FX Markets Asia Awards 2020: Best FX analytics provider – First Derivatives


With its Kx Streaming Analytics solution, First Derivatives has put data-driven analytics in the hands of its clients, allowing them to react to data insights instantly and make smarter business decisions

Martin Haines, managing director, Asia, First Derivatives
Martin Haines, managing director, Asia, First Derivatives

First Derivatives has been named best FX analytics provider in the 2020 FX Markets Asia Awards for its Kx Streaming Analytics platform, a game-changer in data-intensive industries where capturing, analysing and acting on huge quantities of real-time and historical data gives institutions a competitive advantage.

A global technology provider with 20 years’ experience working with some of the largest finance, technology, manufacturing and energy institutions in the world, First Derivatives opened its regional headquarters in Singapore in 2013, growing from a team of 10 four years ago to one of 60 today. Its satellite offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul employ more than 170 people. It has more than 50 customers in regions including China and India.

Kx Streaming Analytics is an important part of the software stack for many of the world’s leading financial institutions. It supports critical regulatory processes, allowing regulators access to real-time information. It also enables innovation in automated, programmatic, high-frequency trading by continuously processing and updating data from multiple sources in multiple formats. 

Martin Haines, managing director, Asia, says: “Kx Streaming Analytics, built on the world’s fastest time-series database, is capable of ingesting any amount of data, in any format and from any application at speed for high-performance, real-time analytics. For clients in the financial sector – where the immediacy, accuracy and validity of data is critical for every aspect of their business from algorithmic trading to regulatory compliance and surveillance – it’s game-changing.” 

Kx Streaming Analytics offers customers one of the fastest, simplest and most flexible solutions on a single platform to analyse and visualise real-time and historical data simultaneously.

Digital transformation continues to create new challenges and opportunities for all types of institutions. Haines says: “Kx Streaming Analytics was built to work anywhere – on premise, in the cloud or hybrid, and is certified to run on Amazon Web Services [AWS], Azure and Google Cloud. Our ability, in one platform, to work with any volume or type of streaming data – whether at speed or at rest, from edge to cloud – and analyse it in the moment sets us apart from the competition and makes us the perfect partner for financial organisations looking to implement a streaming analytics platform.”

Despite the volatility and challenging market conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a positive year for First Derivatives. It posted 9% annual growth for FY20, with its Kx software division posting 13% total growth, driven by a 23% growth in recurring software licence revenue. It has also enjoyed several high-profile contract wins and multiple-year assignments across its managed services and consulting business with global banks and other institutions. The company is also focused on growth outside of the financial markets, expanding to sectors such as manufacturing, telecoms, gaming and retail.

First Derivatives also added a number of significant new features to its Kx Streaming Analytics platform this year, enhancing its capabilities to bring together both real-time and historical data to enable better business decision-making for their clients and interoperability with other platforms. Kx Streaming Analytics v4.0 was launched in May, with new features such as enhancements to its dashboards solution, auto machine learning capabilities, and enhanced AWS Lambda integration. These enhancements help to support streaming analytics, allowing users to amend views and explore their data in real-time. The added benefit to the client is that they can now react to data insights instantly. 

Haines likens this enhancement to “powering self-service business intelligence throughout organisations”, which is critical for sectors such as the capital markets, where any sort of time delay in the acquisition, processing or execution of trade orders can result in millions of dollars in lost revenue. Putting that data-driven analytics in the hands of clients enables them to react quickly to changing market conditions. 

Looking forward, First Derivatives looks to continue on its current positive trajectory. Haines says: “We will continue to develop the capabilities of Kx Streaming Analytics, putting a focus on interoperability and ease of use.” 

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