SafeGraph now on Crux!

We’re delighted to welcome SafeGraph’s geolocation data products to the Crux platform! SafeGraph is a geolocation data provider that maintains ground truth datasets for human movement, physical places, and visits to places of interest. Connect to SafeGraph or learn more here.

ETL → EVLS TTT

In the world of Data Engineering, the acronym “ETL” is standard short-hand for the process of ingesting data from some source, structuring it, and loading it into a database from which you’ll then use that data. ETL stands for “Extract” (ingest, such as picking up files from an FTP site or hitting a data vendor’s API), “Transform” (change the structure of the data into a form that is useful for you), and “Load” (store the transformed data into a database for your own use).

At Crux, where we are serving the needs of many clients, our approach is slightly different, designed both to gain the economies of scale that we can leverage as an industry utility, serving multiple clients across multiple sources of data, and to give individual clients the customized experience that they’d expect from a managed service to meet the needs of their specific use cases.

“EVLS TTT” stands for Extract, Validate, Load, Standardize, Transform, Transform, Transform… “Extract” here is the same as above (ingest data from its source). “Validate” means to check the data as it comes in to make sure that it is accurate and complete. If a data update fails any of the Validation tests we run on it, our Data Operators are notified and corrective action is taken immediately. Examples of validations include ensuring that an incoming data update matches the expected schema, ensuring the values in a column conform to expected min/max ranges (for example should numbers in this column always be positive), or making sure that enumerated types (such as Country) fall within the accepted set of values. Validations also test data coverage: does the date range in the update conform to what is expected? If the dataset is supposed to cover companies in the S&P 500, does it in fact cover all those companies, no more, no less? Validations also look for unlikely spikes and jumps in continuous data, identifying outliers for closer examination by our Data Operators.

“Load” is as above (store the data into a database). “Standardize” is a set of special Transformations that get the data into an industry-standard form that makes the data easy to understand, easy to join across multiple datasets from multiple vendors, easy to compare, etc. Examples of standardization include data shape (such as  unstacking data and storing it all as point-in-time), entity mappings (such as security identifiers), and data formats (such as using ISO datetimes). We do of course store the raw data exactly as it comes from the data supplier, which customers can access as easily as the cleaned/standardized version.

We leave a gap between the “S” and the “TTT…” because at that point the data has been loaded, checked, and put into a form that should suit the needs of most customers as is. We call this spot “the Plane of Standards”. The “TTT…” are any number of specific Transformations that are required by individual clients to suit their own use cases (mapping to an internal security master, joining several sets of data together, enriching data with in-house metadata, etc). Those Ts give clients the ability to have a customized experience when using Crux.

The goals of all this are to be able to gain economies of scale and mutualize the effort and cost of the commoditized parts of the process, making it cheaper and faster for everyone, while still giving clients the ability to get a bespoke output to serve their individual use cases. Crux does not license, sell, or re-sell any data itself: Data Suppliers license their products directly to customers, maintain direct relationships with those clients, and control who has access their data on the Crux platform. We work in partnership with Data Suppliers to help make their data delightful for our mutual clients.

Spring Community Newsletter – Creating Data Harmony

Hello from the CEOPhilip Brittan, Crux CEO

The Crux team has ramped up our rhythm, and our efforts are reverberating in the marketplace. As you may have heard, Citi invested $5 million in Crux earlier this year. This support from Citi affirms the resonance of our services for leading companies. Helping people work in harmony with data creates meaningful movement forward.

My musical metaphors here are intentional. An unknown fact about me: In addition to several decades working in finance and tech, I’ve learned a lot about business from many years of composing music.

A composer has to keep their vision clear in their head as they work, and make sure that each element they develop truly supports it. While building a rhythm that flows and uncovering the notes that resonate, a composer relates these technical processes back to the larger purpose of the work.

I founded Crux with a meaningful mission: to create harmony between people and data. Now my role is to make sure that every element of our business works in harmony to achieve that goal. Every day, I conduct our talent, skills, and resources to flow together towards our purpose. When I face a challenge, I remind myself how it fits into the big picture and consider how my decision today can affect our company’s core goal.

Crux can orchestrate your data supply chain to deliver more value to you. We help data flow in a way that enriches everyone. That’s music to our ears, and we hope to yours too.


Crux Insights Blog: Core Access Service

Data is an unlimited resource. It holds the potential to help companies move faster, investments produce rewards, and people make smarter decisions. If only data were easier to wrangle, your business could tap into that potential now.
Welcome to Crux, where your data is ready for action. Our Core Access service delivers your business clean, organized, normalized data instantly in the cloud. So you can say goodbye to hours of busy work in the back office, and hello to the work that creates value for your business.
How does the Core Access Service for data work? Crux’s experienced data engineering teams extract, validate, load, and standardize your datasets. Insight-ready data flows into your business, empowering your front-office teams and technology. No more need for your company to build, buy, or maintain costly data infrastructure. Just plug into Crux, and you’re ready for research, risk analysis, and trading.
Click here to sign up, and bring greater efficiency to your researchers, quants, and portfolio managers. Read on to find out more about the traditional and alternative datasets we can offer you through our single access platform and API:

Crux Community

Are you curious? Do you love solving complex problems and delivering white glove service to clients.  If so, let’s talk. The Crux team is growing and seeking highly skilled talent that believes data can be delightful. Check out our job postings here.

Have data to share? Our data supplier community is growing by leaps and bounds.  Our diverse datasets range from stock quotes to corporate trends to transportation data and more.  No data is irrelevant.  Check out our network and create a profile of your own.


Out and About

 

 

STONE POINT CAPITAL FINTECH SYMPOSIUM – April 5 | The Park Hyatt, NYC

 

 

 

BENZINGA GLOBAL FINTECH AWARDS – May 15-16 | New World Stages, NYC

 

 

MBA’S NATIONAL SECONDARY MARKET CONFERENCE & EXPO 2018 – May 20-23 | New York Marriott Marquis, NYC

 

 

 

DATADISRUPT – May 22-24 | Lerner Hall, NYC

 

Crux Informatics Receives A Strategic Investment from Citi


NEW YORKMarch 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Crux Informatics, a leading data engineering and information supply chain operator, announced a strategic investment from Citi. Citi’s investment, along with Goldman Sachs and other previously announced strategic investors, brings Crux’s total funds raised to $21 million.

Data engineering typically accounts for 70-80% of the total effort a firm spends on making use of data. Crux was built to alleviate the time-consuming burden of the non-differentiated data work companies must do before they can extract value from their data. From data supplier to data consumer, Crux connects market participants to on-demand, actionable data.

“The Crux value proposition as a data concierge service, coupled with its diverse community of datasets, solves an ever-increasing challenge within financial services,” said Bill Hartnett, Managing Director at Citi.

“Citi’s investment is another gratifying endorsement from a prominent leader in the financial services industry,” said Philip Brittan, CEO of Crux. “Crux helps companies reduce the effort and money spent acquiring, exploring and processing large amounts of data. Crux implements and operates the data processing pipelines that respond to customers’ unique requirements.”

About Crux Informatics
Crux was built to solve the pain of acquiring usable data faster by helping firms find, explore, and transform data with ease. Crux offers a Data Engineering Managed Service on its Informatics Platform to take on the burdensome and non-differentiating aspects of our customers’ information supply chains so they can focus on what really matters most: driving actionable insights for their businesses. At Crux, we make data delightful.

February Community Newsletter – Data Engineering: Get to the Crux

Hello from the CEO

Philip Brittan, Crux CEO

Delightful data is useful and useable. Data Scientists make data useful through analysis that extracts valuable insights from the data. But first, Data Engineers make that data usable by whipping it into shape: loading it, cleaning it, normalizing it, mapping it, joining it, and other transformations that get the data ready for Data Scientists to wring value out of it.

While Data Science gets the headlines, Data Engineering is working hard behind the scenes to make the Data Science magic possible. And by working hard, I mean that Data Engineering typically accounts for 70-80% of the total effort a firm spends on making use of data. Data Science and the unique insights it delivers are business differentiators, but most firms spend a minority of the time on them.

That’s why forward-looking companies increasingly turn to a partner like Crux. By offloading their Data Engineering work, these companies give more time and energy to Data Science and move much more quickly to produce valuable new insights that power their businesses.

Crux brings laser focus, deep expertise, operational oversight, and a valuable network of data suppliers to help you orchestrate, implement, and operate your information supply chain.

At Crux, we make data delightful.

 


Crux Insights Blog

How can you keep the right data flowing into your business? It is simple: Orchestrate, Implement and Operate. Read about Crux’s three step process in our last blog post. 

 

 


Five in 5 with Head of Data Engineering Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark is Crux’s head of data engineering with a tall ask. At 6’6” he sees the full spectrum of data needs for Crux clients. With deep experience in managing unstructured data, he’s a master of data transportation, storage and repackaging.  Here are five questions in 5 minutes with Andrew:

 

What does a data engineer do?
At Crux, being a data engineer means handling the tough work that makes data more actionable for our clients, and designing the tools that make our clients’ lives easier over time. Data engineers sit on the “data wrangling” side of the pipeline, meaning we are the folks who handle the hard work of figuring out where certain elements of the dataset live, slicing and dicing data, and repackaging it for distribution.

 

How has the data engineering landscape changed in the last 5 years?
Today, the folks managing information supply chains are embracing the fact that the whole process does not need to exist on-premises anymore. While firms used to believe their data engineering was their “secret sauce”, today they realize it’s the insights they can glean that are more important. Using experts like Crux to remove as much of the tedious, upfront work as possible is now the preferred model.

 

What are you most excited about?
At Crux, we’re illustrating the art of the possible for our clients. What was once difficult has now become easy. Helping clients realize the full potential of their data is truly exciting.

 

What do you do when you are not engineering data?
I am a big outdoorsman, so my favorite activities tend to be outside. I am an avid cyclist, I have a motorcycle and am currently building an airplane.

 

What would geolocation data tell us about you?
If you were to assess my geolocation data, you’d probably find that when I am not working, I like to go to places where the population density is low. This means you’ll probably find me on my bicycle, hiking, or somewhere outdoors and away from the city.

 


Crux Community

Is it difficult to get access to useable data? Let Crux experts engineer your data to make it ready to use. Our data engineers take on your data challenges so that you can spend your time finding signals. Click HERE  to chat with our team of experts.

Have data to share? Our data supplier community is growing by leaps and bounds.  Our diverse datasets range from stock quotes to corporate trends to transportation data and more.  No data is irrelevant.  Create a Crux login HERE to browse our network and become a supplier.


Out and About

We’ve been building our community. In the past month, we’ve met with hundreds of suppliers and buyers of alternative data.

 

Quandl Alternative Data Conference | January 18, 2018
New York, NY

 

Battlefin Discovery Day Miami | January 30-31, 2018
Miami, FL

 

Outsell Data Money | February 1, 2018
New York, NY

 

AI in Fintech Forum | February 8, 2018
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Inside Market Data: Industry Heavyweights Unveil Startup ‘Data Wrangler’ Crux, Raise $10M Funding

Originally published November 8, 2017 at Inside Market Data

Author: Max Bowie

“I had the idea that there was an opportunity in the market that was not being met. At Bloomberg, Google and Thomson Reuters, I was on the supply side of the market. I saw the burden that companies faced in trying to make use of data—and nobody was stepping up to help clients with this,” he says. “So late last year, I started getting serious about it, and spent this year getting started, finding the right partners, getting people involved, talking to clients, creating the product and testing it with the market. We tried to listen to clients about where their pain points are.”
These pain points tended to be around identifying and integrating new sources of data and processing it in such a way as to be useful to firms. To address these challenges, Crux’s offering comprises three core areas: a “supplier network” of data sources that allows potential users to find, evaluate and procure new content via an online portal; a managed “data engineering concierge” service that leverages Crux’s team of data scientists and engineers to clean, normalize and transform raw data from those sources into “actionable” formats specific to each client; and its informatics platform—a “secure and scalable” cloud environment in which firms can analyze that transformed data in different ways, share it with other applications via a suite of APIs, and control who can access it via granular entitlements.

Reuters: Goldman Sachs leads $10 million investment round in data startup Crux

Originally published November 8, 2017 at Reuters

Author:  Anna Irrera

Crux’s platform processes the data for financial firms, including banks, hedge funds, private equity groups and insurers, so they can focus resources on carrying out more differentiating tasks such as building artificial intelligence algorithms to extract value from the information.

This removes the biggest pain point, or “crux” of data analytics in finance, said Philip Brittan, chief executive of Crux.

“Everyone is looking at how to get more data and how to get more value out of the data that they have,” Brittan said in an interview. But “firms spend the majority of their data time on stuff that is not differentiated,” he added.

Crux does not sell or resell the data, but has established a network of information suppliers to help clients discover new sources.

Silicon Angle: Fintech data startup Crux Informatics raises $10M to ‘make data delightful’

Originally published November 8, 2017 at Silicon Angle

Author: Eric David

The San Francisco-based company calls itself a “data engineering concierge service,” allowing businesses to extract value from their unstructured data quickly and efficiently. Rather than doing the data analysis itself, which is generally left up to specialized artificial intelligence programs, Crux instead extracts and organizes companies’ data to make it more digestible. The company specializes in financial data for banks, hedge funds, financial firms and so on, which is what drew Goldman Sachs to the startup.

American Banker: Data service startup Crux gets $10 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs

Originally published November 8, 2017 at American Banker

Author: Penny Crosman

It’s a given that banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, research firms and others have an insatiable need for data to make decisions – where to place bets, what companies to buy or fund, to whom to extend credit, and so forth.

Finding the right data from new sources, including data aggregators, alternative credit bureaus and satellite imagery, and making it readable to existing programs is a huge chore.

Techcrunch: Goldman Sachs leads $10 million round for data structuring startup Crux Informatics

Originally published November 8, 2017 at Techcrunch

Author: Jonathan Shieber

“Think of Crux as a Switzerland for data storage and services. The company won’t reveal any information or resell to anyone else the proprietary information it processes and holds for its clients. It’s merely a processing engine for taking the data that big banks and businesses that depend on big data sets need, and crunches that data — reducing it to the metrics that matter most for the clients it serves.”