AFTAs 2016: Best Analytics Initiative: Buy Side—JPMorgan Asset Management (Sparta)

JPMorgan Asset Management’s Sparta uses the R language.

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JPMorgan Asset Management’s Sparta data analytics platform was adjudged the best analytics initiative for a buy-side firm in this year’s American Financial Technology Awards.

The importance for capital markets firms to possess strong analytics has never been greater. The volumes of data firms are generating and ingesting is at an all-time high, and they need to have platforms in place that allow them to effectively analyze the massive amount of information they are exposed to, and act upon it. Sparta has been that differentiator for JPMorgan Asset Management, the firm's real-time performance analytics platform.

“It’s unique use of R language for performance and risk calculations and approach of dynamic calculations (to calculate and store) enables a scalable, highly flexible platform that enhances and simplifies the client experience,” says Sujoy Paul, executive director at JPMorgan Asset Management. “The platform gives users flexibility and provides large amounts of data to their fingertips for supporting their business needs.”

Sparta doesn’t require reference data to be stored and maintained because it conducts its calculations on the fly. This allows for easier integration with different upstream systems, a quicker delivery of performance information, and better flexibility to end-users, according to Paul. Users also benefit from a reduction in operational processing, report delivery time and dissemination of the data throughout the business.

“Most performance platform solutions suffer from serious drawbacks around scalability, speed and flexibility,” Paul explains. “Firms typically end up implementing a large number of different performance platforms to support specific business needs. This increases the cost of support and complexity around management and maintenance of performance platforms. Traditional performance systems also lack in providing an enriched user experience for accessing performance information.” 

Sparta continues to evolve as a platform. Recent enhancements include real-time calculation of performance, contribution and attribution, in addition to on-the-fly grouping and advanced ex-post risk analytics, according to Paul. The platform was also rolled out to two different lines of business within JPMorgan Asset Management.

Sparta continues to evolve as a platform. Recent enhancements include real-time calculation of performance, contribution and attribution, in addition to on-the-fly grouping and advanced ex-post risk analytics.

There is still more in the pipeline over the next 12 months, as more accurate performance functionality for private equity, hedge fund and real estate investments will be added, Paul says.

Support for multiple attribution models will also be implemented, along with the addition of what-if analysis, on-the-fly exclusion and ex-ante risk analytics. Sparta will also continue its expansion within JPMorgan Asset Management, as it will be rolled out across four more business lines, according to Paul.

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