Despite the proliferation of market data platforms and custom internal applications that have been designed to replicate or replace Microsoft Excel over the years, Excel remains arguably the most widely-used mission-critical application for financial services industry professionals.
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and models are employed across a wide range of processes, from investment research and portfolio management to currency trading and loan processing, and just about everything in between. The common thread? They all require financial market data as an input.
What’s the best way to integrate market data into Microsoft Excel? Later in this article we’ll explain why a cloud-based market data solution provides an optimal combination of ease-of use and value. But first, let’s take a look at the most common ways market data can be integrated into Microsoft Excel. (more…)
Over the last 5 years, more than a million mobile apps have been developed. (Source: NY Times). Mobile apps can be grouped into two categories. The first category consists of mobile apps created for the consumer market. The second category is custom mobile apps developed for enterprises. Enterprises create mobile apps to support their particular business needs and to create a competitive advantage. Enterprise mobile apps tend to be more complex to build, as the goal is to make PC-oriented applications work on mobile devices.
In this post, I explain the advantages Xignite’s financial API mash-up platform Splice provides in improving mobile app performance. Splice lets you create composite APIs by mashing and transforming other APIs. It also offers a visual designer where you can build the exact API you need to power mobile apps. (more…)
It’s no secret that we’re now living in an increasingly connected world, one where mobile devices are transforming the way that businesses communicate with customers and prospective customers alike. Investment management firms looking to market their fund offerings and engage retail investors are no exception.
Today’s increasingly savvy retail investors, armed with the latest smartphones and tablets, expect real-time market information wherever they are, whenever they want it. They’re using mobile devices to follow the markets, monitor their current portfolio, and perform detailed research on new investment opportunities, including mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs.
There are several upstart firms who have developed innovative mobile applications that cater to the retail investing segment such as StockTouch and Wikinvest. Also leading this effort in financial services are retail brokers such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab, who released their first mobile trading apps in 2010. (more…)
This is our second post in the HTML5 series. There are number of new tags in HTML5 that aid in the development of mobile financial apps. In this post, I aim to explain these new HTML5 tags and how they facilitate the building of fully functional financial apps with native user experience.
We partnered with our friends at OpenFin, to develop a HTML5-based mobile app. They developed a HTML5-based financial app (PNL tool) for the iPad. The app gets updated every five minutes and provides quotes for securities across multiple asset classes (stock, bonds, options and futures). The app was developed in 2 weeks flat. As they say, seeing is believing. To get a feel of how powerful HTML5 apps can be, download the app for free on your iPad. (more…)
With the advent of smartphones and tablets, there has been a marked change in how people connect to the Internet. Consumers can now connect to the Internet, anytime, anywhere. As a consequence, many new mobile apps are being developed, while a number of traditional desktop/laptop-based apps are gradually getting ported to mobile. Financial service organizations have been measured in their transition to mobile apps. (To learn more about the evolution of mobile financial apps read our recent post “The 3 Phase Evolution of Buy-side Mobile Apps). There are multiple advantages, that HTML5-based financial apps offer. In this blog post, I explore the top 6 advantages that HTML5 offers. (more…)
Building financial technology software has become an increasingly complex endeavor with the proliferation of operating systems and the intense demand for financial mobile apps. Financial technology firms are also being driven by rapid changes in the consumer software industry which has resulted in pressure for dramatically shorter development cycles.
Now more than ever financial technology software firms need to focus on what they do best and seek to leave non-core activities to others. An obvious candidate for this strategy is the area of market data management. The infrastructure required to power today’s financial applications can be daunting. Fortunately, the market data cloud offers a dramatically easier approach for both financial technology firms and their end-users.
This post is the first in a multi-part series that describes the top 5 financial technology challenges all addressed by the market data cloud. In subsequent posts we will examine each of these financial technology challenges in greater detail. (more…)
If stock market pundits like Franklin Templeton’s Mark Mobius are to be believed, markets are going to be just as volatile as they were in 2011. The VIX index, a popular measure of implied volatility, made multiple excursions into the 40s last year, finally ending 2011 at 23.8, up almost 32% from 2010.
Options trading strategies cater well to volatility, offering the opportunity to capitalize on market volatility as a source of investment. That being said, most option traders typically focus on one option Greek – Delta. While Delta certainly helps in mitigating the risk of an open position, it’s important to trade Delta in conjunction with the other option Greeks – Vega, Theta, and Gamma. Each option Greek measures a different dimension of the risk in an option position. The aim of an options trader is to manage the option Greeks so that all risks are acceptable.
In this post, I’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to create your own real-time Excel-based option Greeks calculator with on-demand options data from Xignite’s market data cloud. This will facilitate your option trading process, by allowing you to look at all the option Greeks, side by side. (more…)
Our Customer Spotlight series showcases the interesting ways Xignite’s clients are using our financial market data web services.
StockTouch is an iPad/iPhone app that allows users to quickly understand in a very visual way the overall state of the stock market, and then drill down further to the individual stock level. StockTouch includes a groundbreaking interface that brings together the power of data visualization and Xignite’s financial market data. (Note StockTouch was also mentioned in last week’s Xignite blog post “The 3 Phase Evolution of Buy-side Mobile Apps”.)
Since its launch in June of 2011 StockTouch has already developed quite a following among both retail and professional investors alike. When StockTouch was first introduced the mobile app was immediately rated as “New and Noteworthy” by Apple’s iTune store. (more…)
Like many of us, you may have run into challenges when importing real-time market data in Excel, Visual Studio & SQL Server. With the recent addition of Xignite Financial Market Data to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace Datamarket, users can now pull live stock quotes directly into Microsoft Excel 2010, develop data rich applications using Visual Studio 2010 and seamlessly populate backend database with SQL Server 2010.
In late 2010, Xignite and Microsoft teamed up to make XigniteBATSLastSale, a real-time stock quote data service, available through the Azure Marketplace Datamarket, with the addition of other datasets scheduled to rollout in the months ahead. With this, Microsoft users can obtain instant online access to real-time stock quotes from the BATS Exchange. Now everyone from hardcore mobile app developers to garage based startups can obtain access to the same professional grade APIs to power their applications.
New to Xignite is the addition of OData, or Open Data Protocol, a method of querying and updating data which unlocks the data from the silos that exist in legacy applications. Today, OData is being used to expose and access information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, relational databases, file systems, content management systems and traditional Web sites. (more…)
The beauty of Xignite on-demand market data is that it can power any application from spreadsheets to major financial websites, anywhere, anytime, because it uses industry standard Web service APIs and XML data exchange formats. This is great news for Excel users, because Excel has fantastic XML support.
This is the second post in a series for Xignite customer’s using Excel that explores how to import market data into Excel using XML. The previous post in this series showed how you can import market data into Excel using a CSV file (comma separated values), the most common data exchange format for spreadsheets. As the native data format of Xignite Web services, XML allows you to go beyond the simple file import available with CSV to create direct links to Xignite Web services that allow you to update real-time market data from within Excel. (more…)