The recent economic crisis and subsequent market downturn has spurred a significant number of retail investors to take a more active, hands-on approach to managing their investments. These investors are looking for new self-service financial resources to learn about the markets and to develop their own investing strategies.
This trend is a boon for financial website and application developers targeting retail investors.Â Financial websites and applications serving this market are in high demand, and there are a number of directions for developers to take, including:
- Financial news sites
- Research portals
- Investor education
- Trading applications
- Portfolio simulators
- Interactive games
- Social investing
To engage investors and increase traffic and conversions, financial websites and applications need to provide unique tools powered by actionable market data.Â However, getting market data integrated into applications has typically been a very resource-intensive process that distracts developers from adding value on the front end.
Introducing the market data cloud
The availability of market data over the cloud is changing the way financial website developers approach market data integrations. Â Cloud technology enables developers to bypass the sizeable investments in infrastructure, hardware, software, and maintenance that are typically associated with traditional datafeeds. A cloud-based market data solution helps firms gain economies of scale, lower costs, and increase agility.
Below are five financial website and application challenges that are addressed by the adoption of a cloud-based data management solution.
Financial website and app challenge #1
Avoiding getting bogged down in data infrastructure and management
For developers who need to integrate market data into a financial website or application, it's easy to get sidetracked by data infrastructure projects.Â What often starts out as a straightforward project can turn into something very complex, especially as new features and functionality requiring new data sets are added.
The market data cloud enables developers to leave the integration headaches behind with web service APIs that can be deployed in virtually any development environment. Â The market data cloud provides a direct path to financial applications, allowing firms to focus on features and functionality rather than market data infrastructure.
Financial website and app challenge #2
Staying agile and keeping within budget
Launching a new financial website or application is an expensive proposition, particularly if the project requires the integration of market data.Â Developers can significantly reduce risk and increase agility by taking advantage of the on-demand pricing structure of a cloud-based market data solution.
On-demand pricing means that firms pay for market data based on usage rather than large payments up front.Â Costs are determined by number of calls to the database, which allows scaled pricing plans that grow alongside a product's user base.
Financial website and app challenge #3
Quickly scaling up to meet the needs of an expanding user base
Your app is a smash hit-your user base is doubling every week and buzz is building. Excellent!Â But can your infrastructure scale to handle such explosive growth? The answer is most likely no.
A cloud-based market data solution enables developers to set aside worries about scaling and instead focus on enhancing the user experience. The market data cloud provides elasticity not found with internal data management systems, accommodating growth with an unlimited capacity that enables you to scale from one to one million users without a hiccup.
Financial website and app challenge #4
Launching applications and gaining mindshare ahead of the competition
The competitive environment for financial websites and applications is red hot.Â Getting your application to market first can prove to be a significant factor in generating buzz and gaining mindshare.
By adopting a cloud-based market data solution with web-friendly APIs that deliver market data directly to applications, developers can bypass infrastructure and maintenance complexities and get a jump on the competition by getting products to market first.
Financial website and app challenge #5
Increasing stickiness and differentiating from competitors
Today's increasingly savvy retail investors demand access to a wider swath of market information than ever before.Â They want real-time market data whenever possible, and are broadening their horizons to investigate fixed income, commodities, options, forex, and more.Â If your financial application isn't sticky, delivering the exact data they want, they'll seek out other options that do.
The market data cloud provides developers with instant access to a wide range of global real-time market data across all financial instruments.Â This enables developers to increase stickiness, quickly "go global" and differentiate from the competition by providing the breaking information that investors expect within their financial application. Adding new capabilities is straightforward, requiring just a few lines of code to get up and running.