We recently sat down for a Q&A with Jeremy Gagnon, Head of the Sales Engineering team in North America. The RIMES Sales Engineering team is comprised of a wide array of industry specialists in constant front-line collaboration with our clients to ensure successful implementations and long-term scalability.
RIMES: What is one of the first questions you’re regularly asked when embarking on a new implementation?
JG: During our early conversations, clients are surprised to learn of our ability to deliver truly customized solutions – a competitive differentiator afforded to RIMES clients. I simply explain the benefits of our own proprietary technology, which enables us to deliver custom implementations of data that is fit-for-purpose across their organization.
RIMES: Okay, so before we get into a discussion about our proprietary technology, first explain what you mean by “fit for purpose?”
JG: I am referring to custom-built data management solutions that meet the requirements or “use cases” for the various consumers of data across our client’s processes – e.g., whether that data is delivered into proprietary or downstream systems, the way the firm rationalizes security identifiers, which models are being used, etc. We make sure to truly understand all the unique ins and outs of marrying up data across a client’s systems, so that by the time the outbound feed from RIMES is at the fingertips of the user, it is designed and served for their specific use case.
RIMES: So in effect, RIMES is able to ensure client-specific validations for each specific workflow across the firm?
JG: Exactly. Considerations must be made for how the same data will be consumed for different purposes. Let me outline some examples:
• TIMING: Portfolio managers or pre-trade compliance folks want next day opening weights – to see what the weights are going to be when the market opens tomorrow. For those users, where timing is everything, we don’t want to create any stops during the data validation process that would keep the feed from serving them as quickly as possible.
• QUALITY: On the other hand, consider a firm’s Performance Measurement team, where data quality is key. They need accurate opening weight and closing returns data and are keen to receive very clean data to ensure their attribution and risk analyses are done right the first time – or they’ll end up in an endless loop of rinse and repeat examination. Read the service spotlight here.
Simply put – continuing the example – the Performance folks want real, fully vetted data, not preliminary data – whereas the Front Office is okay with preliminary data, so long as that data is in their system before market opens. As you can see, if the Performance Measurement and Investment teams were getting the same feed without these considerations, one or both of those teams won’t be getting what they need. RIMES makes it a point to understand these nuances and has the expertise to ensure fit-for-purpose delivery.
RIMES: That segues nicely into your earlier point about the RIMES approach and our ability to deliver custom solutions and differentiated services to each of our clients. Talk about how we are able to do that.
JG: We have access to over 1000 data sources from more than 300 different data partners across all asset classes – growing constantly based on client needs. This means at any given point, we have several million benchmarks and potential reference or market data points to be transformed.
We start by consuming and transforming the content into our proprietary RIMES database. What’s key here, is that we are storing as close to “native” format as possible – close enough that we can call on data at its most rudimentary form before having to make specific decisions about the data – this allows us to make customized data decisions unique to client use cases later in the design.
We run our processes on a fully event driven basis processing data when it arrives from the data partners in their product specific packages. Data Partners often deliver data in separate packages that RIMES processes immediately when all necessary data has arrived. At each stage of the process RIMES is performing methodology specific validations to ensure accuracy and communicating progress through an online client portal.
We confirm first that we have all the data required, and then we confirm the data’s accuracy using proprietary methodology checks for the content we process. In the next layer, we work closely with the client to determine how the feeds need to work for the specific use cases – and how we need to build the outbound feeds with client specific validations. We currently feed more than 60 third party solutions, and a multitude of in-house systems.
RIMES: What would you say to firms that continue to keep their data management servicing strictly in-house – or rely on their platform provider to also manage their data?
JG: RIMES has unique knowledge and an efficient, proprietary set of tools for processing and displaying information for our clients – with an agility and flexibility that no other provider possesses. I would recommend that firms consider these questions, in the context of all I’ve just outlined:
1. Can you ensure the same level of “fit for purpose” validation of your data, or are you simply taking in the new data and processing it without truly thinking through each use case?
2. Is your data kept up to date on a regular basis, with all the validation checks and revisions done with each new data partner update?
3. Who is responsible for keeping up with methodology changes from all of your data providers, and ensuring you are ready for big scale changes from the major index providers?
What makes RIMES different is that data management IS our business. Your data providers are our data partners. Our experts are dedicated to thinking about your current challenges and those on the horizon, and our dedicated global performance team is in constant, 24/7 collaboration to ensure the best managed data services. Take a look at this “Working with RIMES” guide and then contact us for a consultation.