24 Jul 2019 The Desktop Lives On

Automation of the trading process has resulted in surging demand for direct data feeds in recent years, but recent Burton-Taylor research has found that the traditional desktop data terminal business is alive and well. In fact, the number of screens used globally increased by 3.1% in 2018 with Burton-Taylor estimating the number of desktop data terminals rising to 1,568,513 users by the end of the year. The growth shows no sign of slowing, with the total number of desktops expected to top 1.6 million users in 2019, with continued growth ahead.

Investment Managers and the Demand for Visualization

Although our research focuses on trends in global demand across the financial industry, the investment management industry is a critical part of desktop terminal demand, as the need for visual representation and data analysis capabilities remains important. Our research shows that the investment management industry is a key consumer within the desktop space, accounting for roughly one-quarter of total industry desktops. The steady demand for desktops comes from the request for continued human information processing, management of data and new use cases. Users within this segment include professionals working in investment management related positions such as portfolio managers and research analysts.

FactSet, Refinitiv and Bloomberg are the three largest service providers in the segment, accounting for 58% of desktops used by investment management professionals. The fastest growing providers in the segment since 2017 include Morningstar, FactSet and S&P Market Intelligence, as competing price points and enhanced analytics offerings are attracting new users.

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Growing Markets

Opportunities are arising in Asia and providers are swiftly moving to meet the needs of the current estimated 242,780 users in 2018, up 8.1% over the previous year. Advancing financial markets and trends in investing are projected to drive the growth over the next three years, with the fastest growing providers in the region forecasted to be S&P Global Market Intelligence, Moody’s Analytics and FactSet.

The need for market data delivered through desktop applications is not expected to disappear anytime soon. Burton-Taylor’s new report Financial Market Desktop Global Share & Segment Sizing 2019, provides the industry with detail and statistics on the number of global desktops used within the investment banking, investment management, equity sales & trading, retail wealth management, fx/treasury sales & trading, fixed income sales & trading, corporate and commodities & energy segments.  

Douglas B. Taylor is the Founder of Burton-Taylor International Consulting, part of TP ICAP group, where he is responsible for its Financial Market Data/Analysis vertical, focusing on how competitive pressures are forcing shifts in business models and strategic initiatives of industry providers in the financial market data space.

Jennifer Milton is an Analyst at Burton-Taylor International Consulting, part of TP ICAP group, where she is responsible for research, analysis and report generation covering Financial Market Data/Analysis Providers and Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer Data & Information Vendors.