Audio-visual presentations of Stock Market data

This morning, whilst making breakfast, a news article on the BBC Breakfast show caught my eye. I wasn’t terribly interested in the article being presented from the London Stock Exchange but the visualisation of the stocks behind the presenter caught my eye.

Twenty stocks were being updated in real time and being shown using concentric, stacked circles with a dot moving around it. Each time the price changed, the dot flashed. Some circles were red, others green and I assume this is based on whether the price went up or down.

I’ve not found a video of it online yet but searching through YouTube, I came across Daito Manabe’s channel which has these videos of Tokyo Stock Market visualisations.

traders by Rhizomatiks ( realtime visualization of Tokyo Stock Exchange )

traders at MOT (realtime visualization of Tokyo Stock Exchange)

From my perspective, I was wondering how this might be changed to help the viewer engage with the data through sound. In Finding Trading Patterns in Stock Market Data, Keith V. Nesbitt and Stephen Barrass [1] explore the use of sound with a visualisation in stock market data. This is more in the alarm sense of sonification and demonstrates its effectiveness in altering a user, such as a trader, to changing patterns.

I wondered whether the strategy could be applied to so that there was a sonification that interested the viewers and gives them a chance to understand the general pattern of the data. Diato Manabe’s algorithms and visualisation are wonderful but the sonar ping is frustrating and doesn’t produce a sense of what the underlying data is doing even though this is provided in the visual data.

[1] Keith V. Nesbitt and Stephen Barrass. 2004. Finding Trading Patterns in Stock Market Data. IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl. 24, 5 (September 2004), 45-55. DOI=10.1109/MCG.2004.28