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  • Blog Post: How does Hadoop fit into the Analytical Enterprise?

    As described in a previous post, an Analytical Enterprise is one that leverages data to its advantage. This includes the hard-to-tame “Big Data”, which is too awkward to be managed by traditional means. To support this mining of Big Data, a slew of new technologies has arisen. The most...
  • Blog Post: Banking on an Uncertain Future - BAI 2011

    President Clinton’s keynote speech at BAI this week reminded that this is an exciting time to be living thanks to advances in technology, but the world remains unstable. Uncertainty seemed to be in the minds of many delegates to the BAI conference this year as the banking industry struggles to...
  • Blog Post: Banking at the Crossroads

    History tells us there are certain watershed moments. Banking is going through such a phase. After decades of building systems around products, the industry must now build technology around customers, and, in particular customer relationships. Also, the conversation with customers is changing from complex...
  • Blog Post: Living on the Edge of Exponential Change

    Our future looks grim. The economic situation is dire with little relief in sight. But short term gloom conceals deeper shifts in an ever-changing environment. The future may be much brighter than it seems. There have been many turning points throughout history when breakthroughs in technology brought...
  • Blog Post: The Smartphone Wars

    It’s been almost fifty years since Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, goof-balled the mobile phone into the popular imagination when he used his shoe for clandestine conversations. A lot has happened since then in the ‘smart’ phone world. Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies are now out on Windows...
  • Blog Post: We Are What We Tweet

    Written by David but inspired by Damien. For years, a business card has been the ultimate power statement, defining who we are by the title we have and the firm we represent. After a handshake we naturally exchange them. But what happens afterwards? I have more business cards than I know what to...
  • Blog Post: Reflections on SIFMA 2011

    Now that SIFMA 2011 is behind us, let’s take a moment to look back on a conference whose conversations and content mirrored the extremes of our post-crisis world. This year the Leaders Forum explored two main topics – Dodd Frank implementation and the use and impact of social media...
  • Blog Post: Risk Management 2.0 – it’s closer than you think

    It has been a couple of years since the worst financial crisis in decades, and it is clear that we need a fresh approach to managing troubled markets. For years weather forecasters have been trying to make accurate weather predictions, but a little known phenomenon called the ‘butterfly effect’...
  • Blog Post: Designing a Viral Product – a fresh approach to innovation

    Viral marketing is hot right now. In the new world of social networking, a digital outreach strategy is essential. But it may be more useful to develop products that are intrinsically viral. According to a recent HBR article adding a “share” button to a product can increase peer-to-peer influence...
  • Blog Post: Three Ways to Analyse Social and Market Data - Recreating the Ear of the Markets Part II

    Once market prices hit the screen or populate a spreadsheet they are already history. In fact markets move on sentiment fed by stories that can bubble up from almost anywhere. David Cox posed the question: What if we could track the evolution of stories – the noise from other pits – before...
  • Blog Post: Recreating the Ear of the Markets - Part I

    Ever since Mr. Reuter replaced carrier pigeons with telegraphy, the history of markets has been a race to capture market sensitive information. But the challenge lies not just in gathering the data, but distilling it to what really counts. In the days of open outcry there was something called ‘the...
  • Blog Post: The Bloomberg Debate on Private Clouds

    How are financial institutions adopting Cloud technology? Are private clouds more appropriate for the industry, and if so what benefits do they bring to organisations? On Tuesday I participated in a very interesting panel on Private Clouds at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit , mediated by...
  • Blog Post: The Other Dimensions of Transparency: for Markets and Management

    A bank’s peers, partners, clients, counterparties…. All demand and expect greater transparency, to keep the markets efficient and fair. Just as importantly, from a risk and profitability standpoint, organisations must strive to achieve greater internal transparency up and down the chain...
  • Blog Post: Regulatory Transparency and Data Best Practices

    New rules are being written, demanding greater reporting from financial institutions to their respective regulators, and more rigorous stress testing for systemic players. To satisfy both these constraints, banks will need to store more data (both real-time and historic) in a consumable and accessible...
  • Blog Post: Decrypting Financial Reform: The Three Dimensions of Transparency

    The word “data” is used and abused when it comes to Finance and IT – but with new regulations the need for transparency is bringing data strategies to the top of every organisation’s priority list. This series of blogs will examine the new demands, and give examples of how technology...
  • Blog Post: Public Service or Private Enterprise? Banks and the risks they ought not take

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, much has been written on the increasing risks banks took to grow profits, and the collateral damage that was caused. Hard questions have been raised on the true role of banks within the economy. Are they operating a public service - enabling the efficient flow...
  • Blog Post: Innovation and Collaboration – managing the complexity of ecosystems

    'Innovation' and 'collaboration' are terms that are used almost synonymously these days as more corporations and financial institutions come to recognize the growing power and importance of ecosystems. The automotive industry has been familiar with this model for decades, but has often struggled to...
  • Blog Post: The Analytic Enterprise

    Why do some banks perform so much better than others? There are many factors, but a lot has to do with the way they manage, harvest, analyze and disseminate information. Banks need information more than ever, in particular customer information. As a result, there has been a huge growth in the demand...
  • Blog Post: The Growing Power of Visualization – the next phase of markets

    Too much information and too little time to absorb it - that's the dilemma of the financial markets today. We have more data than we can possibly absorb: spreadsheets with tens of columns and thousands of rows; news headlines streaming faster than the human eye can read....... Yet the data tsunami...
  • Blog Post: A Chef’s Guide to Innovation

    Banking has taken a leaf out of many industries, particularly the hospitality industry but cooking? Yet for an industry struggling with recovery, demanding customers and years of increased regulation, the time may be ripe for some fresh inspiration. Aliena, Grant Achatz's restaurant in Chicago isn...
  • Blog Post: Mastering Innovation in a World of Complexity

    A 1994 ground breaking paper on product development suggested that there were two kinds of product development - a traditional analytical one moving through defined stages from the abstract to the specific as a problem solving process and another based on interpretive and continuous dialogue. [i] ...
  • Blog Post: Digital Signature in the Branch of the Future

    We are all familiar with digital signature in the retail environment, even in insurance. A number of leading banks have begun to adopt the process, but in financial services the technology of digital signature is still in its infancy. Whether we are opening a bank or brokerage account or applying...
  • Blog Post: Mad Money

    Thanks to the financial crisis there has been a flood of new books on finance. Most have focused on the drama itself or on the lengthy steps leading up to it. But few have raised the bigger issue is our financial system itself the problem. That's the question Chris Whalen poses in his new book...
  • Blog Post: Increasing Marketing ROI – the importance of uplift

    In today's competitive markets, it's all about focus - reaching the customers that deliver the best return for the least cost. But traditional marketing programs are often more about coverage than focus. The secret lies in understanding the shape of a curve. Analysts have long been familiar with...
  • Blog Post: The Future of Language

    What is the future of the English language? For the younger generation it looks something like this - UR2 KEWL. While in business the future of communication may be more formal, in our personal lives it is becoming more spontaneous, more conversational and more casual. It's all about freedom of...
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