With an average of $6.6 trillion of trades per day, Forex markets underpin many investments and all international capital flows.
With an average of $6.6 trillion of trades per day, Forex markets underpin many investments and all international capital flows. With millions of trades going through every hour the ability to make good trades or to advise on effective trading strategies depends upon participants having access to the right information at the right time.
With research underpinning such a critical part of the global financial ecosystem, it is imperative for research publishers that their material reaches their audiences and is read. A research publisher’s success comes from making their output an integral part of their clients’ success, which is achieved by delivering research in an appropriate and easily digestible manner.
Secondly, for market participants, it is imperative that they can access the relevant information and gain insights upon which to make informed choices, provide suitable advice and demonstrate differentiated value which meets their client’s ambitions for returns. This can only be done if all market participants can fully capitalise on the intelligence they receive via research reports and news articles. Banks and other financial institutions produce and receive hundreds of pages of research each day, yet these reports are seldom used to their optimal value.
Optimisation of research is vital, yet this is not often possible due to the incumbent search methods. For example, when a portfolio manager is researching information to rebalance the weighting of a fund, or a salesperson is responding to a client query or supporting them with the execution of a trade, these traditional search methods are falling short. Such scenarios typically require scrolling through an email inbox or using a traditional text-based search and then checking each document individually by using CTRL+F which make their jobs harder to do, rather than easier.
Fundamentally, some of these incumbent search functions, including ‘CTRL+F’, pre-date the internet by a number of years. In a world where other elements of financial technology see a blistering rate of innovation, the fact that tools to help maximise the value from research documents have barely moved forward is a staggering oversight.
Traditional keyword-based search inherently produces narrow, ineffective results and miss other relevant words or phrases within the context of the subject. For example, a search on the ‘pound to dollar rate’ would only reveal sections of reports that referred to those particular words. Other relevant sections containing words and phrases such as ‘sterling’, ‘cable’, ‘greenback’, ‘GBP/USD’ or simply ‘GBP’ would be overlooked and adjacent contextual references to topics that affect the Forex market, including the current UK interest rate or latest announcement by the US Federal Reserve would also be missed.
Imagine you get a call from a client asking for relevant information concerning the morning’s drop in the AUD price. You would want to answer the query with accurate, timely information about the cause, along with announcements from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Governor stating what was said, the RBA international reserves portfolio, and other influencing factors. You would also want to quickly access information about previous recent dramatic price moves and relevant research. If you are not able to respond quickly and accurately, you may inadvertently impede your client’s decision-making and potentially damage your relationship with that client. Money can be lost, relationships soured, and opportunities missed because the full-text search software that forms the bedrock of the financial services sector is based on a technology developed to solve 1990’s problems, not to provide 21 st century solutions. That isn’t to say that innovation should take place for the sake of innovation and the age of the technology used isn’t always a problem. The fax machine as a concept is over a hundred years old, and for the most sensitive wet-ink transactions still does the job well. However, the underinvestment in new solutions means that gleaning value from a large volume of multi-thematic reports, generated by a number of discrete sources is an inefficient and frustrating process. The sheer amount of data being produced on a daily basis means that these old tools are simply outgunned in the fight for better information.