Data analysis most important skillset on the trading desk, finds report

Refinitiv report found as the equities, FX and fixed income markets have evolved, knowledge on how to handle data has become paramount to success.

Despite their many differences, equities, fixed income and foreign exchange desks are united in their desire for traders with knowledge around data, a Refinitiv report has found.

Data analysis and data science was the top ranked skill for the next one to three years by traders across asset classes, followed by market and market structure knowledge.

“As workflows continuously become more data-driven, the ability to manage, analyse, and draw accurate conclusions from large data sets is a highly important skill on today’s trading desk,” Dean Berry, group head of trading and banking solutions at LSEG told The TRADE.

For fixed income traders specifically, top data sets of value included dealer runs, streams, axes, aggregated dealer pricing systems, and liquidity scores.

Automation was a top priority for traders for the future across asset classes in Refinitiv’s Evolution of Trading report, alongside the need for greater digital communication and manipulating and analysing data.

For FX traders, key areas of workflows that needed to be automated further included regulatory reporting, risk management and compliance checks, and post-trade processing.

For equities trader respondents, it was the same areas ranked slightly differently, with regulatory reporting taking the top spot followed by post-trade execution analysis and transaction cost analysis and pre-trade price discovery.

Fixed income traders prioritised the automation of pre-trade price discovery, post-trade processing, and post-trade execution analysis.

Remaining manual tasks, despite the evolution of the market seen in the last five years, were the same across asset classes including entering from one application into an another, waiting longer than expected for data to load, and cutting and pasting from Excel into an enterprise application.

Email, phone, market data terminal and office tools were in varying orders of succession ranked the most important tools by respondents to Refinitiv’s survey.

Despite the desire for automation, top roadblocks preventing it in the fixed income markets included limited budget, limited resources to carry out integration and the inability to integrate with existing systems.

Fixed income traders said they planned to use increased electronic trading and automation alongside vendor and system consolidation to reduce costs. Reducing data costs came fourth surprisingly, perhaps fixed income traders have resigned themselves to their fate of paying through their noses for data.

Similarly, FX traders listed automation and system consolidation as a means to coping with current market events.