Visualization on the trading floor

October 25, 2007

Daniel Beunza posts on his NYC presentation on visualization. Visualization is one of my pet themes – I’ve posted my thoughts on why it hasn’t been widely applied in trading. I’ll add a couple more observations I’ve made while building and deploying a 3D visualization system on our trading floor, at the same time as addressing a couple of points Daniel makes…

  • Daniel: “Traders are practical and resist innovation”. Traders resist innovation for innovation’s sake. If they can see an opportunity to profit from innovation, they’ll be very keen on it.
  • Traders know markets far more intimately than developers of visualization software ever can. Consequently visualizations can end up showing traders stuff they “just know”: stuff that has already been internalised and assimilated by the trader.
  • Visualization development cycles can be slow, especially if you’re coding in C++, which can make it hard to hold the attention of traders.
  • Daniel: “I believe that innovation will happen”. I used to share this belief, but I’m not so sure now. Seeing startups fail, and trying it myself has persuaded me that something very special will be needed.

I wonder if Daniel has come across Brad Paley’s work ?


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