• How can I visualize it?

    04 December 2012
    By Yaroslav Kalinin, Senior Developer

    The first attempt to answer this question was made in 1832 while marking the distribution of cholera cases per unit of population on a map. This is considered to be also the first attempt to analyze data in the context of spatial location, and this is a starting point for understanding a Geographic Information System (GIS).

    For a long time the complexity of manual processing of a large amount of data limited the development of GIS, as well as any system essentially working with a huge array of data, but starting from 1960, with the introduction of computer graphics, the development of GIS picked up pace.

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  • Highlights from SIFMA 2012 Annual Meeting

    04 December 2012
    By Alexei Miller, Managing Partner

    A must read for anyone following financial services industry, particularly those concerned by the perfect storm of regulatory requirements now battering this sector. One of important takeaways for us (confirmed by an SEC economist at a recent Waters USA conference) is that the opinions of market participants, from investors to buy side firms to brokers are welcome and are given serious consideration. While much of Dodd-Frank rules and other regulations are still being finalized, in this post-election world it is now clear that it is here to stay and everyone better get serious about it. More on that from Waters Technology: http://www.waterstechnology.com/waters/opinion/2227405/anthony-malakian-wait-and-see-no-more

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  • Notes from Waters USA 2012 Conference

    04 December 2012
    By Alexei Miller, Managing Partner

    I attended this year’s Waters USA 2012 in New York and on the content side, it did not disappoint – the content and the panelists, many familiar faces among them, were fresh and at times funny, some truly original. However I felt that this time around, there were few people from the buy-side in the audience, which largely consisted of IT folks from large investments banks. While there were a few buy-side speakers, overall the program weighed heavier on the brokerage and banking world. Little that was said, however, applied well for the proverbial mid-size Asset Manager. It seems the Buy-Side Technology Summit, held in October, is a better fit.

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  • The Science of Data Visualization

    03 December 2012
    By Vladimir Timashov, Project Manager

    All its history, mankind has been working with the data. And (as British scientists learned) since 70% of human brain is oriented for perception of visual information, the most complex and challenging task was visualization of this data. For centuries, scientists worked hard to create graphics of mathematical functions, charts to display trends and tendencies, maps of the continents and territories. Originally all those visualizations were created by hand on scraps of paper. Nowadays, when we have computers, more and more visualizations are created using information technologies. Visualizations become more complex displaying large amounts of data, being interactive and helping people to “talk” to this data.

    The science of Data Visualization tells us how to visualize the data in an effective and spectacular way. Visualizations are created in HealthCare, Finances, Social, and frankly speaking any industry may have the need of visual data analysis.

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  • Pushing Buttons for the Blue Button

    03 December 2012
    By Egor Rubanskyi, Senior Project Manager

    Several years ago President Obama announced the Blue Button initiative for Veterans, in order that they could easily download their medical data and share it with doctors and hospitals. This initiative has now become more popular and it has expanded to become something that everyone can use to access their personal medical information. As a result over 1 million Americans have already downloaded their health records and the number is expected to increase dramatically in the near future.

    This seems like a great idea, but the U.S. government has not found a more developed technological solution and simply provides patients with their data in usual plain text format. It doesn’t allow export of more complex information which are still important parts of patient historical information such as X-Ray images, defibrillator data, or other medical sensor and devices output, that can be useful for export as well. Why not use all these years’ efforts and all these medical standards like EMR, HL7 etc.? What If the IT industry were to follow this route and all systems outputted plain text to the end user and let them decide what to do with it?

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  • Inspired by recent publication on a video processing algorithm, which is able to detect and magnify subtle periodic changes in color in the series of video frames, DataArt has started experiments on adding heartbeat measurement possibility to their Microsoft Kinect-based healthcare solution. The principle of detection is based on the fact that the human skin becomes more red when the blood pressure is at its maximum (systolic pressure), and less red when the pressure is at its minimum (diastolic pressure). For people not having arrhythmia, these changes are periodic, and therefore, its’ frequency can be caught and measured using spectrum analysis principles.

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  • Comparing Apple and Argos

    21 November 2012
    By Dmitry Bagrov, Senior Vice President of European Business, Head of London Office

    Two important things happened recently. Argos announced that they are likely to shut or relocate 75 of their stores in the UK, and Apple has announced the launch of the iPad mini.

    Both events are in fact similar in the way that they were predicted with a high degree of precision. The rumour machine has worked really well again, guessing most of the components of Apple’s new offering (screen size – 7,85 inches, a bit off; screen resolution – 768×1024, spot on; processor A5 – spot on; even the price, $329 was guessed by 9to5Mac).

    Furthermore, in the same way that Apple has battled with a continuing dispute with Samsung, Argos, once a high-street dear, is suffering from competition from the likes of Amazon and online parts of rivalling businesses. It is a wonder, quite honestly, that it survived unchanged until now.

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  • Hedge Fund Admin Duties

    21 November 2012
    By Andrey Ivanov, Project Manager

    The primary task of a fund administrator is to independently calculate the net asset value of a fund on a monthly basis. In order to do so confidently the Fund Administrator needs to be able to:

    • Verify that trades/subscriptions/redemptions took place in reality and were settled correctly
    • Verify that the investment manager used fair pricing while purchasing or selling the assets

    Verifying the trades is usually accomplished by comparing the books stored by the investment manager with that of a broker used by the investment manager. Subscriptions and redemptions are verified much the same but instead of broker books agent books are used. Among commonly used verifiers are CUSIP, ISIN, SEDOL and SYMBOL. One of the bigger challenges during this stage is to cross-reference securities reported by the investment manager against those reported by the broker. The financial industry still doesn’t have a common security identification code and investment managers trading through multiple brokers are likely to have a slightly different internal set of identifiers than the one in use by brokers. So in order to do reconciliation correctly, a fund administrator needs to be able to freely switch between CUSIP/ISIN/SEDOL or any other identifier and fill in the blank ones if needed.

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  • Microsoft’s Surface Tablet is Confused

    21 November 2012
    By Dmitry Bagrov, Senior Vice President of European Business, Head of London Office

    As Microsoft reveals prices for its Surface tablet, the concerns for the fate of the product grow bigger and bigger in the technical community. The product’s basic price is on the iPad’s level and to get the cover that serves as a keyboard a customer is expected to shell out even more.

    Thus, as long as the price would not be an advantage there should be something else Microsoft should offer to beat the competition. But what might it be? Surface runs Windows RT which is not compatible with the desktop version of Windows application-wise, so the iPad would even have a better ecosystem. Besides, using desktop applications in tablet format, while at a first glance sounding attractive always has been a nightmare. This was shown pretty well by Microsoft’s own early experiments in the tablet market with Tablet PC platform.

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  • Once again, opening my peers’ code I’ve terrified and decided to write this article. I hope for someone that would be useful at the same time and I find it easier to explain to newcomers that they have in the code is not just throwing a link to this article.

    Of course the number of these things are very, very large, so the article is limited to a few.

    Constants

    This problem concerns no only javascript but programming in general. Let’s consider an example:

    $elem.on('keydown', function(e) {
        if (e.keyCode == 27) {
            //...
        }
    });

    What is the magic number 27? People who are often faced with the codes immediately say – this is the key ESC. But most developers, especially beginners, do not remember the codes, and faced with the codes have to once again get into the search engine and wasting time.

    You can of course add a comment in the code that is handling pressing ESC, but much more effective it would be to introduce a constant, for example, KEY_ESC = 27.

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