Order from chaos: Streamlining trader workflows with OpenFin Notification Center

Actionable intelligence is crucial for capital markets professionals yet they are drowning in a sea of notifications and complex workflows. We have responded to this challenge and worked with the industry to build an enterprise-scale Notification Center. Here is why…

Adam Toms, European CEO, OpenFin

It’s hard to overstate the value of timely, actionable intelligence for capital markets professionals – and not just because it makes traders better at their jobs. Technologies that enable easier, more intuitive workflows lead to happy employees and can provide a powerful signal of the firm’s investment in and support of its people. If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider that 65% of respondents in our recent survey said they would consider leaving their current job if they got an offer from an employer with superior tools.

Desktop notifications are one area where this need for intelligence and efficiency is particularly acute. Everywhere you look in our industry – across different firms, job roles, regions, asset classes and work environments – capital markets professionals are drowning in a sea of notifications. And we at OpenFin believe it’s time to do something about it.

While notifications can be incredibly useful, they are made less so by a lack of consistency – traders receive alerts in emails, chats, individual applications and more, each one with its own distinct visual elements (some large, some small; some flash, some don’t). This fragmentation means it is often difficult for traders to make sense of their to-do lists, let alone act on them. And thanks to the fast-moving, highly complex workflows that traders rely on, mainstream offerings from behemoths like Microsoft and Apple fall well short of providing an adequate solution in a complex enterprise setting.

In recent years, we’ve watched the industry pour hundreds of millions into data and analytics – a positive trend, no doubt, but also one that has magnified the limitations of delivering data insights via notifications that do little more than place a line of text into a rolling list. We’ve responded by undergoing our own evolution: launching OpenFin Workspace in 2021 and broadening our focus to employee experiences across the desktop.

To that end, we’ve worked closely with the industry to build an enterprise-scale Notification Center, which is a key component of OpenFin Workspace – a suite of innovative workflow management tools built to deliver a consistent user experience by helping buy- and sell-side firms seamlessly access information and automate key tasks, enhance productivity, reduce risk and create better experiences for their employees.

From information to action

There are a number of features that set Notification Center apart from mainstream offerings, but the common thread is their ability to enable optimal workflows and rapid decision-making. Bringing all alerts into one place is truly just the beginning.

First, Notification Center delivers a high degree of customisability. Firms can adjust the alerts they receive for each application, set prioritisation rules based on the type or origin of the alerts and even leverage visual elements to personalise their workflows.

Helping traders access and understand the information they are receiving is one way to drive productivity. Helping them act on it, is another. With Notification Center, users can take advantage of alerts with embedded functionality, saving them from the disruption of removing themselves from their current workflow and hunting for the right window.

Our research shows that on any given day, the average capital markets professional uses 36 apps and switches contexts over a thousand times – so actionable alerts that put the right information and functionality directly in front of traders can lead to major efficiencies. In this way, we are reimagining notifications to be not just a piece of information, but data-rich insights that enable immediate action.

Given these benefits, it’s no surprise that tools like Notification Center have seen significant buy-in across the industry – it has been one of our most quickly adopted features to date. I am very excited to discuss these topics – and other trends in delivering high-quality information to traders in a timely manner –  at TradeTech Europe.

Support is everything

Functionality like Notification Center can also help ensure employees remain connected amid remote and hybrid work setups. Fully staffed offices are true hubs of activity – traders can listen to the conversations happening around them to pick up peripheral information on client interactions, market moves and the like. But when a home office desktop is their only touchpoint to the working world, their employers must strive to enhance the flow of information within that environment. Notification Center helps them accomplish exactly this.

“The future of work” is a bit of a nebulous concept – made even more so by the pandemic – but by delivering software that helps traders perform their jobs more quickly and easily, no matter their location, we are helping the industry prepare for the years ahead, no matter what they may look like. That’s the biggest reason our ecosystem continues to grow, with over 3,500 desktop apps deployed on over 300,000 desktops across 2,400 buy- and sell-side firms. Stop by our stand at TradeTech to learn more.