PLATFORMS: S-PLUS 4.0 runs on Windows 95, Windows NT and Windows 3.1 and can be installed as a network distributed program.

PROBLEM SOLVED: S-PLUS handled four essential aspects of creating and testing quantitative trading models for Maple Partners Financial Products. The development of new trading ideas starts with the search for basic patterns in the data. Therefore, strong 2-D and 3-D interactive graphics combined with simple, yet powerful, data transformation capabilities are needed to assist the visualization and expression of compact and valid relationships. Often these relationships are complex or non-linear, so various data-driven algorithms enable the extraction of information content from the data. Since any proposed relationships need to be assessed, a wide range of statistical and computational methods provide the foundation for making comparisons. Graphics, data objects and results can be easily integrated with Microsoft programs such as Powerpoint, Word and Excel. This helps to achieve the ultimate goal of the model evaluation process; namely, to clearly communicate to management an understanding of the potential performance and the risks of new strategies. Finally, a complete data analysis development environment allows trading ideas to be implemented more quickly and less expensively if they do not need to be recoded in another language. Instead, model analytics can be packaged directly using familiar Windows "point-and-click" graphic user interface objects such as dialog boxes and drop-down menus.

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