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FINANCE (Stock Portfolios)

Background. Investment professionals and individuals have access to a wealth of information about companies, real-time, historical and comparative market data. They want access to more data, but complain about too much data on their displays: this problem seems contraddictory and it can not be solved with current display technology.

Technology. The CROMDI Finance team examined a long list of candidate variables for inclusion in the new display. The analysis suggested that the underlying data structure is relatively weak: variables in finance do not have preset mechanical relationships present in, for example, the cardiac and respiratory systems. The team found compelling metaphors that would apply to such a weak data structure. As a result, the team developed prototpes that display large quantities of data succinctly, in a way that will lead the user to make rapid and accurate decisions.

In the prototype displays data modeling follows specified configurations in the X-Y-Z coordinates. Changes in color, location, size and shape of the objects communicate important financial variables that are needed to make quick and accurate decisions. In addition, specially placed lines and points establish referential datum to detect abnormalities in the market and in stocks. These displays integrate financial data at a higher level: the information is represented consistently with the cognitive model.

The prototype program is composed of several different displays that show information at a macro to micro level. At the macro level the display shows an index's performance or individuals portfolio, broken down into sectors, compared to normal performance (Figure 7 & 8). At the next level a user clicks on one of the sectors of the index and they are shown a screen that has the major stocks that comprise that sector. At this level the user can apply filters that screen stocks based on user needs. For example, price and volume could be screened so only those stocks in that sector with large price and volume changes would appear.

To provide a detailed analysis of a single stock we have developed a micro level representation that integrates a stock's fundamental variables (% change, volume) and combined it with much higher level analysis such as momentum, bid and ask size (Figure 9 & 10). All of this is presented in an integrated display so that relationships between the variables can easily be seen.

The trending display incorporates many of the innovative ideas presented in the other views. In this display a user can see how their stock has performed over a user adjustable time interval showing % change as well as volume information that is shown by the size of the sphere. All of this data can be seen overlaid with other similar stocks as well as the general index level thus providing a holistic time based representation of key stock information.(Figure 11)

Ongoing projects. The Finance team is working on further display design and is seeking commercial partnerships for the development and commercialization of a working prototype. In addition, it is preparing usability protocols and is looking for support for research on human factors studies.


(click to view animation)


Display prototypes can be shown after signing a confidential disclosure agreement