Gincker: A New Platform for Technical Analysis in Finance

Gincker is a new SaaT (Software as a Template) based platform for creating and delivering dynamic graphics content. It is also a powerful tool for technical analysis in quantitative finance. Gincker converts different financial charts, technical indicators, trading strategies, back-testing approaches, and pricing engines into templates and exposes a simple and common interface that allows users to create stock charts, indicators, and trading strategies in just one click without the need to write a single line of code.

Traditional Method in Quantitative Analysis

Quantitative analysis, trading strategy development, and algorithm trading are often called the rocket science of Wall Street. This field applies mathematical and statistical methods in order to create algorithms to solve financial and risk management problems. Professionals who work in this field are usually required to have strong background and advanced degree in math, statistics, and computer programming. These professionals are known as quantitative analysts/developers, or simply "quants".

Quantitative analysis also requires a variety of resources, including large database for market data, fast and reliable computer services, IT department supports, libraries and software packages used for trading strategy development. In the past, due to the high cost and high entry barrier, only financial institutions and hedge fund firms can effectively carry out quantitative analysis.

For individual investors and traders, there are two options to perform quantitative analysis: implementing your own quantitative analysis system or using existing analysis tools. Implementing your own analysis tools from scratch requires you to have strong background in math and finance as well as programming skills; and also takes lots of effort and time. This is usually not the solution for most individual traders.

Most likely, you end up to use the existing quantitative analysis tools. Those tools, whether commercial or open sources, have the following issues:

  • Different tools may be implemented with different programming languages, such as C++, C#, Java, Python, VBA, Matlab, etc., which usually require users to write code have a strong mathematical background and programming experience. Therefore, these graphics packages are for technical professionals, but not for the general public – the user base is very limited.
    Waste resources and time. Independent graphics software packages are large and complicated and usually require installation on a local machine. Users need to install multiple packages in order to create different types of graphics, which takes up lots of computer resources and time for configuring the development environment.
  • Hard to use. Creating different types of graphics requires different graphics packages with different interfaces. Even for experienced graphics developers, it is still difficult to switch from one package to another because users have to learn how to use the new package in order to create a new type of graphics.
  • Hard to prepare the input data for the packages because each package requires different input format, which is not standardized.
  • Hard to share and explain the output results. The outputs from different graphics packages are unidirectional, i.e. independent of the package. They are usually a numerical data file with different formats, static graphics, or images with a large file size. Without accessing the original graphics package used to create those results, users have no way to confirm, reproduce, modify, and customize the graphics content. In addition, exchanging large graphics or image files over the Internet is slow and inefficient.
    Selecting, evaluating, and integrating suitable packages into applications can pose a significant challenge and take up a lot of time. This is usually not a recipe for rapidly building applications on web time.
  • Different packages may be implemented with different programming languages, which usually require users to have a strong mathematical background and programming experience. Therefore, these graphics packages are for technical professionals, but not for the general public – the user base is very limited.
  • Recently, the hosted solutions, such as SaaS (software as a service) or ASP (application service provider), allow users to access software over the Internet. The SaaS or ASP approach does solve the problems associated with installation and configuration of the development environment, however, the other issues remain. For example, different software services on SaaS or ASP are still independent – they are still have different user interfaces and input/output formats.

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