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Origin as a Financial Reporting Tool

By Ariel Fischer, Quantitative Analyst, SpareBank 1 Markets AS, Oslo, Norway

“In order to fully automate a large-scale analysis workflow, it is necessary to have efficient data management, programmable analytics combined with an effective framework to put together publication quality reports.”

Ariel Fischer and his team wanted a framework for constructing complex analytical reports that supported easy access to financial models and data from different parts of the organization. They saw the need for a software solution that would seamlessly work together with their data warehouse and MATLAB code, enabling them to fully automate the production of publication quality reports. The solution had to fit into their current workflow without a long-lasting implementation phase. The solution interface had to support programmable tables, graphs and text elements where the contents could be defined using their proprietary regular expression language. Changing the layout of the report template should be easy and maintenance of the solution should be kept to a bare minimum. Additionally, the output had to be aesthetically pleasing.

The solution had to:

  • Be flexible, scalable, and easy to modify
  • Support automation
  • Output publication quality reports
  • Handle large amounts of data
  • Support different input/output interfaces
  • Interface with MATLAB
Organization

SpareBank 1 Markets AS, Oslo, Norway

Problem

Ariel Fischer and his team wanted a framework to construct complex analytical reports that support easy access to financial models and data from different parts of the organization.

Solution

Using Origin as the front end solution, they were able to create a fully automated reporting tool. This solution has been used to create a credit rating report of 150 Nordic banks.

Key Features
  • Interface with third-party software packages
  • Programming language and scripting
  • Fully customizable layout page
  • User-defined worksheet queries
  • Animation creation
  • Built-in statistical analysis

Initially, they knew about Origin’s ability to produce publication quality charts. After doing some more research, they learned that Origin could remotely access the MATLAB-workspace through its COM-server functionality. As a result, they decided to use Origin as the provider of graphics for the solution they wanted to build.

Using Origin’s layout page, they were able to easily drag and drop graphs, tables, and text to create custom reports. Customization of tables using borders and colors allowed them to reproduce the company letterhead on all reports. After successfully experimenting with the SQL-connectivity, they understood that by designing basic communication interfaces between Origin and MATLAB, data could be queried from the database, fed into MATLAB for analysis, and retrieved from MATLAB for report generation in Origin. Ariel Fischer and his team have been able to implement Origin as the front end solution to create a fully automated reporting tool fulfilling the requirements above.

This solution has been used to create a credit rating report of 150 Nordic banks. The report is designed to include a summary of financial reports of each bank as well as present and explain the derived credit rating from the underlying credit model. In addition, analysis of aggregated statistics is presented as a function of time. Once new financial data is registered in their data warehouse, an updated credit rating report will be created by the click of a button.

Ariel Fischer says: “The most central Origin feature in this project is the COM-server functionality combined with Origin C and LabTalk, which allows for a seamless integration of Origin with our existing data storage and analysis tools. Additional powerful features of Origin that were utilized include: worksheet queries, animation creation, built-in statistical functions and the import interface. Origin proved to be all-in-all the smoothest way to manage the different elements in the report. The quality of the output is beyond what I have seen in other graphing/analysis-software.”

There are currently three other projects under development for Ariel Fischer and his team, and Origin will play a pivotal role in the completion of these projects.

Click to open the PDF file generated by Origin

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