Big Data in Finance Your Guide to Financial Data Analysis

The scope of these projects is extensive, and includes predictive modeling, risk management, customer analysis, and algorithmic trading. Machine learning has made incredible progress, allowing computers to make human-like decisions and execute trades at speeds and frequencies that are unimaginable for humans. Algorithmic trading has become synonymous with big data due to the growing capabilities of computers.

Indeed, computers will perform some functions better, whereas some aspects of finance need human involvement. Automatic trading, which hugely relies on artificial intelligence and bots, and trading that operates on machine learning are eliminating the human emotion factor from all this. At the moment, new traders can as well use strategies tailored to assist them in making trades without any bias or irrational moves. The authors are grateful to Audencia Business School, Nantes, France, for a grant to study big data and high-frequency trading in financial markets.

As markets moved to becoming fully electronic, human presence on a trading floor gradually became redundant, and the rise of high frequency traders emerged. A special class of algo traders with speed and latency advantage of their trading software emerged to react faster to order flows. With the ever-increasing volume of data being generated today, asset manager and institutional investors are exploring several tools and big data platform that provides portfolio management features, risk analytics, and trading capabilities.

Digital Paradigm Shift – Take time for understanding it before it’s too late…

Data is becoming a second currency for finance organizations, and they need the right tools to monetize it. As large firms continue to move towards full adoption of big data solutions, new technology offerings will provide cost-effective solutions that give both small and large companies access to innovation as well as a sharp competitive edge. Whether the core issue is customer experience, operational optimization, or improved business processes, there are certain steps that financial organizations must take to fully embrace the data-driven transformation that big data and cloud-based solutions promise. With thousands of assignments per year and dozens of business units, analyzing financial performance and controlling growth between company employees can be complex. Data integration processes have enabled companies like Syndex to automate daily reporting, help IT departments gain productivity, and allow business users to access and analyze critical insights easily. Data is critical for most financial institution’s business as well as investment patterns.

  • For instance, the history of Margin calls and disputes generated through Acadia’s Margin Manager tool provides deep insights into the mechanics and behaviors of industry participants.
  • In conjunction with big data, algorithmic trading is thus resulting in highly optimized insights for traders to maximize their portfolio returns.
  • It’s natural to assume that with computers automatically carrying out trades, liquidity should increase.
  • Given that algorithms can be created with structured and unstructured data, incorporating real-time news, social media and stock data in one algorithmic engine can generate better trading decisions.
  • Thanks are also given to Professor Ricky Cooper and Professor Ben Van Vliet (Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology) for comments made on prior drafts of this article.
  • The issue is that traders who would manually work with Fibonacci ratios also had to fight their personal emotions.

Consequently, high-frequency algorithmic traders use a vast amount of historical data with various statistical models to maximize their trading profits. Until recently, high-frequency algorithmic trading was the domain of institutional traders with access to supercomputers. Nowadays, any investor can potentially make high-frequency trades because of easy access to big data and software to analyze and execute trades. With that in mind, Borsa Istanbul introduced real time big data analytics as a product to its customers.

Recognizing Profitable New Markets

The financial services sector, by nature, is considered one of the most data-intensive sectors, representing a unique opportunity to process, analyze, and leverage the data in useful ways. Retail trading among super fast computers with well tested trading software big data forex trading is like jumping into shark infested waters. With heightened market volatility, it is more difficult now for fundamental investors to enter the market. Within those split seconds, a HFT could have executed multiple traders, profiting from your final entry price.

As the industry matures and sees greater adoption of data and automation, it provides new opportunities to deal with more issues before they are escalated to be a formal dispute. Today, development in this sector (known as insuretech) continues in the “Age of Data” with an annual investment worth $5.7bn USD by focusing on different networks and payment systems that integrate data collected with the classical insurance sector in 2018. Algo trading is widely used and successful because it replaces human emotions with data analysis. Volume-weighted average price strategy breaks up a large order and releases dynamically determined smaller chunks of the order to the market using stock-specific historical volume profiles. Mean reversion strategy is based on the concept that the high and low prices of an asset are a temporary phenomenon that revert to their mean value (average value) periodically.

Big Data in Trading

By 2009, high frequency trading firms were estimated to account for as much as 73% of US equity trading volume. A comprehensive strategy will span across all departments, as well as the network of partners. Companies must examine where their data is heading and growing, instead of focusing on short-term, temporary fixes. Legacy tools no longer offer the solutions needed for large, disparate data and often have limited flexibility in the number of servers they can deploy. Financial organizations must fulfill the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) stringent regulatory requirements – developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) – that govern access to critical data and demand accelerated reporting. Financial organizations use big data to mitigate operational risk and combat fraud while significantly alleviating information asymmetry problems and achieving regulatory and compliance objectives.

The Journal of Portfolio Management

The examples above consist of third-party companies that utilize public big data to support financial market participants when making trading decisions. However, the stock market itself is also a big data-generating platform where millions of investors submit buy and sell orders to the stock exchange to trade specific securities. Once these orders are submitted, a particular mechanism electronically matches them while unmatched orders are accumulated in the order book, waiting to be executed later. In the stock markets, fund management, low-frequency trading (LFT), and high-frequency trading (HFT) are the three new concepts corresponding to long-term investors, traditional brokers, and proprietary financial firms. When compared to others, HFT investors send orders and execute trades faster and react promptly to the changing market circumstances and imbalances in the order book.

The parent company, now known as Thomson Reuters Corporation, is headquartered in New York City. Algorithmic trading software places trades automatically based on the occurrence of a desired criteria. The software should have the necessary connectivity to the broker(s) network for placing the trade or a direct connectivity to the exchange to send the trade orders.


Nearly $1 trillion was wiped off the market value, as well as a drop of 600 points within a 5 minute time frame before recovering moments later. When you’re ready to take advantage of big data for your financial institution, get started with your Talend Data Fabric free trial to quickly integrate cloud and on-premises applications and data sources. Identifying and tackling one business challenge at a time and expanding from one solution to another makes the application of big data technology cohesive and realistic. Our extensive range of products are delivered within the AcadiaPlus platform, providing a holistic approach to integrated risk management. Gain unlimited access to more than 250 productivity Templates, CFI’s full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs, hundreds of resources, expert reviews and support, the chance to work with real-world finance and research tools, and more.

Big Data in Trading

Buying a dual-listed stock at a lower price in one market and simultaneously selling it at a higher price in another market offers the price differential as risk-free profit or arbitrage. If you see the price of a Chanel bag to be US$5000 in France and US$6000 in Singapore, what would you do? Similarly, if one spots a price difference in futures and cash markets, an algo trader can be alerted by this and take advantage. Reuters is a global information provider headquartered in London, England, that serves professionals in the financial, media and corporate markets. Reuters was a standalone global news and financial information company headquartered in London until it was bought by Thomson Financial Corporation in 2008.

This mandatory feature also needs to be accompanied by availability of historical data, on which the backtesting can be performed. MATLAB, Python, C++, JAVA, and Perl are the common programming languages used to write trading software. Most trading software sold by the third-party vendors offers the ability to write your own custom programs within it. Software that offers coding in the programming language of your choice is obviously preferred. Big data can be used in combination with machine learning and this helps in making a decision based on logic than estimates and guesses. The data can be reviewed and applications can be developed to update information on a regular basis for making accurate predictions.

Big financial decisions like investments and loans now rely on unbiased machine learning. Calculated decisions based on predictive analytics take into account everything from the economy, customer segmentation, and business capital to identify potential risks like bad investments or payers. There are billions of dollars moving across global markets daily, and analysts are responsible for monitoring this data with precision, security, and speed to establish predictions, uncover patterns, and create predictive strategies.

Unlike the LFT which represents traditional financial trading, HFT is speed and data-intensive. The architecture used to process data, the speed of execution, software tools used and how orders are generated from complex mathematical modelling fundamentally differentiates them from other traders (Aït-Sahalia & Saglam, 2013). The big data implications are that HFT collect trillions of trade records to process real time events to identify LFT trading activity, giving them a technological and time advantage over their much slower competitors. Institutions can more effectively curtail algorithms to incorporate massive amounts of data, leveraging large volumes of historical data to backtest strategies, thus creating less risky investments. Given that algorithms can be created with structured and unstructured data, incorporating real-time news, social media and stock data in one algorithmic engine can generate better trading decisions. Unlike decision making, which can be influenced by varying sources of information, human emotion and bias, algorithmic trades are executed solely on financial models and data.

Structured data consists of information already managed by the organization in relational databases and spreadsheets. As a result, the various forms of data must be actively managed in order to inform better business decisions. Most algorithmic trading software offers standard built-in trade algorithms, such as those based on a crossover of the 50-day moving average (MA) with the 200-day MA.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top