Bloomberg gives market data service a facelift

Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:09pm EST
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By Liana B. Baker and Nicola Leske

(Reuters) - Bloomberg LP revamped its market data service on Monday in an effort to make its flagship terminal more intuitive and simpler to use for financial clients who have seen their budgets slashed in recent years.

The financial sector - key customers for Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.N: Quote)TRI.TN, Factset Research Systems Inc (FDS.N: Quote) and News Corp's Dow Jones (NWSA.O: Quote) - has cut costs and laid off tens of thousands of employees in the wake of the financial crisis that ran from late 2007 to mid-2009.

The privately held company co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it invested more than $100 million in "Bloomberg Next" to make the platform easier for subscribers to search for data and news, including cutting the number of system functions in half.

Executives demonstrated that, if a customer wanted to search for IBM's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the fourth quarter of 1999, the user just had to type "IBM EBITDA Q4 1999" into a search field and an answer would pop up. In the past, this would have required several key strokes.

"This is a tough market. We are constantly in a battle to improve the value of Bloomberg and 'Next' helps us do this," said Tom Secunda, Bloomberg LP's co-founder and head of the company's financial products and services division.

"Our numbers are going up, albeit slowly," he added, referring to Bloomberg's overall subscriber figures.

About 113,000 customers have already switched to the Bloomberg Next design and the company is planning to have "a high 90 percent" of its nearly 310,000 subscribers upgraded by the summer, Secunda said.

Users can still keep the old version of the product until the end of the year, but less than 1 percent of customers who have downloaded "Bloomberg Next" have asked to use the previous software, a Bloomberg spokeswoman said on Monday.   Continued...