Social Market Analytics (SMA) was founded in early 2012 to create actionable intelligence from unstructured data.
Harnessing predictive data through machine learning
A significant challenge for any business is finding and leveraging competitive advantages before others even know they exist. That’s precisely what Chicago-based Social Market Analytics (SMA) delivers to financial professionals who rely on it daily to make smarter investments.
The company’s patented technology, Sentiment Engine, has the ability to harness unstructured, yet valuable information embedded in social media streams and provide actionable intelligence in real time.
Asset managers, hedge funds, and brand managers rely on it daily to make smarter investments and more strategic decisions.
Challenge #1: an incredible amount of data to process
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and even industry-specific networks like StockTwits, represent a significant portion of people’s online experience.
These platforms also generate an incredible amount of data:
- 500 million tweets are published every day on Twitter
- 500,000 new Facebook users sign up every day
- 85 million photos and videos are added to Instagram daily
While SMA’s datasets massively grow in size and complexity, so, too, must the infrastructure that processes it.
SMA is faced with the ongoing requirement to scale their datasets, compute, storage, and network capacity faster than their customers can use the data.
Challenge #2: more customers and more data
At the end of the day, SMA’s customers are all seeking alpha in the name of differentiation and competitive advantage.
“Back in 2012 and through 2014, really, it was about stock symbols. We were exclusively focused on the continuous improvement of our sentiment analysis and the rigorous back-testing of this analysis,” said SMA. “One of the first evolutions of this analysis and testing is our pre-market Edge Reports: a valuable way for our customers and for us to verify that we have the proper data with the proper algorithms, and accurately reflect sentiment tilting.”
From this foundation came Act Two: SMA’s Sentiment Engine. The Sentiment Engine is designed to handle non-purchasable elements like interest rates and brand names, bringing the same value to brand managers that only financial professionals were able to enjoy until that point.
“The focus on creating alpha moved beyond sentiment associated directly with ticker symbols.”
SMA’s updated Sentiment Engine opened the door to brands and brand managers.
With this rapidly expanding market opportunity, infrastructure requirements continued to increase along with it.
“As our customer base continued to expand, and the sophistication of their use of the platform grew, it became critical for us to provide 100% infrastructure SLAs and, specifically, have always-on connectivity to data providers and to customers,” said SMA. “If we’re not connected, we’re not in business. Period.”
“If we’re not connected, we’re not in business. Period.”
Challenge #3: A cloud migration with no maintenance window
“The criticality of market data is obvious,” stated George Nelson, VP of Cloud Services at SCTG.“Factor in the unique nature of social media-driven data being always on, and the standard migration or maintenance window no longer applies. All SMA data connections and services had to remain online and available throughout the Cloud Migration.”
“SMA made their high standards very clear. Nothing short of a robust, always-on platform would be good enough for their clients.”
Account Manager at SCTG
Solution: a Cloud Migration, Enterprise Cloud, and Managed Network services from SCTG
Today, we manage SMA’s production cloud out of our flagship data center in Elk Grove Village, IL. We manage their backup and R&D clouds from our presence within the world’s largest data center at 350 E. Cermak in Chicago, IL.
SCTG additionally provides managed Network Connectivity for SMA to data partners, the Internet, and critical customers. The setup is architected to provide dynamic capacity with unparalleled speed and resiliency as demand changes. It’s also optimized for improved security and overall application performance.
“Having a partner like SCTG to handle all aspects of our cloud and network connectivity — including data store redundancy, application migrations, and state of the art network security — who clearly understands the importance of our SLAs, is critical to our success,” said SMA. “It’s cliché to say we can now focus only on our work, on our applications and research — but we can, and we do.”
“It’s cliché to say we can now focus only on our work, on our applications and research — but we can, and we do.”
“Working closely with the entire SCTG team is a solid foundation for our success,” said SMA.