Derivatives traders face a growing deluge of data, a shortage of time and resources to analyse it, and a need to devise new strategies to maintain a competitive advantage. In a DerivSource commentary, Maurisa Baumann, vice president of Desktop and Feeds at the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) discusses how ICE’s patented technology solutions help traders meet these needs.
Client demand has driven a raft of changes at ICE Connect. These include updating its graphic user interface (GUI) combining disparate data sets, integrating proprietary and broker chat data, and making streaming data available via application programming interfaces (APIs).
Innovation on display through market data
ICE Connect is a global market data platform which provides pricing and news for the energy, commodities and wealth management space, catering to the needs of individual traders. The platform has seen double digit growth in 2023 and focuses on the U.S. and global agricultural, oil, and gas markets – with a new energy transition platform in the works.
As a late market entrant, ICE had an opportunity to assess which additional data sets could provide traders with a competitive advantage. Today, the company continues to add 15 to 20 new content sets each year and has received two patents for the way it displays information to make it easy to consume. For example, weather data and forecasts drive gas market pricing, so ICE designed its GUI to combine real-time weather forecasts with historic weather and pricing trends. This enables traders to see correlations between the weather forecast and pricing and drives faster decision making.
New Patent for Data Aggregation Tool
ICE also received a patent this year for its data aggregator, which combines the traditional desktop solution with a Business Intelligence tool. Users can query complex records and view them in the existing desktop alongside streaming data sets, enabling them to see all their data in a single view. More data types are being added to this aggregator based on customer need.
Messaging Platform applies Proprietary Large Language Models (LLMs)
ICE Chat has over 122,000 global users. Traders use it to negotiate prices and within those conversations, there is extremely valuable market data. ICE Chat uses proprietary large language models (LLM) to parse relevant market data from small talk, and an application programming interface (API) enables firms to pull that data into their internal systems or into ICE Connect.
The unique data being discussed over a chat with the broker, expands upon the market data gleaned from exchanges and other market data partners, so traders can see both brokered markets and exchange traded markets side-by-side in one view. They no longer need to toggle back and forth between screens. In future, they will also be able to click and trade from within the market data tool, so everything from negotiation, seeing where the markets stand, and making a trading decision will all be combined within one application.
Data Innovations for the Middle and Back Office
One of ICE’s biggest initiatives for 2024 is the introduction of a product targeted to the middle and back office. Driven by customer demand, the product combines data already within the ICE Connect platform with its best-in-class fixed income datasets. This will provide users with a consolidated view of everything they need in the middle and back offices, including reference data, corporate actions, fundamental data, news, and pricing across all asset classes.
The platform’s middle office users are under significant time and resource constraints and having the data feed helps them be more efficient and cost effective. The key is being able to present all the relevant data on one screen to enable faster decision making. The platform is currently in a trial stage, following successful beta testing.
Adding Proprietary data to ICE Connect
Another initiative for 2024 is the launch of a new product that will enable users to create historic time series of their own proprietary data and plug that into ICE Connect. The data will be commingled with market data, so users can see everything in one place, and the data will be invisible to the vendors. This initiative was also driven by client demand.
New API for Consolidated Feed
Lastly, ICE’s feeds business will undergo a revamp in 2024. ICE’s consolidated feed has ~600+ different sources of streaming, real-time data. There are also APIs to pull slow-moving fundamental type data. However, the desktop offering was never available via API, and customers have been asking for this. As a result, ICE is recontracting with its data providers and aims to provide a solution where firms can either consume the market data through the desktop platform or via an API, according to their preference.
Data is the lifeblood of markets and users want greater accessibility to it, both across products and deep within a segment. They want it in real-time and with a range of delivery options, whether that is a user-friendly GUI or an API. Ultimately, greater access to a broader set of data saves users time and effort, allowing for more resources to spend on analyzing more complex trades and helping boosts a firm’s competitiveness.