We sat down with Senior Director Matt Cardillo to discuss FastOLA, a custom application released in 2014 that leverages both cloud and open source technology. FastOLA, an analytics tool, compiles large amounts of market trade data from places like NASDAQ, the National Market System (NMS), Over-the-Counter (OTC) equity securities, and trades executed otherwise than on an exchange. It cuts user query time exponentially over the system it replaces by compiling data as it is received rather than compiling information on demand, reducing one five-hour query to a mere 11 seconds.
WHAT IS FastOLA?
MC: FastOLA is a custom application analytics tool that stands for Fast Order Lifecycle Assembly. Every time an order is placed for a security, there are a series of events regarding how the order is filled or eventually cancelled. FastOLA reconstructs the orders from origination through execution or cancellation by creating the linkages into an order lifecycle assembly. This gives a full picture of what happens to an order over time and helps to inform decision-making as to whether a rule violation has occurred.
WHY DOES FAST MATTER?
MC: If you have a piece of software that takes hours to run a query, you don’t want to use it. We understand that. We are computing the Order Lifecycle Assembly (OLA) as we receive the data as opposed to computing it at the time when the user submits a query. If I run an OLA that is 500,000 rows, it will return to the user in under 30 seconds. We also use caching strategies to make subsequent runs of the same OLA even faster. Once you get an answer back, you can customize your view of the data to perform additional analytics interactively.
WHO USES FastOLA?
MC: FastOLA is used internally at FINRA by market regulation analysts and their management.
HOW DOES AN ANALYST USE FastOLA?
MC: The complexity of the market has increased significantly with advancement in technology. FastOLA helps market regulation analysts replay what has happened in the market. It does this by enabling users to follow the order flow from origination to execution or cancellation. They use FastOLA to help illuminate potential rule violations in the market and evidence of incidents. When an analyst is looking at audit trail events for a particular security traded by a particular firm, they have the ability to get the associated order lifecycle for each event. They can look at the order lifecycle for a stock that was originated through a specific firm and see how the order was divided and routed to various exchanges and ultimately filled.