3rd Quarter 2014, Issue 33
In this issue, we highlight the "Connect with RIXML" campaign, an update on our RIXML Wiki Tool, an update from our Technology working groups across Emerging Technology, Componentization and Social Media, we highlight an ANALEC article entitled "Investment Research Must Evolve in a Technology Driven Environment" and we get a perspective from Jack Roehrig, Executive Director of RIXML.org.
We are pleased to mention the addition of several channels and ways to connect with RIXML.org:
- Subscribe to our Quarterly Newsletter
- Follow RIXML.org on LinkedIn
- Jon the RIXML Wiki
- Follow RIXML.org on Twitter
For further details, please refer to www.rixml.org
We encourage you and your colleagues to take advantages of these channels and we look forward connecting with you! As part of this campaign and as mentioned at our recent quarterly members' meeting, we strongly encourage our members' contributions to these channels, in highlighting their use of RIXML, in contributing to our working group discussions, et al. To our members: This is YOUR site-You own it! We welcome your expertise.
In recent months, we have received significant and excellent contributions from our members to our RIXML Wiki...ranging from topics related to social media, components, HTML5, schema expansion, publishing to mobile devices, et al. The expansion of this content will serve as a very useful glossary and update mechanism from our Technology Working Groups.
The Wiki is located at: rixml.wikispaces.com. To participate in the Wiki and contribute content, request membership from Jack Roehrig, Sal Restivo or Richard Brandt.
Keep those "cards and letters" coming in!
Thanks again to Bloomberg for hosting our last meeting back in June. We’re also grateful to Chuck Pickelhaupt from the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology for his interesting presentation on the business implications of emerging technology. Chuck talked about ten trends in particular: Mobile, Social, Big Data, Cloud, Gamification, Customer Co-development, Pervasive Video, Evolving Interfaces, Robotics & Automation, and Genomics.
Emerging Technology Committee
Richard Brandt led one call since our last Quarterly Meeting – on September 16th. Topics of discussion mostly followed the activities of our two active working groups – Componentization and Social Media. In addition to the regular calls, the group met for an in-person workshop on July 30th at Jordan & Jordan in New York.
Componentization Working Group
Quark published a webcast featuring RIXML.org and S&P Ratings, in which they identify the top drivers for componentization.
- Decreasing commissions, creating a greater sense of urgency for research discoverability and payment realization.
- Evolving technologies causing transitional time for the research business to update delivery models.
- Increasing buy-side clients’ use of mobile devices and social networks.
- Changing channels for packaging and delivering proprietary content.
- Transitioning from document-centric toward component (unbundled) delivery models.
- Growing presence of non-traditional players in the marketplace.
Our plan for Componentization continues as follows:
- List component types: We’ve had contributions from several members and we believe we have a viable set of types with which to work.
- Leverage our RIXML Wiki, where members collaborate on content, section by section, toward the finished product – i.e. our guidelines for componentization and leveraging HTML5. We must demonstrate clarity of purpose via our documentation, and light the path for implementing teams. This is the outline we’ve adopted:
- Business issue, mission, and purpose.
- Proposed solution and details.
- Itemized component type list, describing the meaning of each type and referring to related terms.
- FAQ (after pilot program).
- HTML5 example.
- Use-cases, both production and consumption. For example, conference books, Year Ahead across sectors and regions, Morning Call, Ratings, Valuation Survey,etc..
- Productize the documentation artifacts via Deirdre Goldenbogen. Artifacts should follow the design principles Deirdre established for our RIXML v2.4 release in 1Q13.
- Pursue a pilot program with one or more member firms to model our approach. This will provide some grounding to what we expect to accomplish, and generate some “Ah, ha!” moments.
- Implement a production release of the RIXML Componentization results.
- Arrange an eSeminar to spread awareness. We’ve had some success with this format in the past, and we feel it’s a good vehicle for this introduction.
The group has made substantial progress on step 2 and is ready to pull the pieces together into a coherent story. So, we’re moving from step 2 to step 3. Richard and Sal will produce a draft, and then seek Deirdre’s assistance toward productizing the result. At Alan’s suggestion, we also switched the order of steps 3 and 4, moving the pilot after the documentation.
Social Media Working Group
Here are some of the highlights from the Social Media conversations during our working group calls and during the workshop:
- We’ve added a section to our Wiki for notes about who is doing what with research in social media. Sara has contributed some good content there.
- We may want to poll our buy-side partners on which channels they favor. We are considering a panel or webinar on this topic.
- The workflow around social media interaction is at least as important as the format.
- Compliance considerations still keep social media use in research in the early stages.
- Until guidance is available from regulators, each organization will have its own approach on how to best leverage social media platforms.
- RIXML is in a unique position to influence the social media discussion in the research context.
- Jack has met with Dataminr, a social data search tool vendor with interest in the Financial Services space. Maribeth Martorana provided the contact there.
- Maribeth is also looking into Crimson Hexagon, a group from Harvard with algorithms applicable to the consumer space.
Indy Sarker, CEO, Co-Founder, ANALEC
Merely delivering information adds little value to the research consumer, as information is abundantly available at the press of a mouse click. To win greater mindshare, investment research firms have to look at interactive engagement tools within their research offerings and research reports.
The economist Kenneth Boulding suggested that in periods of transition, it is not the well adapted who survive, but those who adapt well. This certainly applies to the challenges in investment research – which, according to Harvard’s Paul Healy, has successfully adapted to changing environments since its inception more than 50 years ago.
The investment research industry has seen little innovation over the past 10 years when it comes to content delivery and client engagement. Research is largely delivered in the form of PDF reports that are either emailed across to the consumer (i.e., client) or delivered as links within the emails. This is despite the revolution in content access that has taken place over the same period with the evolution of the Internet (giving rise to Google, YouTube, etc.) and the growing importance of social media in recent times (e.g., Blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook etc.).
The explosion of the Internet and social media has made us realize that merely delivering informationadds little value to the research consumer, as information is abundantly available at the press of a mouse click. It is the ability to sift through large volumes of information to deliver actionable analytics and intelligence that drives value in the marketplace. In addition, consumers pay for bespoke services and requests; and in that context, research technology within the organization has to be geared to diverse client requests at the shortest possible turnaround.
Second, the consumption behavior of the consumer is evolving at a faster pace than ever imagined before, and the fight for mindshare is becoming rather acute. Research consumers are reading less as they are being bombarded with content from multiple different avenues as highlighted above. Consumers are facing an era of information overload, and hence the need for better client engagement tools.
Everyone wants the "elevator pitch," and if they remain interested, they seek the more in-depth view. The same applies to the consumer in the investment research industry. Making content easily accessible in bite-size components across multiple mediums helps to raise the recall value and branding of the service provider.
Consequently, if you are an investment research service provider, not only do you have to think about your "value add" in your offering, you also must pay equal importance to your delivery mediums and their associated client engagement quotient. Clients are increasingly accessing content in short blurbs on Twitter, Facebook and blogs, and seeking a more engaging and interactive relationship with the content they consume. As an investment research provider, you have to realize you are not immune to the changing consumer behavior in the marketplace when it comes to consuming content in general.
Investment research firms have to look at interactive engagement tools within their research offerings and research reports. The ability to deliver embedded video within research reports; the ability for clients to access interactive content (e.g., investment valuation and financial forecast models etc.) from the research reports; as well as the ability to get content via social media feeds and blogs, all go a long way to boost the client engagement quotient of the research offering as well as to win greater mindshare in a competitive marketplace. We believe it is not a case of either/or but all of it when it comes to picking the various digital mediums to deliver content and win the mindshare battle.
As a research service provider, if you buy the above argument, you will then have to ensure your research technology within your organization is able to cope with the workflow and compliance challenges of delivering content across this wide spectrum of digital mediums, but also able to empower you with the data and analytics on whom is consuming your content, on what medium and how often. Technology solutions that are thinking ahead of their times and delivering the capability to leverage the broader digital medium, deliver bespoke client servicing capabilities, and possess higher client engagement value will go a long way to address your long-run competitive challenges within the investment research industry.
Indy Sarker is the CEO and cofounder of ANALEC, a global financial technology firm focused on the investment research and resulting client servicing industry. This article was retrieved from the Tabb Forum at www.tabbforum.com.
PLEASE NOTE: This viewpoint is entirely my own and neither the official viewpoint of RIXML.org northe viewpoint of any of its member organizations.
RIXML.org and Evolving Research Models: "May the Forces Be With Us"
Taken from Wikipedia:
The expression "May the Force be with you" has achieved cult status and is symbolic of the Star Wars legacy. The line has been said by at least one character in each of the Star Wars movies. In A New Hope, there are several mentions of the Force in reference to Luke Skywalker, by Obi-Wan Kenobi ("Use the Force, Luke" and "The Force will be with you, always") and Darth Vader ("The Force is strong with this one"). The famous line is actually said by General Dodonna after explaining the Death Star attack plan to the Rebel pilots. It is said again by Han Solo to Luke, right before the attack on the Death Star battle station. The line is also said by Luke Skywalker at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. A variant, "May the Force be with us" is said by Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi. In the prequel trilogy, the line is said in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace by Qui-Gon Jinn to Anakin Skywalker, and also by Mace Windu and Yoda. Obi-Wan Kenobi says the line to Anakin in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, who repeats it back to him. The line is also said between Anakin and Obi-Wan again in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, where Mace Windu additionally says "May the Force be with us all".
I cannot say I am a devoted follower of the Star Wars legacy----at its peak, I guess, at the time, like many of us 30 or 40 something year-olds, there were many other diversions, i.e., marriage and a family, with the usual activities and obligations, a career(lots of traveling), taking care of house(gardening remains a passion), etc...etc...etc....so, I never really had much time to dwell on the magical, mystical world of Star Wars mania.
That said, the line "May the Force Be With You" has transcended the generations and now is more of a "hip" salutation(at least "hip" for us geezers, as we geezers may be the only group that still uses the term "hip")...but...I digress(or the term in my family is "ramble")....
If recent discussions and activities within our RIXML.org Technology Working groups are any indication, I am convinced that the spirit of those discussions and the intention is to ensure the Research business “forces” are indeed with us, as we examine the “new world order” for content delivery models. For example, with the Research industry, while in the early stages and having more questions than answers, exploiting the use of Social Media for content design, packaging and delivery, is a "front and center" topic for our Technology Working Groups. The key drivers remain:
- Tactical delivery of unbundled components to buy-side portfolio managers, analysts and traders
- Research delivery to the "workstations of choice" – smartphones, tablets, et al
- Increasing regulatory scrutiny around buy-side commission use heightens the need for this “new world order” competitive content packaging(Tweets, Components, et al), in order to drive the Value/Payment discussion with institutional consumers
- The convergence of Social Media/Big Data will impact the Research space to spawn new delivery models
The level of energy and creativity brought to our working groups discussions is outstanding---I am always impressed by the skill sets the participants bring that are highly complementary and in the spirit of sharing expertise to bring solution sets to RIXML.org for the greater good. I urge all of our members to take an active role in the working groups---it is always time well worth investing.
Yes—we will continue to weave the evolving Research business "forces" into the day-to-day work of RIXML.org---and those "forces will be with us."
Live long and prosper(Wait! That’s Star Trek...not Star Wars).