Steps Ahead

The power of collaboration

By Iram Cook-Monie, Head of Customer Success, and Marek Lewandowski Head of Sales, at Mosaic Smart Data

Banks’ IT spending has been consistently on the rise for the last two decades. In 2023, Gartner predicted that banks would spend around $650 billion on technology, and in a recent study about three-quarters said they were planning to invest more in 2024. A large portion of this spending, however, is likely to go to the same legacy software platforms that have created the spaghetti junction of siloed technology platforms banks are forced to deal with today. In reality, banks’ priority should now be on investing in solutions that enable greater collaboration across the institution.

The challenge, however, is that while it’s easy for banks to stick to the status-quo of existing siloed systems, driving adoption of innovative new solutions that enable collaboration requires a careful approach to change management.

Why collaboration matters

In research conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group, more than three quarters of respondents reported improved collaboration within teams as a result of deploying a strong data strategy and use of AI. Collaboration is critical for banks seeking to get a holistic view of their transaction data and for different teams to be able to gain actionable intelligence from it.

Collaboration between the bank’s sales and trading desks and across global departments ensures everyone has the same, standardised view of transaction data and delivers greater transparency and consistency. In addition, collaboration between a FICC desk and its clients and trading venues is enabled by achieving greater insights from transaction data and being able to suggest appropriate trade ideas at the appropriate time. This helps clients become more profitable and improves the strength of the relationship, improves trading venue management and performance and reduces fees if proactively managed.

Ultimately, the right set of data-driven collaboration tools can enhance productivity, maximise the output of a bank’s transactional data, and make sure the business strategy is supported with FICC and data science expertise.

Why effective change management is critical

Banks often task quants or internal development teams with building a solution from scratch or attempting to contort a generic analytics tool to meet their needs. Taking the latter approach can often feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole given the nuance of financial markets.
Once built, banks often don’t see the widespread adoption across sales and trading that is needed to drive collaboration. Instead, only the most tech savvy can learn how to use the tool and others rely on them to fetch and sense check the data.

With any new solution or process, change management is required to successfully change people’s habits. This involves training, educational resources, updates and support as well a way to understand if the project was successful and which metrics to track. Banks don’t traditionally have anyone dedicated to this role, particularly given the current talent shortages. This means that MDs, business analysts, quants or technical teams must take on these roles on top of their day jobs, often without any change management qualifications or experience.

Working with a forward-thinking vendor can be a true bilateral relationship where the vendor plays a collaborative and supportive role and helps companies and desks advance and accelerate their existing agendas, without banks needing to do the heavy lifting.

Of course, the vendor must work with the bank’s IT team to speed up the data strategy with a thorough implementation analysis, or IA, which helps produce benchmarking and a best practice plan of action. The end result is one database for multiple asset classes using the best of class data models – a fast and cost effective route to market.

This also helps circumnavigate the issue of data management teams and quants spending time on cleaning data instead of applying data to generate alpha or learning. The right vendor can provide clean data and advanced analytics that they can build on to focus on their core roles.

This is an important consideration against the backdrop of a widespread talent shortage, which is the number one challenge complicating the adoption of digital technologies, according to KPMG. Finding individuals who hold the required depth in technical knowledge and business understanding to implement digital tools in a sophisticated manner has become increasingly challenging. Partnering with the right vendor can be a solution to this challenge.

Changing hearts and minds

Financial services specialists like Mosaic know and understand the sector our customers work in and have already thought about, built and implemented the solutions to the collaboration challenges they face.

Not only this, but we focus on outcomes rather than output. We spend time with our users to help them track and optimise key metrics of their business, clients and product lines. We help them apply data insights to their everyday decision making and client interactions to optimise resource allocation and maximise client outcomes. This is only possible because we have a deep understanding of the FICC business model and experience working with multiple banks to change behaviour. We help you leverage data to enhance collaboration using the latest best practice.

Our platform is also inherently intuitive and easy for salespeople, traders and managers to use – not just by people with tech expertise. Designed as a modern platform more akin to those we use in our consumer lives, Mosaic democratises analytics to enable the entire institution to become collaborative with minimal barriers to entry and almost zero in-house resources to maintain.

If you’re a bank looking to make your FICC operations more collaborative using data, the case is clear. A use-case specific analytics offering with rich, tailor-made functionality is the quickest, most effective and future-proof route to deriving actionable intelligence from client transaction and market data across your entire FICC business.

Iram Cook-Monie
Head of Customer Success
Mosaic Smart Data

Marek Lewandowski
Head of Sales
Mosaic Smart Data