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AIREX Market Financial Research

I solved a critical problem for the financial sector, carving a path to democratize information previously reserved for only the top 20 financial institutions.

Case Study Highlights

Creativity and ingenuity allowed our team to see a road block as an opportunity to solve a problem.

We built a product that allows users to purchase specific information they need, in less time, for a drastically reduced price.

Focusing on empathizing with a diverse set of users bred success for the AIREX Market.

Skills

  • Design

  • Mobile

  • Cloud/Web

  • Search/SEO

  • Learning/Analysis

Overview

Meet AIREX Market

The goal of the AIREX Market was to become a platform to host, share, and buy information reports that drives a 550 billion dollar financial market. It was also a launch-pad for two additional products: AIRFlow and the AMP Program.

Through analyzing the industry and discovering major pain points, I grew the suite of AIREX offerings into a thriving ecosystem with millions of users.

Financial Sector diagram illustration

Financial Sector

The financial sector is a sprawling, complex ecosystem of active businesses, suppliers, vendors, clients, and users. As it grows and becomes more tech-driven, it creates multiple opportunities to streamline efficiency.

Ideation

High Stakes, High Opportunity

As Head of Product at AIREX, I needed to look at the billion-dollar financial industry from a new perspective. I found myself in front of a whiteboard trying to define particular niches and pain points that could be improved.

I realized that it was impossible for AIREX to individually cater to every niche network in the financial sector. AIREX’s path to success wasn’t in fixing issues within institutions – it was in solving a much broader problem – managing information.


A critical part of any product role is understanding your users – anticipating their frustrations, and building a solution they didn’t know they needed. This philosophy drove the creation of the AIREX Market.

Empathy

The Problem Of Sourcing Information

Information is the lifeblood of the financial sector. It drives markets, dictates what financial planners recommend to clients, what stock traders buy or sell, and how you invest your money. Yet, I found this information was hard to find and hard to manage, but most of all – very expensive.

Example: An analyst who is responsible for oil futures needs information on how a specific weather front affects corn and how it will affect ethanol production. This analyst would need to hunt down a massive report that includes a small section on weather fronts.

    To use the information:

  • – They need stakeholders approval of their purchase
  • – Sales teams have to work out contracts with the vendor
  • – Legal teams have to review the contract
  • – Vendor management teams have to onboard that vendor

This drives the true price of a $10,000 report to $50,000.

A critical part of any product role is understanding your users – anticipating their frustrations, and building a solution they didn’t know they needed. I realized that financial professionals are focused on speed and efficiency. They want to spend their time synthesizing data to make financial decisions, not hunting for information.

This philosophy drove the creation of the AIREX Market. I designed the platform as a place where financial services can sell, consume, and manage a plethora of data. Through uniting information vendors with their clients, AIREX created a one-stop shop to serve anyone, big or small, in the financial industry.

AIREX platform desktop screenshots

Ingenuity

Information à la Carte – AIRFlow

The AIREX Market centralized the industry’s best financial reports and packaged them in a user-friendly portal. AIRFlow’s users could easily find what they were looking for and buy only what they needed.

The AIRFlow API increased efficiency by enabling users to build workflows using their AIREX Market-sourced financial research through a simple, intuitive UI. Now, customers could automate the delivery of crucial research right into their trading applications, allowing traders to focus on their investment decisions instead of the diligence.

Tablet showing financial information

Example

A user who works in a Bloomberg terminal, can search for $APPL using the same Bloomberg interface they’re familiar with. With the AIRFlow API running in the back-end, in addition to the $APPL stock price, they would also see leading experts’ reports on Apple.

Giving users a streamlined way to an effective search was a start. AIREX’s strength was in recognizing what users should be looking for and recommending it to them. Using custom built algorithms, the platform intelligently suggested different information reports to users based on their past purchases and browsing history.

Business Development

Vendors & New Customers

As customers poured into the marketplace, I saw an opportunity to serve a different type of user that is essential to the AIREX Market – information vendors.

We worked with vendors to slice and dice massive reports into consumable, marketable chunks. Previously, only the top 20 investment institutions could afford to purchase six-figure reports, which was out of reach for the average family wealth advisor or financial planner. Reducing the price point of reports unlocked a huge new tier of customers for vendors.

Vendors could benefit from a new customer base without worrying about how to scale their client relationships. The AIREX Market automated the process, so they could focus more on sourcing information. From the AIREX dashboard, vendors could monitor who purchased their reports, which sections were being read, and which reports were most popular.

In serving these reports à la carte, we expanded the scope of customers in the AIREX Market, brought vendors new business, and democratized vital financial information to those outside the big firms.

Vendors AIREX Market Customers flow diagram

Business Development

AMP Program

I realized that a vast amount of potential users were still not benefiting from AIREX intelligence. Many financial services companies, investors, and downstream clients were locked out just because they hadn't signed up to our platform. The solution was to build an API and the AMP Program, which gave third party services the ability to embed the full suite of AIREX’s features into their software without having to change their customer’s user experience.

The AMP Program is an end-to-end, turnkey solution that allows any customer to add a massive amount of value to their platform without having to re-invent the wheel, or build a new user experience. Interactive Brokers and countless others can manage data from thousands of providers all in one portal. Instead of handling licenses on a case-by-case basis, they can monitor their licenses using one streamlined API.

AMP Program flow diagram

Conclusion

A Thriving Platform

Creativity and ingenuity allowed our team to see a road block as an opportunity to solve a problem. It was our mindset that let us focus on the bigger issue of sharing information in the financial industry. Without empathy for users, we would not have been successful. Understanding the pain points of our diverse set of users allowed us to identify their needs and choose the right set of technical tools for an effective solution.

In three years, an idea on a whiteboard became a thriving platform with over 10,000 active users. The AIREX Market also led to the inventions of two supporting products, AIRFlow and AMP, which extended the marketplace to reach millions of financial information seekers.

Ready to take the next step?

I’m always looking to collaborate on interesting projects with amazing people. Please feel free to get in touch with me to discuss your next venture.