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Thomson Reuters opens up Eikon APIs as it takes on rival trading data platforms

Scott Carey | June 27, 2016
The trading data arm of Thomson Reuters is looking to work closer with developers and fintech firms by opening up its APIs

Design Lab

Jesse Lewis heads up the user experience (UX) team at Thomson Reuters and has been busy testing user satisfaction with the platform, both in the design lab in the Canary Wharf office and at the client using a mobile lab.

As Lewis puts it: "We try and create an environment that a trader might have, without all of the distractions and noise and abuse and we integrate that with various sensors and systems that allow us to elicit as much information as possible from every integration we have."

"The challenge for us is to take all of the content and data analytics that we are responsible for presenting to the customer and presenting it in a consistent format. So the idea of this space is to help us to do that. To keep, through iteration and consistent upgrades, improving that engagement and experience." Lewis will test multiple employees using a variety of sensors, including eye tracking, across a range of devices and modalities to ensure a consistency of approach.

Lewis is seeing a change in the way a trading floor looks and the way people engage with their display: "It's not surprising that the urban myth is you go onto a trading floor and and someone hasn't changed their display for 12 years," Lewis observes, "but you have the new trader that has come through education and they are so keyboard savvy, they are using tab commands to navigate every window and they never touch the mouse."

Eikon has been working hard on its UX since 2013, when it introduced better visualisation and natural language search capabilities. The aim now is to develop the platform with an agile methodology, moving "from big monolithic changes, to small discrete moves," says Lojko.

Playing catch up

The traditionally opaque financial sector is still playing catch up when it comes to open API strategies and UX though. As Todd Latham, VP for marketing at fintech startup Currency Cloud, told Techworld last year: "Banks have not traditionally been 'sharers' when it comes to technology, but as the financial services industry continues to evolve, they will become increasingly reliant on the flexibility that comes with use of APIs."

Thomson Reuters still appears to be lagging behind Bloomberg in the race to dominate traders' desktops, with Eikon reporting 123,000 customers back in 2014, compared to Bloomberg, which claims to have 320,000 users worldwide. However, as analyst Rik Turner of Ovum sees it: "Clearly initiatives like this one, facilitating app development on their platform, is a positive one."

Bloomberg has been engaging with the developer community since November 2012 with its App Portal, bringing together its own trading data APIs within the Bloomberg Terminal platform. Thomson Reuters will be hoping that its own all-in-one approach within Eikon will help drag traders away from its rival platform.

Source: Computerworld UK 

 

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