Business Intelligence Internship – Summer 2016

As part of our continuing effort to foster excellence in our product offerings, we host a demanding, ongoing internship program for college students.  We’ve offered internships for more than a decade, but this season’s effort was different, as it focused on combining modern business intelligence tools with our own risk analytic platforms and APIs to develop financial dashboards and reporting tools for the investment community.

Financial Dashboards

Dashboards are becoming an industry must-have. Imagine’s customized dashboards provide clients with powerful financial analytics, business metrics, and current performance to measure and evaluate risk, all with a flat learning curve.  Dashboards seemed a natural focal point – and great opportunity – for our interns.

The interns received comprehensive training and mentoring at Imagine. Once their initial training ended, they began working side-by-side with both our Quantitative Analysts and Business Intelligence Analysts gaining insight and hands-on experience.

On the last day of their internship, they presented a company-wide demonstration of their dashboards. Each intern presented and demonstrated their contributions to the final project to us as if we were clients. They presented dashboards for the following investment strategy types:

  • Global Macro
  • Long Short Equity
  • Fixed Income
  • FX
  • Commodities

Slideshow of intern dashboards

Team Collaboration

Imagine works as a team, and we extended that core value to our interns. The end result was a group of interns who enjoyed both their interaction with each other and with others throughout the company.  The team experience offered them exposure to many different roles in the Business Intelligence process, which gave them a much more comprehensive understanding than they could have gained if on their own.

Here’s what the interns said they appreciated about our program:

  • Learning the basics in finance, JavaScript, and data visualization. They then took what they learned and developed dashboards they felt would provide value. Our Interns liked the level of freedom they had to define team roles, design visuals, and code dashboard behavior while still remaining a cohesive group.
  • Our Consulting Group guided the interns, providing them with the information they needed to understand the real world applications of the dashboards they created.
  • Our strategy experts provided them with the ability to better understand the rationale behind the projects they were working on.
  • The interns were mainly from technical or quantitative backgrounds that do not generally require presentation skills as part of their curricula. We wanted to give them the experience of giving a presentation to a company-wide group of professionals on a complex subject. In the end, they were proud to present tools that were actually meaningful, useful, and of tangible value.

Image-1

Schools and programs we’ve recruited from for our internships:

Our internship is offered all year, and if you’re interested in being considered for any of our sessions (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer), email  Dwayne Fauvell.

______
About the Author

Trever Evans has been with Imagine Software for eleven years and has been participating in scoping, development, and implementation of larger scale initiatives for Imagine. He holds an MS in Quantitative Financial Economics from Oklahoma State University. He is currently Director of Consulting for Imagine.

Contact Trever by email or phone: 646-827-4483.

We Have a Stress Test App–Check It Out

The Stress Test App is the latest addition to the current collection of customizable apps available in the Imagine Marketplace. Similar to the other simulation tools in Imagine, the Stress Test App uses archived data to stress current portfolios and generate robust historical simulations that estimate how a portfolio would perform under documented periods of extreme risk volatility.

The Stress Test App provides value-added features on top of regular historical stress testing abilities: advanced control over your inputs coupled with the ability to analyze your output in great detail. The App:

  • creates output that clearly explains the variables used to calculate the theoretical values
  • offers greater user-control over the logic and defaults to generate simulations

Additionally, a companion dashboard provides at-a-glance simple views that clearly identifies a portfolio’s strengths and vulnerabilities under a pre-defined stress scenarios.

A New, Flexible Stress Test Product

The stress test app is built on Imagine’s Consulting Team’s modus operandi, “Tell us what your risk technology need is and we can tailor whatever Imagine has to offer for you.”

The idea of developing a separate product for stress testing came to life when we observed our clients and general end users of financial tech products. Both groups, when using historical stress testing for estimating how their portfolios would perform during documented periods of extreme market movements, had the same two major pain points: ease of use and transparency.

Ease of Use

Our studies showed us that end users were getting lost in complicated setups. They also wanted more control over the scenario designs and stress factors and models. We addressed this concern and created a comprehensive infrastructure on which the app runs and stresses the positions. With initial setup from Imagine Consulting team, users are able to alter the setups by modifying scenarios, risk factors, and fallback strategies depending on their asset types, investing styles, and risk management needs without having to write a single line of code. On top of this, if the user wants a completely different way of shocking positions or seeing the results – for example seeing the worst of or best of scenario for a period – this is also possible as the app is very flexible.

Transparency

Users wanted two things; transparency in their results and the ability to visualize analysis with graphs, tables, and smart dashboards. These were vital for our clients, and our product makes it easy to drill-down into complex portfolio structures and multi-layered aggregations. We designed the app so users have the ability to see results in a factor-by-factor detailed data table and a fully configurable set of data visualizations that enables the user to identify trends and discover patterns. This way, what looks like a very straightforward historical stress test will help the decision makers see the “stories” hidden behind historical data available to everyone else.

______
About the Author
Murat Sen is a Consultant in Imagine’s New York office working on consulting engagements and client-facing product management projects. A native of Istanbul, Murat holds an MBA degree from Cornell University.

Murat can be contacted by email or phone: 646.827.4433