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Analytics Without Data Is Useless, so We Make It Easy To Get Your Data Into Beacon

“Data without analytics is noise, and analytics without data is useless.” Adam Lichtenstein, Managing Director, Technology and Innovations, Blackstone

Beacon is an exceptional quantitative developer platform, but needs data to make it useful and effective. So we’ve built a variety of tools and connectors that make it easy to get your data into Beacon and get to business. Many of these are turnkey integrations available from the Beacon App Store, enabling clients to quickly populate their Beacon domain with data.

There a few different types of data that most clients need to interact with or load into their Beacon Platform instance: 

  • Market data from one or more sources
  • Trading and regulatory data when augmenting or replacing an existing trading system
  • Other data from internal or external databases, such as Intex for cash flow models and data

Market data

Our Market Data Framework has three components to help you get the data you want from a variety of data providers, such as Bloomberg, Fenics, Morningstar, and Refinitiv:

  • A plugin framework that simplifies how to select and download the data you want and handles all of the underlying tasks – you just need to enter your account credentials and keys
  • A schema API that transforms the data and maps it into the relevant metadata and field names in Beacon
  • A storage API for storing the transformed data into Beacon timeseries objects

The framework enables developers or business users to specify the data source and define where in Beacon the market data should be saved, so that it can immediately be used by pricing and risk processes. These tools are built with extensibility in mind. Beacon’s transparent source license and clear documentation enable clients to modify the included mappers to suit their specific needs. 

Beacon’s Realtime Market Data Architecture leverages the same design principles as the Market Data Framework and adds capabilities necessary to stream data in real time or near real time. The realtime data is transformed into the correct model format, before being distributed through high speed streaming services, such as Redis or Kafka, to the consuming applications or databases. Clients can throttle the data intake speed to meet their needs. The Beacon App Store includes a plugin for the Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE) as a reference model for other services.

Trade and regulatory data

Our customizable Trade Ingestion Framework is designed to import trades into Beacon from various sources, including client’s portfolio databases, order management systems, or relevant exchanges. We include tooling and APIs that simplify the process of parsing files of trade data and customizing how terms are saved in the platform. A Trade Ingestion Application is available from the Beacon App Store and makes it easier to visualize and interact with this framework and customize the field mapping.

The Beacon App Store also includes an app that enables intraday trade ingestion via FIX from major exchanges. New or non-standard financial instruments can be added with Beacon’s customizable Financial Object Hierarchy. 

The app reads a payload of trades produced by an existing system in a variety of formats, previews the effects of the desired mapping, runs trades through a custom booker and mapper to transform them into Beacon’s format, and books the valid trades. A result browser enables you to check your work, see the import or error status of individual trades, view a reconciliation of booked trades against the original file, and highlight any errors or import failures. You can also export trade details out of Beacon with a similar mechanism.

Deal confirmation and regulatory reporting is processed by a Beacon back office module. The processes are defined by workflow management diagrams and are triggered when the deal feed detects new, updated, or deleted transactions from relevant trading books. Electronic deal confirmations support both broker and counterparty matching, and can be submitted to services such as ICE eConfirm. A Confirmation Dashboard allows clients to manage deal submission and track status changes. Paper confirmations are generated and emailed as PDFs based on client-specific templates. Regulatory reporting for transactions such as over-the-counter power and natural gas are submitted to CFTC via ICE TradeVault. 

Other data

Beacon Platform has a comprehensive data warehouse and toolset that can ingest, process, and store data from a wide range of sources. Seamless communications with internal data centers or external data sources are secured and managed by IPSec VPNs. An integrated API also enables clients to leverage their Snowflake Data Cloud. Example use cases include:

  • Push and pull data from trader spreadsheets into Beacon with our Excel AddIn
  • Send and receive data with direct APIs, such as MarketAxess
  • Build a robust bidirectional flow of trading information with a messaging broker
  • Use FIX STP to link with exchanges or trading companies such as CME, ICE, Nodal, and TT
  • Distribute high speed streaming data with Kafka or Redis
  • Synchronize and reconcile portfolio positions with SQL 
  • Generate and deliver electronic copies of reports via Microsoft Sharepoint, OneDrive, or Exchange
  • Run ad-hoc or periodic ingestions of position information (trade ingestion) via JSON, XML, CSV with standard or custom field mappers
  • Connect modified time series classes to external databases
  • Get structured fixed-income cash flow models from Intex
  • Publish to and read from Amazon S3
  • Pull data from data sources via RESTful APIs
  • Securely transfer files with SFTP or SCP
  • Mount shared drives with NFS and Samba
  • Connect to existing databases, such as InfluxDB, MongoDB, MySQL, Postgres, and SQLite

Data, when and where you need it 

Whether you want to model and manage risk across asset classes, build and deploy applications faster, or trade in new instruments and markets, Beacon’s data connectors and tools keep your data connected to the portfolios, pricing models, and analytics that depend on it—and keep your users informed and up to date. As Blackstone’s Chief Data Architect, Thomas Pologruto, said, “With Beacon’s flexible and extensible data model, we are able to answer a greater number of increasingly sophisticated questions and deliver value to each business more quickly.”