Across the world, Fitch Connect is used by asset managers, credit risk analysts, bankers and economists who need to access accurate, up-to-date information. The technology platform delivers data and research from Fitch Solutions — but each data point takes time and effort to obtain.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one of the more challenging data points: over 200 countries, reporting in different languages and document formats. For example, an analyst would need to find Tunisia’s trade website, search for the latest report and try to decipher the Arabic text, potentially with the aid of translation software.
Not the best use of time for highly qualified analysts.
Many countries report CPI on a monthly basis but Fitch Solutions was previously not able to report this data to customers, because it would be too time consuming. Matt Jones, Head of Product Architecture, has been on a mission to solve this, “if it’s being reported monthly, we should be able to share it with our customers monthly.”
Matt and his team have spent 12 months searching for a technology solution which can extract accurate data, “we have looked at 10 companies with 10 different solutions for our data extraction needs.” Eventually they came across Evolution AI’s combination of NLP and computer vision.
“Evolution AI makes it incredibly simple to extract data without having to train models from scratch or get entangled in the data science that's going on in the background.” Matt Jones, Head of Product Architecture, Fitch Solutions.
The solution enabled Fitch employees to quickly extract data and verify it before serving it to their customers. Customers can then click through to the exact report, page and place on the page that generated each data point, giving confidence in the data’s source.
It takes Evolution AI’s solution two minutes to extract data from a new report: it's now faster to produce 12 monthly reports for each country than it was previously to produce a single yearly report.
“Evolution AI reduced the time to extract raw macroeconomic CPI data from half-an-hour per country down to a couple of minutes.” Derek Ferguson, Head of Technology, Fitch Solutions.
In addition to saving time, Evolution AI is able to extract many more data points and cross validate them, to provide an extra layer of quality assurance. Discrepancies are automatically identified and flagged to the Fitch team to be reviewed and dealt with accordingly.
Once the configuration was complete, Matt was satisfied he’d solved his CPI conundrum: “What we’ve loved about working with Evolution AI is how intensely focused they are on the customers' needs. It’s clear they’ve invested heavily in user experience and they spent a lot of time understanding our specific needs.”
Acknowledgements: A special thanks to John Zhou (University of Illinois).