Transforming the U.S. Asset Manager’s Investment Analytics App with Serverless Architecture

# AWS infrastructure # Fintech # Legacy Application Improvement # Web development
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Highlights

  • Client Satisfaction and Trust: continuation of a successful partnership with the client, building on prior collaborations on Data Collection and Web Crawler applications.
  • Strategic Cloud Transformation: successfully migrated a failing investment analytics platform to the cloud and achieved close-to-limitless scalability.
  • Operational Efficiency and Cost Reduction: leveraged AWS and serverless architecture for dynamic scalability, increasing processing speed.

Client

Our client is one of the U.S.’s largest asset management companies, with 12 000 + employees in 32 countries and an investment portfolio in excess of $200 billion. The company provides investors with various investment information, forecasts, and proprietary analytics.

Prior to when Morningstar approached us for assistance, we had developed a Data Collection application and a Web Crawler application for them. The client was highly satisfied with the results of the two previous projects and engaged us to overhaul their failing investment analytics platform that hampered the company’s business growth. They hired us to extend their in-house team and play the leading role in implementing this mission-critical project.

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Product

Morningstar’s investment platform affords investors an in-depth, holistic view of the  various investment opportunities on the U.S. stock market they can benefit from.  It publishes  a large number of analytical materials (articles, security company reports, stock reports, and more) users can subscribe to.

To keep better tabs on their investments, the user can create a portfolio of their stocks and securities. They can link the portfolio with their trading accounts and add the brokers they purchase from to dynamically see the profit they earn on their stocks. Besides, the system gives the user some analytical insights related to their portfolio, for instance, it’s possible to learn whether the portfolio is diversified enough.

The client’s platform rates all the companies it provides using multiple criteria. The company profiles the application includes allow the user to get familiar with detailed company info and see its rating. 

Now, the platform boasts a powerful advanced search capability that allows searching for stocks using diverse criteria, including yearly return percentage, price-to-fair value, the platform’s proprietary company rating, and others. 

The application allows creating watchlists to track the performance of stocks prior to their purchase. One can build charts to see the performance of stocks over a span of time, as well as compare different regional markets in relation to the different asset classes. 

The Investment Calendar of the client’s investment analytics platform helps the user keep track of the various important investment events, like IPO releases, dividend payments, etc.).

Goals and objectives

  • Migrating the Solution to the Cloud:

Migrate from a low performing legacy platform to robust cloud infrastructure and enable the customer to meet their business goals.

  • Leveraging Serverless Architecture:

Enable dynamic and cost-effective scalability solutions while minimizing infrastructure management overhead.

  • Creating More Advanced Features for Investors:

Add more advanced functionality for asset management since the customer’s business growth plans also covered expanding their service offerings. 

Project challenge

  1. Platform’s Near-Limitless Scalability Expected:
    Since adding new features to the existing system was virtually impossible, the customer expected us to transform the platform into an ultimately scalable solution.
  2. Integrating the Platform With the Client’s Aggregated Accounts System and Stripe:
    This posed another challenge since it required careful planning to ensure seamless communication between components.
  3. Ensuring the System’s Resilience to Extremely High Loads:
    The customer expected an updated platform to withstand 1 million users daily so we had to find a way to make it possible.

Solution

SPD Technology’s project team (consisting of 1 Engineering Manager, 3 Full-Stack Developers and 1 Quality Assurance Specialist) completely overhauled the client’s legacy platform into a Cloud application. By skillfully leveraging the potential of AWS, we’ve achieved the required high-load capacity. The selected solution has also allowed us to significantly increase the system’s processing speed.

To achieve the required integration with the client’s aggregated accounts system, we made an additional effort and interacted directly with several different departments within the client’s organization.

To provide support for the client’s business objectives, our project team has:

  • Developed a great deal of investment analytics functionality, including watchlists, the charting capability,  Investment Calendar, markets’ comparison, investment analytics, and more.
  • Developed the Investment Calendar and Portfolio Management feature which now allows creating, updating and managing investment portfolios. 
  • Expanded the platform’s advanced search (Screener) functionality significantly. We also enabled searching for stocks with a set of criteria and grouping the found stocks into criteria-based collections.

Tech Stack

Web
  • Java WebJava
  • Vue.js WebVue.js
  • Nuxt WebNuxt
Infrastructure
  • AWS InfrastructureAWS
Third Parties
  • Stripe Third PartiesStripe

Our results

  1. The Platform Withstanding 1 Million Users Daily: from a slowing-down legacy system to robust and investor-centric platform, our team executed a strategic overhaul.
  2. Ultimately Performant and Scalable Solution: delivered a solution with almost unlimited growth and scalability potential.
  3. Reduced Infrastructure Costs: the strategic decision to transform a legacy system and migrate it to the cloud resulted in a significant reduction of operating costs for the customer.
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