This French big data startup helps financial institutions deal with huge datasets in a split second

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An important way to keep up with modern life for a company is to use big data. But for many financial institutions that is easier said than done. They struggle with copious amounts of data that are hard to access for various reasons. French startup Indexima offers a smart technology solution for large banking, insurance and financial institutions (BIFS). Co-founder and general manager Emmanuel Dubois is giving a webinar on this very topic, but is willing to share some insights with us in advance.

The use of data can be incredibly helpful for banks, insurers and financial institutions and they know it. Between 2010 and 2015, no other industry invested as much in Big Data as the financial industry: over €50 billion. Even so, there are still massive challenges. “The biggest challenge for large financial companies is that they work with a lot of data,” says Emmanuel Dubois. “Our customers usually complain about their IT. Because when they try to load data into their dashboard, it takes minutes to refresh.” Which is why Indexima offers a solution that helps their clients to get access to their data instantly. “Within a subsecond,” says Dubois. “No matter the volume or format”.

The faster the better

In the financial sector, this speed is of the essence. “Especially in the world of finance, they need their data fast. Based on the new regulations after the financial crisis, companies need to be able to make risk assessments instantly. That means processing a huge amount of data in a split second. So most large companies in Europe face a performance issue in that matter.”

The technology Indexima has developed is considered to be middleware, standing in between the database and the software used to analyse the data. Dubois: “We can’t help with analytics use-cases. We manage the structure.” And they do it well, allowing large companies to access their treasure trove of data in the wink of an eye. The Indexima technology was invented in 2015 by current CTO Florent Voignier. He needed to answer the need of a customer. “This customer was working with visualisation software Tableau, but suffered from poor performance, so Florent was setting it up for him. After some initial tests, Florents solution was put into production.”

Big data and small details

In the fall of 2017, they founded Indexima, using the same solution. “We industrialised the prototype into middleware. As input, we get SQL queries from a business intelligence-tool and our role is to answer to those queries in subseconds. This way we reduce the width of analyses, reduce it to small pieces of data. This allows you to get access to all the details of the entire dataset. And we are able to set it up in any business or industry in a secure environment.” Especially that last part was important for the financial industry, where software solutions need to be security compliant. “We now have 16 paying customers, mostly large companies,” says Dubois.

‘My bank gives poor advice’

Working with big data in large financial companies, Dubois knows all about the challenges and opportunities. “The best companies know how to exploit their data. And these companies did it from day one. I think BIFS can learn a lot from Amazon, that is a good example. If you bought a book there ten years ago, the data of that purchase will be considered to this day. So their advice has gotten quite accurate by now. There’s a strong degree of maturation of data.”

“Now compare that to the retail bank that I’ve been a customer with for the last twenty years. They should know more about me than Amazon, but their advice is so poor. They fail to exploit their data. We meet with banks almost every day, and their security issues mostly get in the way of efficient use of their data. We like to align their resources. But IT-departments generally say ‘no’, they fear security issues.

But security shouldn’t be a reason not to give everyone in the company access to data, says Dubois. “Our solution is compliant with all security regulations, so that is not an issue. A lot of the times, we see IT-departments hiding behind security reasons because they are afraid of change. But we, on the other hand, want to give data access to many employees. This will make them more profitable because they get more insights. We work very well with companies that don’t just want to give data to the top figures. It is complicated to give everyone access to the right data. It requires a complex data architecture, cross referencing all different data from different departments.”

Indexima making a move for the US

But once it is up and running, BIFS can reap instant rewards. Just like Indexima-clients Credit Agricole and Natixis. If it is up to Indexima, they’ll add a lot more companies to their list of clients soon. “Right now the value of Indexima is focussed on the French market. But we’re planning to expand to the USA and Europe. We’re hoping to raise a Series A investment of €7 million soon, which will allow us to open up an office in the US. Expansion in Europe will go through our partners.

About the webinar

How are new technologies transforming the financial sector? That’s the focus of EIT Digital’s new webinar series. The founders of European most innovative tech scaleups will share industry insights, practical use cases and answer the most urgent questions.

The volume of data generated has been growing considerably, enabling Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector (BFSI) to create new services and stand out from the competition. In this webinar Emmanuel Dubois, General Manager of Indexima, will explain how companies in BFSI can differentiate using Big Data:

  1. How will companies in the sector be able to differentiate thanks to Big Data technologies?
  2. What are the use cases?
  3. Which technologies to use and which best practices to implement?

Want to know more? The webinar takes place Tuesday November 5th 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM CET and you can register here!

This article is produced in collaboration with EIT Digital. Read more about our partnering opportunities.

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