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Four steps to scale your quantitative investment research

Investment management is a heavily data-driven industry—portfolio managers and investment researchers require a large number of data sources to guide them in shaping their investment strategies. 

New cloud capabilities and technologies enable investment managers to process data faster than ever before and iterate on ideas quickly to fuel innovation in the signal generation process and gain a competitive edge. 

Using the cloud for investment research workflows makes it easier to onboard data from data providers, spin up large compute workloads in the midst of market volatility or during heavy research cycles, and manage complex machine learning or natural language workflows to gain market insights.

We hear from industry leaders that they’re exploring new ways to run investment research. “Differentiated investment strategies require new types of information sources, and new ways to process that information,” David Easthope, senior analyst, Market Structure and Technology, Greenwich Associates. “And that, of course, relies heavily on having access to reliable and scalable storage, computational, and AI / ML resources. More specifically, quantitative strategies can benefit from the computational platforms and embedded AI/ML capabilities the cloud can offer.” 

Google Cloud gives investment managers essential components to work and operate faster as they bring their investment research workflows to the cloud. Here are the key highlights:

1. Simplify, speed up your data acquisition, discovery, and analytics

The foundation of any investment strategy starts with data—acquiring it, detecting patterns, and analyzing it for insights. Enabling data providers to easily share large datasets such as tick history within a high-performance analytics engine can greatly reduce the data engineering overhead when possible.

Once data is onboarded, you can tag business and technical metadata related to your datasets and provide portfolio managers the ability to discover these datasets via a search interface.

We further review analytics options for various scenarios, including aggregating massive datasets, creating dashboards, and incorporating streaming analytics workloads.

2. Take advantage of burst compute workloads

Data engineers and researchers require ready access to burst compute capabilities to perform backtesting, portfolio simulations and run risk calculations. Cloud works well for these workloads due to its elasticity, consumption-based models, and hardware evolution.

Many investment managers are shifting to a container-based strategy along with a Kubernetes-based scheduler for greater consistency, scaling and efficiency in environments with a large number of researchers. Cloud managed services and a rich suite of CI/CD tools can make this vision a reality while improving security and developer productivity.

3. Tackle machine learning (ML) and model deployment with the help from cloud

Quantitative researchers scour vast amounts of market and alternative data sources searching for signals and correlations, while ML engineers have the challenge of taking these signals and moving them to production.

Google Cloud empowers users to create and operationalize their models without wasting valuable time with a comprehensive set of MLOps tools. 

In this paper, we explore multiple solutions for ML and model deployment. Those capabilities reduce the amount of time operationalizing ML models, so quants and data scientists have more time to devote to differentiating activities. 

4. Get the data you need in less time with Natural Language and Document AI

Thousands of financial filings, news articles, and sell-side research reports are generated every day, and it’s difficult for humans alone to process this volume of information. These documents are often generated in many languages and the ability to do entity recognition, sentiment or syntactical analysis in those languages, or perhaps translate them into the language of the portfolio manager is of critical importance. Google Cloud provides these capabilities through pre-trained models, or allows you to train high-quality models with your own datasets.

Getting started

There are plenty of emerging technologies, tools, and approaches available to help investment managers today. At Google Cloud, we can help you access, organize, and utilize these essential components to make your research faster, reliable, and more valuable.

To learn more about these four keys to better investment research, check out our whitepaper for more.

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