NCDEX chose Vertica as the platform for its data analytics environment — significantly reducing TCO, increasing performance, and giving business users easier access to their data.

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Success Highlights

96.6% lower database licensing fees

27.8% lower hardware costs

77% reduction in data requests from business users

Accelerates data ingestion and reporting


Who is NCDEX?

National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) is a multi-commodity exchange that is revolutionizing India’s agricultural sector. NCDEX is the country’s largest agricultural derivatives exchange, working as an efficient platform for price discovery and price risk management. By enabling the trading of financial instruments, including commodity futures, options in goods, and index futures, NCDEX serves the needs of all participants in the agri value chain.

Catch Media Case Study

At a Glance

Industry
Financial Markets

Location
India

Challenge
Democratize access to data analytics within the
enterprise, accelerate reporting and increase
flexibility, while cutting costs.

Products and Services
Vertica Analytics Platform


Giving Control to Business Users

To support business growth, NCDEX wanted to ensure that its internal business users had access to fast and flexible tools for financial analysis, modeling, and reporting. With the company’s existing Oracle toolset, business users were overly dependent on technical subject-matter experts (SMEs) to perform actions such as creating new reports or preparing new subsets of data for analysis. These SME skills were expensive and hard to find in the market. Equally, the solution itself was costly to license and to run, in part because it required specialized dedicated server hardware.

Shreekanth Shivram, Senior Vice President at NCDEX, explains: “We were unable to expose data directly to business users, so they weren’t able to slice and dice it or try out new ideas for themselves. Making any changes to reports required the time and specialist skills of an Oracle SME, which meant the business couldn’t adjust its analyses quickly when external conditions changed.


Success Highlights

50% increase in engagement through data-driven segmentation

Management of one-to-many relationships

Flexible data hosting options

Unlimited historical data querying without need to pre-aggregate


At a Glance

Industry
Business Services

Location
California, USA

Challenge
Implement a data analytics platform capable of tracking hundreds of millions of users, with tens of billions of data event transactions processed in near-real-time on a monthly basis, with no data aggregation or reduction in query performance or feature limitations.

Products and Services
Vertica

Overview

The Catch Media platform enables clients to provide and monetize great digital experiences for their users by delivering appropriate, timely, and seamless interactions across devices and markets. Catch Media licensees create opportunities while more effectively connecting with their constituents through context-aware promotions, messaging and content delivery.

Challenge

The media and entertainment industry is changing rapidly. Film studios are overtaken by TV streaming players, the music streaming market is exploding, and an estimated 33 million customers have “cut the cord” in the U.S. by the end of 2018, choosing streaming options instead. Content providers have to put the right material in front of the right customer at the right time. No one is more aware of this than Catch Media, whose platform provides unique opportunities to drive revenue, gain deep customer insights, and offer personalized experiences and targeted marketing. CEO Yaacov Ben-Yaacov explains why being data-driven is crucial to Catch Media’s success: “Through our platform we track over 300 million users, with millions of pieces of metadata processed in real-time, cross-referenced with 10s of billions of transactions processed. To drive lifetime value for our clients and partners, such as Sony, Hungama, Thai Telecom (AIS), and others, we are passionate about segmenting, communicating, and engaging with consumers in a meaningful way. This requires sophisticated and scalable data analytics, which we were lacking.”

“The database we had simply wasn’t scalable and enterprise-ready enough to grow with us”, he continues. “When we looked at alternatives, we were keen to avoid any solution that locked us into a particular data storage model, i.e. on-premise or cloud- based, as we want to offer our clients flexibility. We also didn’t want to see escalating costs as we grew to be more sophisticated and therefore more demanding of the data.”

General analytics platforms such as Adobe and Google Analytics are not tailored to understand content. From a technical perspective, Catch Media needed a solution which could real-time filter, pivot, and query up-to-date and historical data at a granular level. We wanted to segment audiences and provide each consumer with individualized content offerings. The solution needed to handle streams of app updates as well as large batches, i.e. one billion records, from content distributors.


The ability to deploy Vertica on commodity hardware was a big advantage, as was the volume based licensing model, which promised to work much better than the existing per-socket model from Oracle.
Shreekanth Shivram, Senior Vice President
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited
Since we went live with Vertica, our costs have fallen significantly, and we have improved performance in many areas. Another good sign is that requests for new reporting have disappeared, which shows that business users are able to manage their own data for themselves.
Shreekanth Shivram, Senior Vice President
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited

Choosing a Strategic Data Platform

Aiming to shrink its hardware footprint, reduce database licensing fees, and create a more open and inclusive analytics toolset, NCDEX set out to replace its decade-old Oracle environment. After reviewing several other platforms, the company engaged KPMG as its implementation partner.

“KPMG suggested we look at Vertica, and it was a real eye-opener for us,” recalls Shreekanth Shivram. “The ability to deploy Vertica on commodity hardware was a big advantage, as was the volume-based licensing model, which promised to work much better for us than the per-socket model from Oracle. Following a three-week proof of concept [POC], we were comfortable that Vertica was the right solution for NCDEX.”

Important factors in the POC included the time required to transform and load data from upstream sources into Vertica, and the speed of rendering existing reports. On both counts, the new Vertica environment proved capable of either matching or improving on the previous environment – in addition to offering dramatic cost savings.

“Our initial goal was simply to migrate the asis environment from Oracle to Vertica,” says Shreekanth Shivram. “We deployed Vertica in a virtualized configuration on three commodity servers for added resilience, and we migrated all processes and procedures from Oracle without changing or adding to the existing functionality.”

The migration ran smoothly over the course of three months, during which time NCDEX ran both the old and new systems in parallel to give the business confidence in the integrity of the new environment. Once the technical migration was complete, the IT function worked with ten different departments to get their certification for the new data platform and to ensure that they were comfortable to take ownership of the data. As part of the migration, NCDEX also switched from Oracle BI to Microsoft Power BI. The company used Oracle BI reports to prove the integrity and accuracy of the migration process for the backend data from Oracle to Vertica.


Achieving Concrete Benefits

For NCDEX, the most prominent benefit of migrating to Vertica has been the 96.6% reduction in annual database licensing fees. Furthermore, the virtualization of the database platform and its deployment on commodity hardware have unlocked annual infrastructure savings of 27.8% versus the dedicated proprietary environment previously used by NCDEX for its Oracle Database.

With further optimization possible, the time required to load batches of data has already fallen from three to two hours, providing a useful additional window of time to fix any overnight issues before the markets open.

“Since we went live with Vertica, our costs have fallen significantly and we have improved performance in many areas,” says Shreekanth Shivram. “Another good sign is that requests for new reporting have disappeared, which shows that business users are now able to analyze their own data for themselves. Over the course of a month, we saw an average reduction of approximately 77% in data requests, which has helped our technical specialists concentrate on other priorities.”

Looking to the future, NCDEX is considering the introduction of intra-day data ingestion and reporting – currently, analysis is performed on the previous day’s data. Shreekanth Shivram concludes: “Vertica has given us the performance and flexibility to consider new use cases for analytics. Instead of being tied up with data administration, we can really add value to the business.”


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