5 Game-Changing Financial IT Startups
Narrative Science - Mines data for insight and meaning, and translates it to English at reading levels we can all appreciate.
WS&T last covered Narrative Science at the FinTech conference in July. The company is still going strong, and presented at Finovate alongside Credit Suisse managing director Tim Bixler. Together they gave a presentation on how complex graphs and data analysis can be broken down into simple English with Narrative Science's Quill Financial product.
Bixler said in his department 20 people around the world would be writing summaries of visual information, creating a problem is core consistency – different people with different writing styles, different experiences, and editing, not to mention the scale of 2500 reports, which Bixler hopes to move to 5,000. Quill Financial was their solution. "Quill takes data, looks and analyzes for trends, correlations, differences and it finds facts and extracts it from the data level," he said. "Facts alone aren’t interesting, so it adds layer of interpretation that's impactful for the people who are reading those reports."
In an interview, CTO Kris Hammond explains that when companies are providing analysis for investors that are using it to make real decisions, they traditionally express data through charts and graphs. But in reality, if you look at the population and look at how we understand things, we understand things more fluidly with language. Even for a sophisticated group firms realized they need people writing interpretations, but even if they offshore this work there are quality differences an editorial issues, "so they bring it to us," says Hammond. "We do tremendous quality at scale, and if they change we can change it. It's kind of cool. Smart people are doing hard stuff, and they cant explain it, so we built a machine that can explain it for them."
He highlights two major benefits:
1) The smaller accounts benefit in a big way: "Financial services are managing people’s money, which is a huge chunk of what these people are, but there’s a gap between being able to manage that and communicate that." While the large accounts may have open communication with advisors, the smaller accounts likely do not. "Think of us as giving voice to what these companies are doing with money, decisions they are facilitating, and advice they want to give. So we can take the best of what goes on in Financial Services organization, and communicate it to everyone"
2) As the company grow, the service grows with them. "We’ll write reports traditionally written by analysts so now analysts can do smarter stuff, and find new things in data. We can follow them up, and we can move that analysis into what we do," explains Hammond. "As people get smarter in their domain we can get smarter. We can actually free them to be smarter, and we like that. Organizations can get smarter and smarter because we take care of the less smart parts and everyone else can move up."