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Digital Contact expands big data engine

First Published 19th August 2015

Digital Contact prepares to launch new new investments based monitoring tool, trading.co.uk.

Big data specialist, Digital Contact, has invested part of its $3.8 million funding to expand its analytics engine ready for the launch of its new financial monitoring platform, trading.co.uk.

Using big data, social media, advanced natural language processing (NLP) technology and analytics, the new platform aims to deliver real-time financial information and insights ahead of traditional sources.

With the expansion of its big data analytics engine, Digital Contact is able to capture and store data from over 1.6 million web sources, whilst monitoring and storing more than 250,000 social media messages per second at peak times. The platform is capable of processing up to 22 billion of these messages per day, further validating these data points, tracking sentiment and financial information around companies, markets, and sectors. Digital Contact also runs named entity recognition across each of these sources to identify who and what the content is about.

Utilising its social media analytics and NLP technology, on June 2, 2015, trading.co.uk flagged Merlin Entertainment as a potential risk, almost immediately after the tragic Alton Towers 'Smiler' crash occurred - a whole hour before the stock dropped 10%.

Digital Contact CEO, Gareth Mann, said: "What happens in seconds and minutes can drastically change the decisions traders make. Our pick-up of the Merlin Entertainment (owner of Alton Towers) accident and how it affected the stock price just goes to show how social media is a vital source of information if companies and traders want to stay ahead of the curve. However fast our news media is today, it can take as long as an hour for something to be picked up and, by that point, a story could already have emerged on social media, so making sense of online chatter is what can make or break a trade. Our big data engine is now processing more than ever before, and we're constantly refining it to see how we can push it even further, meaning trading.co.uk is set to be a market contender when we launch later this year."

Trading.co.uk has already been monitoring chatter around major companies. When HSBC accidentally tweeted the UK launch date of Apple Pay, the social conversation circled the topic on the Sunday, 12th July 2015 and by Tuesday 14th July (the official launch date) Apple's stock price had increased by $5.

A couple of weeks later, when Tesco announced it was banning sugary drinks including Ribena, Capri-Sun and Rubicon from its shelves in a crackdown on obesity, shift in social chatter was reported on the dashboard. It spotted above-average mentions of Ribena on the Tesco tag cloud between 8.00am and 12.00pm, corresponding with Tesco seeing two sudden stock price drops of 2p within an hour - one at 9.42am and one at 10.28am.

Investors using the platform would have seen the news stories breaking on the retailer as they broke, enabling them to make a decision on whether or not to sell their shares.

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