A Separate Point of View

The technology industry has become a battle ground for patent disputes. Some have questioned their value. But Apple’s recent patent victory against Samsung gives a really clear message on the importance of a separate point of view. But have some features become so generic, such as pinch-to-zoom, as to make it impossible to produce a…

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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…


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 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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Netflix and the Future of Banking

Banking moguls looking to extract more value from their businesses might take a leaf out of the media industry. Netflix is a huge media success. But it is far from unique. The media industry has long made more money through aggregating and distributing content than by creating it. Distributors provide scale and customer reach without…

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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 – two themes that couldn’t be…

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Next Generation Risk Management in the New Age of Structured Products

Even before the financial crisis, financial firms struggled to get their enterprise risk act together. Then as now, structured products added a whole new layer of complexity. The problem is how to get on top of the data. Without the right data, risk management, in today’s high frequency markets, is like driving a Ferrari at…

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