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Dream made Reality: Our next initiative

Jan 18th 2018 - by Patrick Adrian, CFA

Over 10 years ago, prior to RedQuarry, we all had the same problem as investment research analysts: No way to manage our team's work. We limped along using some combination of spreadsheets, shoehorned CRMs, and network shares. Results ranged from meh to non-compliant.

Since that time we built RedQuarry, the app we dreamed of as practitioners. Now we get to work with tons of amazing investment teams, and through that collaboration, we believe the entire industry and by extension, capital holders (i.e. end clients) benefit by establishing a better research practice. Research teams use RedQuarry to create, store, and manage research and due diligence. They can monitor the research process, collaborate with their colleagues, and share content with partner firms. They also have a dedicated team to call and talk about new ideas and brainstorm solutions. Personally, this has been one of my favorite activities.

However, back during the inception stage of RedQuarry, there was another aspect of the research management problem that we didn't solve for right away: a place and method to see and interact with data from other subscriptions and software. Things like Portfolio Accounting, Portfolio Analytics, Fund Databases, internal CRM, 3rd Party data providers, and news feeds. Ten years ago, most software firms in financial services didn't have a good way to share their data apart from flat file data feeds. Now, nearly every software tool that our users access has a Web API. With the ecosystem modernized in our corner of Investech we have been able to implement the next major initiative called RQIntegrations.

Optimize the value of the Total Operating Context

Our main goal with the initiative is to take what we call a firm's total operating context and merge it into RedQuarry's user interface. The operating context is anything that enhances or complements the research process and includes existing data subscriptions, workflow, and apps.

Essentially we are taking what a firm already pays for and use it for greater benefits and gains.

Investment research teams often have to resort to error-prone and manual data transfer methods via spreadsheet to answer simple questions like, "Do I have any client assets in a terminated investment strategy/fund/product?"

The process looks something like this:

  • export from the reporting app
  • update the approved list
  • compare the two
  • reconcile any naming convention mismatches
  • aggregate many-to-one relationships
  • email out the list to the internal team

With RQIntegrations all of this work is automated and viewable in real-time.

Brokered Anonymous Communication Across Bounded Contexts

RQIntegrations is built to broker anonymous data communication across bounded contexts...say what!? Ok, basically we have fragmented data sources that can't actually talk to each other; they are bounded. RQIntegrations acts as a broker to answer complex questions requiring data from two or more sources and delivers the merged set into the RedQuarry interface.

RQIntegrations acts as a broker to answer complex questions requiring data from two or more sources and delivers the merged set into the RedQuarry interface.

Here is an example: "show me strategies with client assets that have violated one or more performance thresholds located within 50 miles of New York City and have not had an onsite visit in the last 6 months." By activating a couple integrations inside RedQuarry, these questions become trivial to answer. We can also use a query to create automated due diligence rules, allowing research teams to design dynamic and focused research processes. RedQuarry's mission is helping investment teams capture more missed opportunities and avoid knowable losses. By making the research process more dynamic and systematic, we remove unnecessary work and allow researchers to focus more on the issues that truly matter.

Not just data, not just RedQuarry

RQIntegrations is not dependent on RedQuarry to run. It's a totally separate code base, delivering both data and UI that accommodates complex actions. This allows each of our users to have a totally unique experience. Additionally, as the platform matures we plan to allow outside development teams to leverage the code for their own purposes.