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As the world deals with exploding data volumes, and the need to detect and act on intricate patterns in real-time, analytics can offer several potential benefits. The ability to correlate, analyze, and act on data, such as trading information, market prices, order processing, and various other information coming through multiple sources at lightning speed, is imperative to these organizations.
With an impeccable track record in application development with big data, complex workflows and streaming data, 3forge, an enterprise application development platform, brings their time-tested solutions and practices to the forefront. The company aims to em-power its clients with timely and reliable data insights, visualization and sophisticated au-tomated business jobs through a flexible, customizable powerful environment. In an interview with CIO Applications, Robert Cooke, CTO of the company, sheds his insights on the company’s capabilities in data analytics.
Could you provide us with a brief overview of 3forge?
3forge is aimed at empowering enterprises and developers to build bespoke real-time appli-cations and dashboards. Our product, AMI, is a high-performance platform used by devel-opers to build enterprise applications. It is at the junction of a traditional development envi-ronment and a low-code application platform (LCAP) as we bring the essential building blocks, pre-built reusable components and tools for data analytics, reporting, monitoring and more. Clients benefit from the advantages of a LCAP platform - ease of build, fast delivery - without the pitfalls as AMI is high-performant, scalable as well as fully compatible with proprietary coding and existing infrastructure.
Our founders have extensive experience working with financial organizations. We were re-peatedly solving the same problem – building the same blocks of code over and over again. We took a holistic look at the inefficiencies of application development and built a robust engineering solution. With that, we were able to help them save a lot of time, time that they previously used to spend to build these bespoke solutions internally. We empower or-ganizations by providing a platform that can be scaled across various needs and can solve a variety of operational problems.
What are the trends that you see in the data analytics landscape?
We have seen that the use of basic BI dashboards has declined significantly as correlated by Gartner Research1. With simple dashboards, users look at charts, absorb information, but can’t put the data to action. Today, organizations are looking for dynamic automated workflows. If an analyst looks at a dashboard and notices something, he should be able to comment, update the chart, share the information with its colleagues and initiate a real-time cascading response. We have been focusing on these aspects of team collaboration and workflows since inception.
There is a need to build more complex dashboards and applications. This is our focus. We help customers on building a flexible tool that solves the users’ problems. In the finance in-dustry, the ability to have advanced techniques that interpret the data is a prerequisite to success.
3forge aims at empowering organizations by supporting their operations through effective and reliable data insights
How does 3forge help organizations in addressing such challenges?
We focus on identifying and solving the most complex enterprise application use cases with big data, real-time streaming and complex business logic. We have several tier-one banks as our clients. For such organizations, the only alternative used to be internal solutions, built using large development teams. With 3forge, clients have access to the pre-built elements and features to build data analytics applications. From static querying, streaming data and real-time automated workflows, we sort out sophisticated problems and facilitate the process, taking off our client’s burden.
We offer a high-performance platform, AMI, to help users visualize vast amounts of data and then act on it. The platform can be used to monitor anything from trading and market activity to systems support issues and operational metrics. With that, we enable users to explore data, find relationships, and drill-down to specifics.
AMI is installed into the customer’s ecosystem or into the cloud. Once the client sets up the software, which takes less than 10 minutes and is dependency-free, we provide a dashboard that focuses on two fundamental capabilities: perform data analytics and develop complex workflows. The key to AMI’s ability to support so many different use-cases is its data agnosticity, connecting to hundreds of different data sources, databases irrespective of format, location or size. Users can simply drag and drop content and capabilities to quickly create analytics dashboards with no code. Developers can also add high-impact code to serve more complex needs. Anything built on the platform is owned by the users.
Can you describe a particular benefit that the AMI platform gave your client?
A global investment bank and financial services company approached us for an audit tool that would enable them to visualize data across their entire infrastructure. Every order the client receives passes through their internal infrastructure. The order gets routed through a series of desks, which have different electronic trading systems. Ultimately, the order is sent to exchange for processing, and then the result is sent back to the client. This workflow con-tains multiple systems that involve complex aspects such as managing account balances, analyzing market data, and more. Each system has its own way of storing the data, and there's no common identifier to get the entire picture of an order. We built connectors and unified the systems, which enabled the users to query an order using a particular identifier. With that, our tool automatically connected the dots between these multiple systems and gave the client a consolidated picture. Many companies try to address this challenge through a data lake concept. Such an approach yields no value because the value of the data is often lost by the time the data is assembled and stitched together as it’s a very laborious and costly process.
What does the future hold for 3forge?
Our product roadmap is driven by our clients’ needs, industry best practices and a forward-looking vision. In the days to come, we are planning to further optimize our team collabora-tion and scaling capabilities. We have always provided a team experience to our clients. Nearly all other dashboarding solutions really focus on a single person building out an appli-cation. The level of sophistication that we bring enables us to offer 20 to 30 screens. With that, multiple users can build and work on a dashboard simultaneously. On the scaling front, we have been performing horizontal scaling for a long time. Now we also make use of Ma-pReduce, a programming model associated with processing and generating big data sets with a parallel, distributed algorithm on a cluster. With MapReduce, we have gained the ability to process an unlimited amount of real time data by horizontally adding additional servers to our cluster. The technology enables the users to analyze unlimited amount of da-ta and view results in a consolidated platform. We are constantly updating the platform so keep a look out for our product release notes.