development October 28, 2021

Beating information overload in investment research - beyond the PDF

For publishers of investment research, digital technology has the potential to significantly improve the accessibility and value of their content

by Zarko Panic

Digital technology for publishers of investment research

Digital technology for publishers of investment research

Banking institutions create large volumes of research to guide the investment decisions of the fund managers and other institutional investors that make up their customer base. But while the core trading activities of the banks have received substantial investments in digital technology in recent years, the creation and dissemination of financial research has tended to lag behind: roughly 80% of sell-side investment research is still delivered in PDF format via email.

In this form it risks being underused and overlooked, lost among the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day in our current ‘information overload’.

The end of ‘one size fits all’

In fact, the PDF format is part of a ‘one size fits all’ approach that is increasingly mis-aligned with the needs of the asset managers who are the end-users of the research. As they try to stay ahead of passive investment models, these active managers are looking for quick and actionable insights they can turn into trading decisions and strategies. The PDF format is less than optimal for several reasons.

Firstly, the recipient must read through the whole document to find key insights that may be in there, instead of being to locate and access them instantly. The presentation using text and static graphics is less than engaging, while video and audio enhancements are out of the question. Lastly, the PDF format is not easy to navigate on a mobile device.

Updating the research user experience

The experience of accessing this kind of research is seriously out of sync with what today’s consumers of digital content are increasingly used to: rich, personalized streams of updated news and information accessed through the devices of their choice.

Fortunately, the technologies that generate this kind of experience can also be applied to the creation and delivery of financial reporting.

At Eidosmedia we’ve been working on alternatives to the PDF model with our customers in the financial sector. We’re introducing research management solutions that harness the power of structured digital workflows to significantly improve the presentation, delivery and monetization of financial research, without requiring any upsizing in the resource base.

HTML first

One of the most important changes is the move to an HTML-first approach. By switching to HTML as the default format we can enrich the reporting with a whole range of media enhancements from interactive infographics and automatic text-to-speech to videos and podcasts. In addition, the HTML format optimizes automatically to any display from desktop to smartphone.

(We still offer PDFs, but now they’re just one option among many!)

Personalization: the key for the best financial reporting software

Reporting is componentized so that each customer can automatically receive a personalized selection, depending on their preferences or on their subscription status. This makes accessing the reporting faster and more efficient, as well as giving the opportunity to create pricing differentials, maximizing monetization possibilities.

Research as a Service – Cobalt solutions

Selling reporting to other research companies has always been an important source of additional revenue for research operations.

Eidosmedia’s new Cobalt digital delivery platform now makes this possible in a highly flexible way. It’s equipped with powerful APIs that allow client companies to access the data and reporting directly, repackaging and ‘rebadging’ the research for their own customers.

Some Eidosmedia users are already using this ‘Research as a Service’ approach (see automated reporting case study).

Efficient, targeted communications

As our customers in the financial services sector begin to adopt the powerful digital technologies that have transformed content services in other sectors, we’re starting to see a move towards the efficient, targeted communications that open up new levels of accessibility and added value in financial communications.

Discover our CMS for Banks, financial services & institutions.

 

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