February 04, 2014

The most recent release of Eikon, Thomson Reuters' flagship financial markets desktop, includes sentiment analysis of news and Twitter feeds, enhanced semantic search capabilities, integration with a user's desktop and seamless data synching with Microsoft Office applications.

Tracking news and social media sentiment to gauge and predict the impact of breaking news on market prices and volatility is a capability that many traders are looking to use. Over the past five years, Aite Group estimates that over 50% of quantitative firms are now using machine-readable news feeds. However, the data provided via such feeds has been historically too detailed to be digested easily by human traders.

[For a look at some of the newest features of Eikon, visit: 5 Can't Miss Eikon Enhancements.]

Eikon, which had 120,000 subscribers at the end of 2013, can take feeds from both Twitter and StockTwits and analyze sentiment using a proprietary methodology. The charting application can give financial professionals a picture of the volume of positive and negative tweets surrounding any listed company, as well as technical analysis which enables them to potentially spot market and company events as they happen, according to Thomson Reuters. The feed incorporates identified key influencers as well as a broad cross-section of all activity to provide a picture of global Twitter sentiment. Customers also have the ability to drill down into the underlying data to investigate what is being said and by whom.

Eikon is now also integrated with a user's desktop. Thomson Reuters has made changes to Eikon's user interface that are designed to ensure that Eikon is always available across the customer's entire workflow, no matter what application they are working in, according to Thomson Reuters.

The newest version of Eikon, which is also available in a mobile version (built in HTML5), offers enhanced charting and natural language search capabilities, according to Thomson Reuters. In addition, once Eikon is installed all future updates take place on the server, removing the need for individual updates at the desktop level.

During a meeting with Wall Street & Technology, a demo of Eikon showed that the platform's auto-suggest feature can give users suggested search words based off of the words that they started to type into the search box.

The social and news sentiment analysis in Eikon is based on the Thomson Reuter's technology that automates the consumption and systematic analysis of news. In addition it uses a proprietary system of sentiment scoring to provide a rolling average score for news sentiment that is more digestible to humans across over 30,000 listed companies. This data is overlaid by company share prices in a visual format to give financial professionals an idea of how average sentiment is evolving over time and impacting market prices, according to the company.

"The ability to incorporate social media into the analytics toolkit is becoming an increasingly frequent demand from today's generation of traders," said analyst Danielle Tierney at Aite Group. "Such functionality is no longer just a value-add, but is well on its way to becoming an important part of many quantitative strategies. The real differentiator is usability, or how this data is then harnessed to present financial professionals with an easily-digestible picture of market trends."

"Behavioral finance is an area of increasing interest in financial markets. However it has been difficult for human traders to keep pace due to the sheer volume and detail of data and the need to interpret it and spot trends immediately," said Philip Brittan, chief technology officer and global head of platform for Financial and Risk, Thomson Reuters, in a statement. "With the addition of this sentiment data to Eikon we are combining our unique content and insight with innovative visualization and analytics tools. This is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we plan to do to turn qualitative, unstructured text into quantitative and actionable insight for our customers."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology.