Financial Services

New research from Google Cloud reveals five innovation trends for market data

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While some traditional financial services companies have more slowly transitioned to the cloud, capital markets firms have embraced cloud computing across their entire value chains — front-, middle-, and back-office. We wanted to understand the dynamics behind this rapid adoption, the most common use cases, and the types of technology most in use, particularly as it relates to market data. Google Cloud commissioned Coalition Greenwich to survey 102 institutional capital markets professionals — at exchanges, trading systems, data aggregators, data producers, asset managers, hedge funds, and investment banks — in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

Our research found that while there are many drivers, demand for easier accessibility is fueling widespread adoption of cloud-based market data services, and associated trading infrastructures, across the buy side and sell side. In fact, 68% of sell-side and buy-side users find it critical for market data providers to offer public cloud-based data services. At the same time, exchanges, market data providers, aggregators, and trading systems are embracing the cloud as a delivery model by offering access to data directly via their own cloud services, APIs or partners.

Here were five noteworthy takeaways from the study: 

1. Cloud services are becoming ubiquitous for data delivery. Today, the cloud is pervasive, with 93% of exchanges, trading systems and data providers offering cloud-based data and services, according to surveyed executives. Moreover, 100% of those surveyed intend to offer new cloud-based services, such as derived data, in the next 12 months.

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2. Commercial and investment banks are offering additional connectivity, real-time data feeds, and trading applications delivered via the cloud, demonstrating that it’s not only exchanges, trading systems, and data providers that are moving rapidly to the cloud. Internal use cases abound as well, with 67% of those surveyed consuming cloud-deployed market data, primarily for data analytics. 88% of surveyed sell-side firms intend to consume cloud-based market data services, with digital transformation, data science and quant research as the top use cases.

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3. Buy side firms will consume even more cloud-deployed data. Today, 90% of surveyed buy-side firms are consuming cloud-deployed market data, mostly for portfolio management. 70% of buy-side firms intend to consume more public cloud-based market data services in the next 12 months, adding services such as compliance and regulatory reporting.

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4. AI/ML, powered by cloud, is moving out of the pilot phase and into mainstream use. Today, 50% of exchanges, trading systems, and data providers are offering data products or services powered by AI/ML, and of those, 42% intend to offer AI-powered trade execution and trading analytics services in the next 12 months. Within commercial and investment banks, 55% said they are currently using AI/ML in the cloud, and while that was true for only 14% of overall buy-side respondents, 44% of large buy-side respondents are using it.

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5. Exchanges, trading systems, and data providers are prioritizing public cloud for internal insights. 71% of these firms are using the public cloud, mostly for data transmission, processing, analysis, and long-term data storage. Over the next 12 months, 33% of new public cloud workloads will focus on data mining, data insights and advanced analytics, while 28% of new AI/ML tooling and infrastructure investments will focus on faster analytics and risk reviews, and 27% on data quality maintenance.

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"We see new, dramatic shifts on the adoption of cloud across market data," said David Easthope, Senior Analyst for Coalition Greenwich. “And we expect further proliferation of cloud-based services and greater consumption across the trading and investing lifecycle.”

Conclusions and future predictions

Based on the survey results, Coalition Greenwich predicts five following trends over the next 12 months:

  1. Exchanges and trading systems will continue to launch a wide array of new cloud-based and possibly cloud exclusive data services across derived data, end of day data, reference data and pricing data.
  2. Data providers will launch new data products such as pre-trade analytics powered by AI/ML in the cloud.
  3. Commercial and investment banks will offer additional connectivity, real-time data feeds, and trading applications delivered via the cloud.
  4. Buy-side firms will consume even more cloud-deployed data, including real-time market data, portfolio management data, and risk analytics.
  5. Exchanges, trading systems and data providers will explore proof-of-concepts around core systems on the cloud. Improvements to AI/ML tooling or infrastructure will ramp up as firms seek more rapid responses to risk initiatives.

To learn more about these findings, download our two full reports, The Future of market data: Distribution and consumption through cloud and AI and Exchanges and data providers: Prioritizing the cloud and AI for internal insights or our short infographic.


Research methodology 

The survey was conducted online by Coalition Greenwich on behalf of Google Cloud from March 2021 to April 2021 among 102 executives in North America (n=82), EMEA (n=17) and other (n=3) who are employed full-time and who are participants or influencers in decisions around cloud and/or senior management with a role at a company which is an institutional asset manager, hedge fund, alternative investment manager, exchange and/or trading system, information provider, information aggregator, or other asset manager/asset owner. The survey included wide perspectives from a range of firm size and asset class focus, including equity, fixed income, FX, commodities, multi-asset, and other asset classes.


Foot Notes

1.  We defined market data as direct feeds, consolidated feeds, terminal and desktop products, security and reference data, pricing data, historical data, alternative data, and index data.