About a-team Marketing Services
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Trading on Unstructured Data 101 at SXSW

Subscribe to our newsletter

SXSW – for South by Southwest – is a massive festival of music, film and web-related technology that just got going here in Austin, TX. I’ve been attending now for a few years for the music shows, where the event got its start, 25 years ago. But nowadays the ‘Interactive’ side is bigger, and this year I was pleasantly surprised to find a session on “Machines Trading Stocks on News” was on the program. So, after my usual Sunday brunch at Mulberry (brioche french toast and a couple of mimosas), I stopped by.

The panel session was moderated by Adam Honore, research director at Aite Group, and included: RavenPack CEO Armando Gonzalez; Jacob Sisk, senior research scientist at Thomson Reuters; and John Kittrell, who is a quantitative analyst at Knightsbridge Asset Management.

Unstructured data encompasses many sources, include textual news feeds, news and company websites, company and personal blogs, social networks and micro-blogging services like Twitter. A number of companies – including Dow Jones, Deutsche Boerse’s Need To Know News unit, RavenPack, Selerity and Thomson Reuters – take this unstructured data and parse it using semantic analysis to create structured feeds with XML tags.

Trading using unstructured data is growing. Aite Group reckon that back in 2008, just two percent of trading firms were involved in it. Today, that estimate has grown to nearly a third of firms are evaluating adopting it.

Collecting and analysing unstructured data allows a firm to determine so-called sentiment as it pertains to a company. Sentiment – as defined by the panel – being “emotional language” relating to an event that drives a stock price either up or down.

Events might be news items related to company results, products, regulatory approvals and credit ratings. Understanding the context in which words are used is important, for example: “900 layoffs at AOL” as a news story headline has very different context, and likely impact, from a blog post that relates “… and layoffs are down in the auto sector.”

And latency also plays a role, such as in relaying data related to economic bulletins from government departments in Washington DC to futures traders in Chicago, where the impact of such news is usually significant, said Honore.

Recent action in that endeavor includes CoreSite’s hosting of collection and relay systems from Need to Know News and Rapidata at its date centre, located just one mile from the United States Department of Labor, Department of Commerce and Department of The Treasury. Also relevant is the Intellifiber Networks low-latency optical network from DC to Chicago.

Along with a screening of Senna, this session was a nice diversion from the music that will take up the rest of my week. Check out my other blog for some day parties I’m hosting, and other coverage. #donttellmybossshethinksimworking.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related content


Upcoming Webinar: Enhancing Buy-Side Trading Efficiency: Navigating Interoperability and AI in Real Workflows

Date: 26 June 2024 Time: 10:00am ET / 3:00pm London / 4:00pm CET Duration: 50 minutes Enhancing Buy-Side Trading Efficiency: Navigating Interoperability and AI in Real Workflows Emerging capabilities in AI and interoperability are transforming trading workflows, with the promise of heightened levels of collaboration and personalisation resulting in greater efficiency and performance. The potential...


Bridgewise Raises $21M to Expand AI Financial Intelligence Platform for Global Securities

Bridgewise, the AI-powered investment analysis platform, has successfully completed a $21 million funding round, increasing its total capital raised to $35 million. The investment was spearheaded by SIX Group and included contributions from Group11 and L4 Venture Builder, along with other global financial institutions. The company provides advanced AI-driven solutions that serve a diverse client...


RegTech Summit New York

Now in its 8th year, the RegTech Summit in New York will bring together the regtech ecosystem to explore how the North American capital markets financial industry can leverage technology to drive innovation, cut costs and support regulatory change.


Regulatory Data Handbook 2019/2020 – Seventh Edition

Welcome to A-Team Group’s best read handbook, the Regulatory Data Handbook, which is now in its seventh edition and continues to grow in terms of the number of regulations covered, the detail of each regulation and the impact that all the rules and regulations will have on data and data management at your institution. This...