The Data Horizon

With Daryl Bowden, Partner and Head of Equities, Sunrise Brokers

Daryl BowdenWe are increasingly driving towards the idea that there is no such thing as coincidence in how brokers deal with their clients – so much of what we do is data driven, and with the right systems the effort can be stripped out and replaced with as much automation and evidence as possible.

The sales trader function is being pushed up the value chain, and buy-side dealing desks are becoming internal specialist sales traders. There is an inevitability to the movement of systems and people to the buy-side and they need to prepare for the challenges that they will soon face. They can learn from the mistakes that the sell-side made when implementing their systems, and ensure proper collaboration and control systems are designed into the technology, rather than tagged on afterwards.

With the ongoing shift to HTML5 and the cloud, technology should be more bottom-up, with the view that users of the system are ultimately those who decide what the system is and what characteristics it has.

Developers also need to have more information about their users’ use patterns – we believe that all forms of content are ultimately alerts; users need to be able to interact with, and share, the information that they find important regardless of source and form. And by structuring this with tags it gives the client the ability to select sources of brokers and stocks: it allows them to cut the noise from their networks.

Another important theme is contextualisation, in that relevant alerts have to be rolled in with known market information that the user may not have linked together. Our work focuses on the creation of knowledge from data; by a process of organisation; enhancement and analytics. Data services alone will not be enough in the future. Computer systems will soon be capable of answering questions that haven’t even occurred to the user. This supports decisions and reaffirms the network of information, which is then further enhanced through the sharing of this information with peers and colleagues.

Systems and technology are changing; there is a great network of technology firms coming together, but the challenge for the buyer and developer is making sure that those pieces of software work together, maximise functionality and are agnostic to which networks you want to plug into the hub. Our mantra is “Delivering your Content in Context on Demand”, as we know this is different for each and every user.

Change and disruption to extant technology structures in financial services is a key dynamic that requires further examination. The question must be asked; can smaller firms compete and disrupt the standing incumbents? Ultimately I believe yes, but it is a long road.

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