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Amazon’s AWS cloud business has launched a new data management and analytics service for the financial sector.

As is now the case in most industries, data serves as the driving force behind financial service businesses, spanning banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, and more. However, this data — structured or unstructured — often lives in a silo separate from a company’s other data. Being able to aggregate and catalog this data can help companies unlock insights. This may include identifying transaction patterns, profiling customers, and even predicting future buying behaviors using historical data.

Dubbed FinSpace, Amazon’s new service essentially helps reduce the amount of time it takes financial firms to achieve all of this “from months to minutes,” replacing a traditionally manual process fraught with governance and compliance policies with a more automated approach to finding and preparing the disparate data for analysis. This includes an analytics engine built on Apache Spark (an open source analytics engine for big data processing) that supports many of the data transformations used in capital markets, and it also allows businesses to define data access controls that adhere to strict governance policies.

As with most AWS services, FinSpace is priced on a per-usage basis, including the amount of data stored, the number of users, and the computing resources consumed to process the data. Amazon said Legal & General and Deloitte are among the first companies to use FinSpace, which is available to all companies from today.

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Sector-specific features

With cloud spending going through the roof over the past year — a trend that shows no sign of slowing — it’s clear the big public cloud companies have to specialize. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work if they’re trying to lure billion-dollar businesses from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud.

Indeed, FinSpace fits into a much broader trend that has seen the cloud giants target industries with differentiated toolsets tailored to a specific target market. Amazon, for example, already offers a range of sector-specific cloud services, including Smart Factory for manufacturing companies, and it recently introduced Amazon HealthLake to help health care and life sciences organizations aggregate and analyze their data.

Microsoft also launched an industry cloud for health care last year, and it recently announced clouds for financial services, manufacturing, and nonprofits.

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