Why edge computing workstations are the future for financial analysts

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HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation. (HP)
HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation. (HP)

In the fast-paced world of financial analysis, trading and decision making, high-performing workstations at the source of the data can enable finance professionals to get the most from their devices for all their real-time analysis needs.

Edge computing is computing that's done at or near the source of the data, instead of relying on the cloud at one of a dozen data centres around the globe to do all the work. Data at the edge is not meant to replace the cloud, but rather is an extension of it and can work mutually in a hybrid data-collecting model, bringing the cloud to you.

According to Gartner, while only about 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional data centre or cloud today, this figure is expected to soar to 75% by 2025. The arrival of 5G networks and a boom in connected devices as part of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will produce vast quantities of real-time data - all of which will need to be rapidly analysed to inform timely business decisions.

Developments in commercial hardware, such as the Z by HP workstation series, gives financial services professionals the ability to crunch large numbers at the source of the data in a speedy environment primed for better decision-making.

Whereas cloud computing relies on sending data to one of a dozen networks globally, edge computing is becoming more and more necessary to analyse real-time data quickly at the source of the work, and cuts out bandwidth costs and lag time.

"The ability to do intelligence or knowledge discovery at the point of data collection is critical in many applications now," says Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist and Executive Advisor, Booz Allen Hamilton. "To manage fast moving data of all kinds of variety you need edge devices that are at the point of data collection - and are specific to the type of data collection - whether it’s imaging data or stream, like cyber network data, whatever is at the edge. You no longer have the luxury of bringing data back to your business centre and spending a year analysing it."

Rapid decision-making, no lag, cost cutting

One implication of this shift in focus is that the hardware requirements for edge computing are going to change. Vendors are moving towards more powerful systems such as workstations or even micro data centres.

For businesses, data scientists and analysts handling vast amounts of data, workstations enable prediction-based outcomes and a way to combat the cost of transmitting data back to a data centre or the cloud. It also opens possibilities in machine learning. In financial services, for example, data scientists can train algorithms to assess in real time if a transaction is unusual for a particular customer, and request verification or even block it if there is at least a 95% probability of it being fraudulent. It also fits perfectly with tasks that are common in finance and insurance, performing underwriting and credit-scoring tasks that can help employees make speedier and more accurate decisions.

Advances like these are propelling artificial intelligence outside of the data centre and into devices and machines we use in our work and our everyday lives, including mobile workstations and chips.

"All of those things will be out on the edge collecting, filtering, and making data so that the cloud isn’t the endpoint for everything. This means you’re not hung up waiting for all the data to be processed up to the cloud to make a business decision," says Jared Dame Director of AI and Data Science, Z by HP.

Workstations for financial professionals

Be it on the trading floor or in the corporate office, financial services companies have distinct computing needs too. HP’s new Z workstations helps meet those needs with a portfolio of workstations that is available and supported globally.

The workstations are designed for extreme performance, reliability and easy servicing - characteristics that help avoid downtime and keep staff productive on both desktop and mobile systems.

The Z-series enables a choice of single- and dual-processor designs, small and regular form factors, ECC memory options, and support for up to eight monitors. HP also maintains dedicated workstation design and engineering teams to offer support globally.

When it comes to personal computing, Z workstations massively improve your experience, providing features and benefits that go far beyond those of today’s business and consumer systems, and have entry price points that can rival those of desktop PCs.

For financial service professionals, the revolutionary Z2 Mini Workstation for the trading desk delivers breakthrough power and versatility in a small, elegant design. It is made with direct input from global financial customers, it gives you both performance and reliability for the best trading desk experience.

The HP Z Workstation family meets the full range of your analysis needs - from performance driven computing and design work in space-constrained environments to extreme visualisation and analysis with complex datasets.

The products are available from Datacentrix - a HP Amplify Power Services Partner.

Data is increasingly being generated at the edge rather than the data centre, and a real-time response is needed. Businesses need to evaluate how and where data is collected and used in their organisation, and how performing analytics at the edge of the network can boost performance.

Learn more about HP’s Z Workstation and its benefits here.

This post was sponsored by HP and produced by BrandStudio24.

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