- Bloomberg recently rolled out a new AI tool on the terminal’s instant messenger.
- The data giant has been using AI to help traders and analysts automate tasks and better use data.
- Mark Flatman, global head of core terminal product at Bloomberg, explains how it works.
Bloomberg is making upgrades to its terminal, a ubiquitous piece of technology that traders and analysts use to access the troves of data that underpin Wall Street.
The company has been investing in AI to automate tasks for users of its terminal, making it easier to parse through the mountains of information at their disposal. It has updated its widely popular messenger Instant Bloomberg (IB) to automatically suggest relevant research, order forms, or pricing quotes when a user messages specific keywords like “pricing,” “research,” or “order information.”
“Recently, we focused very hard on the actual work that the analysts are doing. Not just what content they need, but how they go about doing their jobs,” Mark Flatman, Bloomberg’s global head of terminal and enterprise, told Insider. The data giant has invested in tools that help analysts collaborate with their teammates and change how they access and use data, he said.
The explosion of data in recent years has forever changed the way financial firms operate, from fundamentally changing how hedge funds build their internal tech, to how sell-side firms share their data with buy-side clients, and even driving cultural transformation. Accommodating this nearly endless universe of information has led to the rise of analytics platforms and cloud tools to help users parse through the data. But such data is sometimes challenging to access in day-to-day workflows, let alone realize the information even exists.
Bloomberg’s push into AI comes as Wall Street increasingly experiments and invests in the tech, which could transform jobs from wealth management to investment banking. In March, Bloomberg announced the launch of its own financial-services-focused version of ChatGPT, which could soon make its way onto the terminal, according to a CNBC report. Meanwhile, big banks like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Citibank are cracking down on employees’ use of ChatGPT, citing regulatory risks.
Automating IB and simplifying the user experience
This spring, Bloomberg upgraded its AI capabilities within IB. When two people are messaging, the AI will detect when a specific security is brought up and automatically scan internal databases for relevant information related to it. Any relevant data or digitized order forms pop up in the chat window with suggestions for the next steps or helpful information.
Say a buy-side investor was messaging with a sell-side trader about Disney bonds. The terminal IB would detect the term “Disney bond” and alert the trader that their firm produced relevant research that would be useful to share with the investor. The trader could decide to share that information or not. The AI could also have looked at the bank’s pricing engine to tell the trader that they have Disney bonds in their inventory, and they could quote a price.
“So you’ve got some research, you’ve got a quote, and it just kind of happened while we were talking by the chat,” Flatman said.
The biggest pain point Bloomberg is looking to solve with this automation is mitigating the need for terminal users to switch between different applications, helping users move quicker and sometimes with reduced errors from manual re-typing.
Bloomberg goes all-in on AI
Bloomberg has been expanding its data empire, from investing in AI to making alternative data more mainstream. Searching and discovering that data has become critical to its users’ workflows.
Another area where they are investing resources is a service called IB feed, which is a real-time feed of a company’s internal IB content, which also includes AI-detected securities, along with additional information of the security like whether it was for an inquiry, a direct buy order or sell order, and the size of the order. Some of that information from the IB feed could be extracted for banks and hedge funds to analyze trends based on their own employees’ IB chats, profile their clients, and better understand employee behavior, Flatman said.
“Generally large institutions are interested in that because they’ve got the technical wherewithal to be able to do something with a feed like that. They can start pumping that into their own CRM systems. They can start looking at that in terms of being better able to profile their customers and their behaviors,” Flatman said. He added that capability is still in the proof-of-concept stage with mostly sell-side firms, but some buy-side clients as well.