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HedgeStar Supports Continuing Professional Growth: Financial Data Professional (FDP) Exam

Minneapolis, MN | June 2, 2023 | By: Tanner Mathy, Analyst

Continuing Professional Growth: Pursuing the Financial Data Professional (FDP) Exam

Effective businesses leaders know that data-driven decision making gives companies peace of mind. Understanding the research and development principles behind the art of data science can help business professionals incorporate data science projects into business operations. On a personal level, I have wanted to educate myself in data science and how to handle the large datasets we wrestle with at HedgeStar. For example, it’s easy for a HedgeStar analyst to generate reports for a single client; it’s another matter entirely to generate reports for HedgeStar’s 400+ clients all at once. Operating with greater scale and efficiency is one of several strategic objectives for HedgeStar.

These and other objectives have led me to the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst’s (CAIA) Financial Data Professional (FDP) exam certification. My goals going into this exam were to better understand data-driven automation processes that could help make our valuation services more efficient. I came away from this experience understanding the thought process behind these types of projects, and other key takeaways related to data-driven decision making.

Decision makers in a company must understand the costs and benefits associated with implementing a data science project. It is one thing to have access to a large dataset, but something completely different to understand why and how it should be used. Understanding whether such a project can be implemented in-house or would require outsourcing a data-science team is a big decision that must be determined before substantial investment is made in acquiring and analyzing data.

Another takeaway I received is the idea that data, and the capabilities to use it, should be seen as a strategic advantage for a business. This goes hand-in-hand with the first takeaway – without having suitable personnel or expertise, datasets can be underutilized assets. Absent the right data users, businesses could fall victim to “overfitting” data – drawing conclusions that may not be all they seem to be.

A final takeaway I’d like to share is the necessary adoption of an iterative process to implement a data-science project. Gathering, cleaning, testing, and presenting data seldom yields the desired results the first time. Multiple iterations of data testing must be carried out, and businesses must not jump to conclusions too quickly.

My education from the FDP experience is already aiding my day-to-day work with HedgeStar. Our client services are underpinned by financial data sources. The better we can optimize their use, the more effective and accurate our deliverable work will be. Little did I know that the FDP would present to me a paradigm shift in the way a business – and individuals – can understand problems rooted in existing data that are just waiting to be solved.


Meet Tanner Mathy, Analyst:

Tanner Mathy joined HedgeStar in 2022, as an Analyst. Tanner builds trades in HedgeStar’s system of record and monitors client trading activity. Prior to HedgeStar, Tanner gained experience in commodity risk management with HTP Energy, managing fuel inventory levels on multiple pipelines based on consumer demand and available supply. He would weigh the associated tariff cost of moving fuel on the pipeline with a perceived price advantage based on HTP Energy’s competitive pricing strategy. He worked with the pricing team to ensure there was sufficient inventory to meet contract requirements and point-of-time purchases. He also worked with the supply team to understand how HTP Energy’s inventory management strategy was affected by the need to keep present supply balanced with hedging future supply needs. Tanner was also involved in project management with ENGIE, managing commercial energy-efficiency rebate applications for large-scale commercial equipment such as lighting and HVAC systems.


Tanner graduated from Michigan State University in 2020 with a degree in Environmental Economics and Management.

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