Further business expansion has naturally led to a doubling of head count in our Bangalore office, where we have also established a great sales team for the Asian region.

  6. How do you see data management growing and developing in commodity trading and where are the opportunities?

    Data management is a multi-faceted phenomenon and in today’s increasingly complex commodity trading market, you need sophisticated, functionally-rich capabilities to address this new landscape, while remaining flexible enough to respond to new opportunities and/or global, political/regulatory/competitive pressures. It is a fact that the growth in data will continue – and to collect, organise and utilize it presents great challenges.

    While there is competition in the marketplace, there are opportunities to differentiate yourself from the herd as it has become increasingly necessary. In Europe for example, the REMIT regulation has levelled the playing field for all market participants and offers greater price transparency. Thus, trading organisations now need to find ways of creating new opportunities or leveraging existing business. Data is the key to this; making your ‘data smart’ should be the goal. However, in order to realise the opportunities that exist in this new Big Data landscape (for example in relation to market direction) there needs to be a cultural acceptance of data as a strategic asset, and the investment in a data landscape that underpins and supports the ‘data driven’ firm.

    Getting to a place that provides meaningful information in a timely manner requires a lot of hard work. But it will be worth it.


Richard QuigleyRichard Quigley has led DataGenic as CEO since 2007, where he has successfully help helped transform DataGenic into the leading global provider of on-premise and in-cloud Smart Commodity Data Management software.

Prior to joining DataGenic, Richard worked in senior roles at SunGard FAME Energy, ILEX Technologies, AUPEC, BDM and Rockall Data Management and also owned and operated two businesses. He has wide experience in strategy, business management, data management and international sales and marketing operations.

Richard speaks at, participates in and contributes to various Data Management events globally and regularly contributes to industry publications.

He holds an MA Economic Science degree from the University of Aberdeen.