5Shawn Edwards & Vlad KliatchkoChief Technology Officer & Global Head of EngineeringBloombergLast year: 6
Have a question? Ask the Bloomberg terminal. As a result of several years of research and engineering, 325,000 Bloomberg Professional subscribers can type questions into the search bar and get results that are more in-depth and tailored to their needs than those from a conventional keyword search. The underlying technologies natural-language processing and machine learning are one of our biggest areas of investment, says Bloomberg chief technology officer Shawn Edwards. While machine learning systems that iteratively learn from experience and can extract predictive insights from large data sets is piquing interest in many areas of financial services, we are actually delivering, Edwards says. Machine learning is only as good as the training sets, and what distinguishes Bloomberg is the data, domain expertise and technology it brings to bear. Edwards leads a team of 30 charged with identifying and prototyping leading-edge technologies to solve our most strategic challenges. More than 100 technologists are dedicated to machine learning, which is also embedded in such Bloomberg offerings as a liquidity-risk assessment tool and sentiment analysis of news and social media. They are a fraction of the 4,800-plus engineers working on infrastructure, software and web development under global head of engineering Vlad Kliatchko, who like Edwards is 47 and has been with New Yorkbased Bloomberg for 13 years. Kliatchkos organization is dispersed among 26 offices in 11 countries and has grown by nearly 1,000 in the past year. Look no further than Bloomberg to get a handle on the financial data explosion: On a given day the network processes 100 billion market data messages, or ticks. Every year we have to be ready for the volumes to jump by 100 percent, Kliatchko says. Just adding hardware isnt the solution; the existing infrastructure has to be made more scalable and efficient. Although competitive strategy is kept close to the vest, Edwardss and Kliatchkos units are increasingly transparent, having recently launched the Tech at Bloomberg website. They are active in open-source projects and even preparing to publish Bloombergs database software, which could stimulate innovation in addressing performance and latency challenges. The CTO and head of engineering report to the executive committee: founder Michael Bloomberg, chairman Peter Grauer and longtime products and services head Thomas Secunda (No. 1 on the Tech 50 from 2012 through 2014). Since Bloomberg returned to his eponymous firm in 2014 after three terms as New York mayor, the tone has been dont be too conservative, Kliatchko says. We are risk takers. We should be investing in trying things out.
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