Thursday, 19th December 2013
Eikon is Thomson Reuters' desktop market data solution for financial markets professionals. Andrew Grave examines its powerful Eikon Answers functionality and finds it marks a real leap forward in the functionality of business information tools. Launched in January 2013, Eikon Answers is easy to use for end users and instantly produces tables and charts from straightforward or complex queries such as "Show US hospitals on New York consolidated exchange with operating margins >2% and revenue growth 5 years >1%". After the chart is produced a wealth of data can quickly be surfaced and easily exported or shared.
Eikon is Thomson Reuters' key desktop offering for financial markets professionals including those currently using Bloomberg. Thomson Reuters, which came together in 2007, possessed a number of platforms which served this market. Eikon was launched in autumn 2010 with the aim of retiring the disparate platforms and replacing them with one superior solution.
As well as global market data, Eikon possesses an extensive range of news sources. These include content from the vendor's own services such as Reuters News, Reuters BreakingViews, Reuters Insider plus a range of specialist market and economic sources in 47 languages
Despite the wealth of content that Eikon possesses and its strong mobile applications, it was its Eikon Answers functionality which impressed me most. It is also one of the product's most recent features, only being launched in January 2013. It was developed by a team hired with search engine backgrounds but Thomson Reuters is quick to describe it as "an answer box, not a search box".
Its aim is to make the functionality of the product easy to use which is sensible given that Eikon is an end user tool and has rich content.
To use Eikon Answers, you type in the information you require into a box and the information is produced, usually in table format. You do not need to enter any codes to get back the information you require.
Answers currently has more than 70,000 public companies with 140 measures. It possesses information on the location and capacity of physical assets, information on equity indices, information on currency spots and crosses and access to equity charts. The content is continuously expanding.
Instant Charts and Graphics
In the example below, I literally typed in "Google v Apple share price 2009 to 2013". The chart in Figure 1 was swiftly generated. In this instance, I did not need to verify any of the information entered; Eikon simply produced the information shown straightaway. In cases of ambiguity, it has an auto-suggest feature.
Figure 1: Share price chart produced using Eikon Answers
Deep Dive into the Data
Datapoints can be surfaced on the graph by hovering over the relevant points. The chart also contains hyperlinks to the companies featured.
It can also be used for more sophisticated purposes such as equity screening, e.g. "Show US hospitals on New York consolidated exchange with operating margins >2% and revenue growth 5 years >1%".
Once the chart is produced, the data behind it can also be revealed. It can be exported into Excel or can be shared seamlessly via email or Messenger. Messenger is Eikon's platform-independent messaging tool. Eikon users can contact fellow users together with those using AOL, MSN and Yahoo! messenger systems. In October 2013, Thomson Reuters further extended the reach of Messenger by becoming a founder member of a new messaging network, Markit Collaboration Systems. Joining alongside Eikon were eight investment banks.
Eikon Answers marks a real leap forward in the functionality of business information tools. It will be very interesting to see whether similar technology is adopted by other research tools.
The full FreePint Report: Product Review of Thomson Reuters Eikon is now available to those with a FreePint Subscription.
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FreePint readers may be interested to read more about news products in our FreePint Topic Series: Beyond Aggregation, which ran from October to November 2013. You can still register your interest to receive a free copy of the FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on News Content published in early December.
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