Wall Street firms rank data analysis far above relationship building when picking the must-have skills for future traders

  • A recent survey conducted by Greenwich Associates of people at a variety of Wall Street firms found data analysis is believed to be the most important skill for the trading desk of the future.
  • Meanwhile, “relationship management” and “economic knowledge” were on the other end of the spectrum, garnering only 38% and 23% of responses, respectively. 
  • Finding investment opportunities was the top choice among what will be the most useful insights from analytic tools in the future. 
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Hopeful traders of the world, be warned: It is no longer about who you know but, instead, what you know. 

When asked about the most important skills needed to work on a trading desk in the future, a vast majority of respondents pointed to analyzing data.

Meanwhile, only slightly more than one-third of participants cited managing relationships, which has long been a critical trait of any successful trader on Wall Street. 

The survey, conducted by Greenwich Associates, polled 107 people working across financial services around the globe about the future effect data would have on trading. 

One question asked what the important skills were for working on a trading desk in the next three to five years. Nearly three-quarters of respondents picked “data analysis,” followed by “market knowledge” and “market structure knowledge,” coming in at 65% and 60%, respectively. 

It should come as no surprise that working with data is viewed as a top priority. Gathering as much information as possible has become table stakes on Wall Street. While things like market and reference data have long been considered critical to any financial firm, alternative data, or unique datasets from nontraditional sources, has also come into vogue recently.

Meanwhile, “relationship management” and “economic knowledge” were on the other end of the spectrum, garnering only 38% and 23% of responses, respectively. 

trading skills

Greenwich Associates

As for where financial firms will look to use the analytics expertise they are so interested in, one area stands out: finding alpha. When asked what useful insights were expected from data and analytic tools in the future, “investment opportunities” was the leading pick among respondents, garnering 29% of the votes, 

Interestingly, it appears Wall Street is less concerned about using such tools to better understand its exposures, from either investments or trading partners. “Market risk” and “counterparty risk” nabbed just 14% and 6% of the votes, respectively. 

useful analytics tools

Greenwich Associates

Read more: Here’s the pitch deck that Apteo, a startup focused on the ultra-hot alternative data space, used to raise its seed round

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