Increase Student Engagement with Hands-On Finance Labs

Chelsea Caltuna
September 15, 2020

We don’t need to tell you that keeping students engaged is a challenge – and even more so in a fully or partially virtual learning environment.  

The team at Intrinio has long eschewed location-based terminals for a flexible, highly accessible web-based platform. Of course, when we first started to develop Intrinio Academic – our financial data platform for universities and research institutions – we had no idea how much COVID-19 would force remote solutions to the forefront. Online tools are now a necessity for schools, not a luxury.

How does Intrinio Academic provide advanced online tools while improving student engagement? With Intrinio Academic Labs – interactive, hands-on programs designed to help students apply computer science skills to solve real-world financial problems.

What are Intrinio Academic Labs?

Intrinio Academic Labs are the highlight of the Intrinio Academic platform, leading students through code exercises that merge high-level financial concepts with popular programming languages such as Python and R.

We’ve written before about how hybrid positions that merge both finance and data analytics skills are growing at fintechs and traditional financial firms. Since we work closely with these types of institutions, we designed these Labs around what our clients typically do with financial data and/or the skills required for successful quantitative or algorithmic trading.

We currently offer five Labs:

  • Stock prices
  • Stock technicals
  • Company fundamentals
  • Company news
  • Historical data
How do Intrinio Academic Labs help finance students and professors?

Intrinio Academic Labs are built to fit into your existing finance curriculum as an engaging, hands-on project for students. The Labs teach practical data analytics skills that help them meet the requirements for the most in-demand finance careers.  

Users can access these Labs on their personal computers at any time – making them an ideal addition to virtual courses. Professors can assign the Labs as homework, use them in group projects, or lead students through them during the class period. Our web-based platform enables collaboration at an unprecedented level.

How do Intrinio Academic Labs work?

The Labs are fully web-based and require no courseware integration. Each Lab includes code examples in Python and R (users can easily switch between the two, depending on their preference or the instructions for the project).

Code examples are runnable in the browser via Jupyter Notebooks. Jupyter Notebooks are part of an online development environment that eliminates the need for students and other users to have a development environment set up on their local system. It’s not necessary to set up a separate Jupyter account; the functionality is built right into the Labs. Alternately, the code samples are cut and paste runnable, so a student can paste them directly into any development environment they already have set up on a local machine.

The beginning sections of each Lab typically cover how to use Intrinio as a proprietary platform to pull the desired financial data – such as stock prices for a particular company. Additional sections guide users through practical ways to use the data, like graphing stock prices for multiple companies. Each Lab has additional assignment suggestions that professors can incorporate directly into their lessons or students can experiment with independently to further develop their skills.

What else is included in Intrinio Academic?

This blog and webinar dive deeper into the Intrinio Academic financial data platform for education. In addition to the Labs, users can access US fundamentals and real-time, intraday, and EOD US stock prices via API or our Excel add-in, as well as bulk downloads for five to 10 years of stock prices and fundamentals history.

The Intrinio Academic portal includes extensive documentation on our data tags, which help users find and retrieve the specific data they’re interested in, and links to our software development kits in six programming languages.

For a high-level overview, watch this video:

How does administration for Intrinio Academic work?

Intrinio Academic is managed by a primary account user (typically a university’s data librarian) with a subscription to the Academic core feeds. A connected student access plan is given to any user who signs in to the portal, which requires creating a free Intrinio account and entering an access pin that’s unique to their school. The administrator can monitor relevant information, such as the current number of users, and make changes from their admin account page.

To support educational institutions during this challenging period, we’re offering our financial data platform for universities free through 2020 for qualifying institutions. Request a consultation with our team to receive a demo of Intrinio Academic and start your trial.

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