September 13, 2016

Cloud-Based Apps: The Investment Process, Revolutionized

AlphaSense Staff

Cloud-based applications have become the norm in our personal lives, and over the last few years have infiltrated the workplace. Highly confidential functions ranging from finance departments running payroll to compliance teams archiving digital communications, are all done on the cloud. The advancements in these applications have been nothing short of remarkable, leaving the client / server software of yesteryear behind.

In the days before cloud-based applications, the best way to share information was via shared drives, email, various note-taking apps or analog photo copies. Often times this leads to a bigger problem, that of time inefficiencies, turning key personnel into data managers rather than focusing on making investment decisions. This process often requires meticulous content collection — kept in silos, tagging manually to organize and maintain most common content across companies.

The benefits of cloud-based applications for investment firms are many. The ability to access, search, collaborate and be alerted on accurate and timely information in a secure way is key for investment professionals to make alpha-producing investment decisions. Properly designed advanced cloud-based applications can auto-organize and make it seem effortless to search, annotate and share, allowing the analyst to focus on making investment decisions.

AlphaSense is a financial research engine that investment firms have been using to conduct research and stay ahead of the markets for years. Investment professionals benefit from saving on average 20-plus hours per week, cutting their research time by half to a third, with the ability to instantly search across multiple document types (including broker research, SEC filings, financial news and company presentations) with one search on one screen.

AlphaSense recognized that while our clients are happy with our product as a research engine, as a research management system (RMS) it allows our users to:

  • Securely upload or sync your own notes, documents and research. Your content will be automatically Smart Tagged, allowing you to organize your content effortlessly. Utilize our apps to access your content from anywhere
  • Universally search and access well organized, pre-populated, pre-tagged content, including news, broker research, company event transcripts, filings, press releases, company presentations and constantly expanding critical financial content, to gain a full 360o view of your investment thesis. Receive automated email alerts on your saved searches
  • Intuitively filter out information “noise” that comes from thousands of data points, and view documents based on multi-factor relevance scoring, allowing users to easily identify relevant information
  • Search efficiently using Smart SynonymsSM to automatically expand keywords for common financial and business terms
  • Securely collaborate by annotating and sharing key points with team members

Traditional RMS platforms come as “empty containers,” which don’t allow for the above benefits. AlphaSense saves you time and reduces the risk that you might miss important data.

The ability to annotate and share documents with your entire investment team within AlphaSense leads to more productive collaboration. In the past a Portfolio Manager may have had to download a report, attach the entire PDF to an email and send a generic note to an analyst to try and deduce any information that may be pertinent to a company they follow. With AlphaSense, you can highlight and note the exact information in a multi-page document that you want your team to research further.

From an IT perspective, cloud-based apps provide benefits such as no software maintenance, less disruptions to service, consistent performance and a lower cost of ownership. These apps can also provide security benefits from a disaster recovery perspective. However, there is still hesitancy around adopting this new platform, usually stemming from concerns around security and protecting intellectual property.

AlphaSense provides a secure platform that is easily scalable for global investment teams in multiple locations. We employ a security model that encompasses:

  • End-to-end data encryption, in-transit and at rest, using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256
  • Database, search engine and system drives that store user data separately and encrypted
  • System and processes that are regularly audited by thirty party reputed IT auditors and tested for penetration and vulnerability
  • Full accessibility to user access logs and complete adherence for compliance procedures

With both research and external information in one place, knowledge can be easily shared across the organization — leveraging your team’s work while driving performance. AlphaSense goes beyond ticker search. We provide a very powerful, unique, industry leading research engine, collaboration and research management tool that is revolutionizing the overall investment process. With information pervasive across all industry participants, “speed-to-knowledge” using a modern information retrieval toolset is what’s going to separate the alpha generators from the benchmark trailers.

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