Article | September 2, 2021
Massive amount of data is collected and stored by companies in the search for the “Holy Grail”. One crucial component is the discovery and application of novel approaches to achieve a more complete picture of datasets provided by the local (sometimes global) event-based analytic strategy that currently dominates a specific field.
Bringing qualitative data to life is essential since it provides management decisions’ context and nuance. An NLP perspective for uncovering word-based themes across documents will facilitate the exploration and exploitation of qualitative data which are often hard to “identify” in a global setting. NLP can be used to perform different analysis mapping drivers.
Broadly speaking, drivers are factors that cause change and affect institutions, policies and management decision making. Being more precise, a “driver” is a force that has a material impact on a specific activity or an entity, which is contextually dependent, and which affects the financial market at a specific time. (Litterio, 2018). Major drivers often lie outside the immediate institutional environment such as elections or regional upheavals, or non-institutional factors such as Covid or climate change. In Total global strategy: Managing for worldwide competitive advantage, Yip (1992) develops a framework based on a set of four industry globalization drivers, which highlights the conditions for a company to become more global but also reflecting differentials in a competitive environment. In The lexicons: NLP in the design of Market Drivers Lexicon in Spanish, I have proposed a categorization into micro, macro drivers and temporality and a distinction among social, political, economic and technological drivers. Considering the “big picture”, “digging” beyond usual sectors and timeframes is key in state-of-the-art findings.
Working with qualitative data.
There is certainly not a unique “recipe” when applying NLP strategies. Different pipelines could be used to analyse any sort of textual data, from social media and reviews to focus group notes, blog comments and transcripts to name just a few when a MetaQuant team is looking for drivers.
Generally, being textual data the source, it is preferable to avoid manual task on the part of the analyst, though sometimes, depending on the domain, content, cultural variables, etc. it might be required. If qualitative data is the core, then the preferred format is .csv. because of its plain nature which typically handle written responses better. Once the data has been collected and exported, the next step is to do some pre-processing. The basics include normalisation, morphosyntactic analysis, sentence structural analysis, tokenization, lexicalization, contextualization. Just simplify the data to make analysis easier.
Topic modelling refers to the task of recognizing words from the main topics that best describe a document or the corpus of data. LAD (Latent Dirichlet Allocation) is one of the most powerful algorithms with excellent implementations in the Python’s Gensim package.
The challenge: how to extract good quality of topics that are clear and meaningful. Of course, this depends mostly on the nature of text pre-processing and the strategy of finding the optimal number of topics, the creation of a lexicon(s) and the corpora. We can say that a topic is defined or construed around the most representative keywords. But are keywords enough? Well, there are some other factors to be observed such as:
1. The variety of topics included in the corpora.
2. The choice of topic modelling algorithm.
3. The number of topics fed to the algorithm.
4. The algorithms tuning parameters.
As you probably have noticed finding “the needle in the haystack” is not that easy. And only those who can use creatively NLP will have the advantage of positioning for global success.
Article | September 2, 2021
There are few movie scenes I can recall from my childhood, but I vividly remember seeing the 1968 Stanley Kubrick sci-fi movie 2001 A Space Odyssey in 1970 with my older cousin. What stays with me to this day is the scene where astronaut Dave asks HAL, the homicidal computer based on artificial intelligence (AI), to open the pod bay doors. HAL's eerie reply: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.In that moment, the concept of man vs. machine was created, predicated on the idea that machines created by man and using AI could (eventually) defy orders, position themselves in the vanguard, and overthrow humankind. Fast forward to today. Within the information governance space, there are two terms that have been used quite frequently in recent years analytics and AI. Often they are used interchangeably and are practically synonymous.
Article | September 2, 2021
Decision-makers at consumer brands are finally realizing the full transformative potential of external data - but they’re also realizing how difficult it is to source. Forrester reports that 87% of decision-makers in data and analytics have implemented or are planning initiatives to source more external data. And those initiatives are growing outside of the IT team; 29% of those surveyed say that IT has primary ownership of data sourcing, down from 37% in 2016. To support these projects, organizations are increasingly turning to a new specialist: the data hunter, who identifies and vets external data sources. It’s a lot of work to build external data-focused teams, and many leaders are realizing that external data is difficult to scale as the source list grows. Perhaps that’s why 66% of those decision-makers surveyed by Forrester report that they’re using or planning to use external service providers for data, analytics, and insights.
Article | September 2, 2021
The financial industry has been going through digital transformation for years. Digital technologies have helped to automate manual and tedious tasks like processing and reporting of historical data to forecasting and financial predictive analytics.
The financial services industry owes its success to data. Data is constantly evolving in the form of market trends, client investment, customer service, campaigns. Data gives a boost to banking strategies. As reported by Accenture in a recent survey, 78 percent of banks have made the shift to using data for operations; however, only seven percent of them have extended to using predictive analytics in finance.
Predictive analytics in finance has had a slow but steady start. It is an area of growing interest for banks and other institutions as new newer technologies launch in the market. To complete your company’s digital transformation, data analytics in finance will make a difference in that process.
To be successful, organizations must have the ability to adapt to changes.
Having predictive analytics on your side, your organization can deal with ever-changing circumstances with less to no difficulty.
Understanding Predictive Analytics: What is it?
Predictive analytics is a process of interpreting data to measure any possible future outcomes. It is carried out with the help of statistical modeling, historical data sets, and machine learning. The collected historical data is fed into an algorithm that recognizes patterns and forecast trends and possible future behavior from days to years in advance.
Analyzing historical data and predicting the future has been an old practice in the finance sector. Banks and financial institutions have been evaluating past events or historical data for a long time now.
Making precise forecasts in trends and analyzing data becomes easier due to predictive analytics.
There is a wider scope to predictive efforts with more speed and accuracy and apply them throughout strategic and tactical business practice areas.
Predictive Analytics in the Financial Sector: What are the Benefits?
Many organizations are ready to accept the positive applications of predictive analytics but remain skeptical about the return on investment.
It is worth understanding the potential of predictive analytics to any business big or small. It doesn’t matter if you are not in the banking sector to benefit from taking a peek into the future of financial performance.
Any finance and accounting department can take advantage of advanced predictive analytics for the following reasons:
The technology keeps a regular track of the consistency between expectations and reality to warn you about possible gaps.
Analytics accurately helps you identify any possible threats to your business and warns you.
Enhanced User Experience
Predictive analytics guides you to recognize the strengths of your business and lets you know how to maximize customer satisfaction.
Analyzed Decision Making
You can understand your customers better with predictive analytics. With this information, you can correctly match your customers with the product in a better way.
Importance of Predictive Analytics
Most successful banking and financial institutions depend on predictive analytics because it simplifies and integrates data to increase profits for companies. Predictive analytics can improve different finance processes.
But the importance of analytics goes beyond just banking services and actually goes into a better quality of customer service. Better customer service is only possible because of the advanced technology that shares customer feedback and preferences throughout the organization, in turn giving relevant information to every employee to make necessary product enhancements.
To understand the importance of predictive analytics, below are some of its use cases:
Predictive analytics in financial institutions and banking give you a complete profile of your customer base. It is impossible to contact every customer and interview them about their likes, needs and wants. This is where big data analytics in finance comes into play. It gives you the whole information about your customers regardless of the services they subscribe.
Customers usually don’t have the same needs throughout their lives. As they grow older and have families, their financial needs change accordingly. For instance, a young person considering getting married will always try and save monetarily to buy a house, life insurance, college funds, whereas an older couple will save that money for their retirement.
Apart from enabling different financial services, predictive analytics empowers you to serve individual customers with ease. Let’s take an example. When a customer applies for a loan, predictive financial services can help you analyze if the customer can repay the loan.
Predictive analytics also helps offer alternative services like secured loans to customers who may not qualify for the originally applied services.
Online Banking Made Better
Consumer interest fluctuates in spikes. Predictive analytics informs managers enough in advance so they can set up online infrastructures in those areas. Predictive analytics has made it easier to identify a possible customer base. For example, it can provide metrics to the marketing teams. In turn, the marketing teams can target the customers with ads for probable mortgage loans or business loans in hopes of converting them into their customers.
Data analytics in finance also helps in preventing and detecting fraud and abuse. Although detecting fraud doesn’t necessarily fall under predictive analytics, it can inform the IT department about potential scammers and which online services must be protected.
Foreseeing Market Variations
Predictive analytics can predict market variations and changes. By combining internal and external data, your organization can predict revenue growth in particular market sectors.
For nascent or growing companies, predicting market changes is an important ability. Profitable companies should also be reviewed through predictive analytics to generate demand projections owing to the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Your return on investment can grow or reduce even with the minutest changes to the growth plans that would seriously impact investor confidence in the future.
Predictive analytics also help to establish which marketing campaigns are working and which strategies need to change.
Predictive Analytics and the Future: What Next?
Technological improvements have allowed predictive analytics in finance to improve and change constantly. Any organization can use customized data solutions to meet your customers’ needs and reach new ones efficiently. Your organization can use predictive analytics to move your business and products ahead and understand how the market will thrive, giving you the much needed heads up you would need to change your strategies and tactics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is predictive analytics is the future of finance?
Predictive analytics is called the ‘future of financial software,’ which means it can provide accurate planning and cost-effectiveness.
How can analytics be used in finance?
Analytics helps in predicting revenue, improve supply chains, identify trouble spots, understand where the company is bleeding money, and fraud detection.
How do predictive analytics benefit financial institutions?
Predictive analytics can help financial institutions and customers detect fraud, financial management, predicting markets, improving products, better user experience, etc.
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