Eliminating the Fear of Social

The recent furor over Wall Street’s handling of Facebook masks a deeper issue – banking’s almost paranoid discomfort with social networking. The cultures couldn’t be more extreme. While capital markets favor opaqueness, social networking is all about transparency. Surely any bank’s nightmare would be to have its trading strategy posted on Facebook. Yet it is…

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Why Big Data is Important

Several years ago at university I took a course in the economics of developing countries. Back then I thought I had stumbled on the most intractable problem mankind ever faced. Now with the world running out of resources perhaps the concept of developing applies to all of us. But sometimes when you think you understand…

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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 talked about is Hadoop. But what…


Big Data Comes of Age

Many years ago, Walter Wriston, former Chairman and CEO of Citicorp, startled the world by claiming information about money has become almost as important as money itself. More recently, the World Economic Summit at Davos published a report implying it was an economic asset as valuable as currency or gold.[i] The difference between ‘almost’ and…

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Revisting the Analytical Enterprise

The way banks have competed in the past has been on the basis of assets – how many branches, products, how many countries they operate in – even how big they are. But the rules of the game have changed. These capabilities are less important today. What matters more is how banks manage information –…

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Coming Out of Left Field

Baseball is the arguably the most hallowed game in America. Trying to redefine baseball is almost like trying to redesign the American flag. It’s practically sacrosanct. Since the 19th century, a player’s performance has been determined by the insider opinions of players, managers, coaches and scouts using traditional statistics such as stolen bases and batting…

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The Bank Branch of the Future – Microsoft at BAI 2011

Bankers at BAI this year seem to agree that bricks and mortar banking is here to stay, despite the growth in digital channels. But the role of the branch would be very different and more enabled by technology. What the bank branch of the future might look like is very much the theme of the…

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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 recover from the shock waves…

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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 instruments to simpler products like value based checking. Banking is going…

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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 about huge changes in society. From the spinning…

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