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Some thoughts and considerations on the topic of Reports/Reporting and Extracts for CTRM system.


1) ‘Reports’ versus ‘Extracts’

Reports: Target end users, i.e., human readers.

Extracts: Target some downstream system or other process.


So the difference, as defined, is more about intended usage (of the report/extract) and not how is it created and/or the format (if it is an output file).


For example, a ‘Report’ could be created as a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file, same as an ‘Extract’, where the only difference is the usage.  E.g., a user could open the ‘Report’ in Excel (Excel can read in CSV files) to look at the data/the values.


A file generated could serve both as a ‘Report’ (human readable) as well as an ‘Extract’.


In addition to the above, a Report will often be formatted, i.e., contain additional formatting for a human reader, such as bold font for some text and/or a logo added.


2) Report Output Formats

Reports can be generated as

2.1) TXT – Text files with some minimal formatting like tabbed/spaced columns

2.2) CSV – Comma separated values.  This is also a text based file.  This would not support formatting like bold/italic or logos, but values could be formatted, e.g., a number as $1,000 instead of 1000.  CSV files can be opened in Excel.

2.3) Native Excel format

2.4) PDF – Portable Document Format from Adobe.  The advantages of this format is that the report is read-only by nature and you can add logos and other cosmetic (pretty) feature.

Keep in mind that a report can be generated into multiple output formats and that one ‘report’ may produce multiple files, e.g., one file per ‘Portfolio’ (a.k.a., Trade Book).


3) Extract Output Formats

Since extracts are intended for non-human consumption, these can be in a format that a human would find it difficult to understand like XML.

3.1) XML –XML format with tags.

3.2) JSON – Javascript Object Notation.  This seems to be replacing XML format as the most popular approach.

3.3) CSV - Comma separated values.  This is likely the most common format for extracts

3.4) Writing to a database, e.g., relational tables.


4) Intraday versus EOD (End-of-Day) reporting

4.1) CTRM systems will, almost universally, create a set of ‘official’ EOD reports for things like MTM (Mark to Market), PnL (Profit/Loss) and Positions (both Physical Positions and Market Risk Positions).  These reports would be one per day, so if you have been running your CTRM system for a year, you might have about 265 copies of a report, each for a different business day.  There being about 265 business days in a year. 

An EOD report will often have the date in the file name, i.e., the Run Date of the report (indicating the day it was run on), such that new reports for new days do not overwrite the prior day’s versions.  As an alternate, the reports could be output to a new Directory (Windows file system) where the date is in the Directory name.  Or sometimes reports do both.


4.2) For intraday reporting, a new version of the report will usually overwrite the prior version, since traders and other user of the CTRM system just need the latest values without necessarily needing a history.

For intraday reporting, often times the ‘Report’ will not even get output anywhere (i.e., not written to a file) and, instead, just be viewed within a CTRM system.  i.e., would be transient versus an EOD report being ‘permanent’. 


5) Report versus Raw Data

5.1) Many CTRM systems will create raw/source data that then will get pivoted into a report.  E.g., a PnL (profit/loss) report might have raw data of

a) Deal number (a.k.a., Trade number)

b) Portfolio of the Trade (a.k.a., Trade Book)

c) Trade Type

d) Trade Date

e) Market/index of the trade, e.g., NYMEX Natural Gas

f) Trader

g) Some other trade attributes, potentially.

And then values like

h) ‘Prior Day MTM’ (mark to Market)

i) ‘Today MTM’ (mark to Market)

j) PnL (profit/loss, i.e., change in MTM from one day to the next).



Introduction to CTRM

Click on this link for a great introduction to CTRM software: Introduction to CTRM Software




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