High-Productivity Financial Reporting

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A USA-based research company created a single global cloud platform hosted by AWS to create and distribute financial reporting and analysis to a subscriber base of over 30 million accounts.

Background

The user is an independent research and analytics firm based in the USA with around 75 specialized analysts.

The company’s product range is broad, covering forensic, fundamental and quantitative analyses of individual companies and sectors, as well as reporting on a wide range of exchange-traded and mutual funds.

The company also supplies research to other firms, both as rebadged ‘white-label’ products and through an innovative API-based service allowing client companies to import reporting and data directly into their own products.

… an innovative API-based service allowing client companies to import reporting and data directly…

The challenge

Over the last decade the company had grown significantly through the acquisition of other research businesses and data collectors. This expansion had resulted in a heterogenous collection of technology platforms at different locations.

The company needed a technology solution that would allow it to:

  • move from multiple local platforms to a single global platform.
  • componentize data and content elements to achieve high flexibility in report generation.
  • standardize reporting templates to simplify and accelerate report production.
  • expand delivery formats from PDF to mobile, audio, video and API-accessible content.

The solution

Unlike conventional document management systems, Eidosmedia platforms operate at a more granular level of content representation.

The end-to-end use of XML allows each element of the document to be addressed and managed separately.

This ‘componentization’ allows elements to be combined and recombined to create a wide variety of products and formats – including customized products for other firms.

Manual reporting. Analysts author reports by entering their text into pre-formatted templates and importing data, charts and media. Multiple users can work in parallel on different sections of the report at the same time.

Variants and editions of a report can quickly be created for differing customer requirements, generating multiple revenue opportunities with little manual involvement.

Automatic reporting. The same componentization approach is used to create automatically generated reports.

Data residing in external data sources is imported in JSON format through the platform’s APIs.

It is then transformed into XML components that are imported automatically into pre-formatted templates to generate the required reporting products.

This process creates an extremely large volume of customized revenue-producing research products for delivery to end-users or other research firms.

Distribution

Output from the Eidosmedia solution feeds multiple digital delivery channels, including:

  • HTML for web browsers
  • HTML optimized for mobile apps and devices
  • Social media posts and previews
  • Audio formats, such as podcasts
  • Video

The Cobalt delivery platform also exposes content through a custom API in ‘machine-readable’ formats that can be imported by the platforms of other research producers where it provides the input for other data aggregation operations.

Outcomes

An integrated cloud solution: Five regional systems were replaced by one global cloud platform, hosted by Amazon Web Services and accessible from all company locations. Three publishing applications have been replaced by one shared editorial environment.

High productivity: The solution allowed the company to increase both the volume and range of its output:

  • Each week the platform publishes 1500 reports and over 5000 customized versions for white-label customers.
  • The monthly output of fund research is 1800 reports and over 16,000 bulk-generated PDFs.

‘Research as a Service’: The new platform has also made possible an innovative new channel for delivering research,

Fed by the Cobalt delivery platform, the company’s API allows other research firm to access componentized reporting and data elements that can be ‘repackaged’ in their own research products.

The new service received a prestigious industry award in 2020 shortly after it was launched.

In future the company expects a growing portion of its revenues to be derived from this ‘Research as a Service’ approach.

To find out more about this project and Eidosmedia Research solutions, read the Full report

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