Author: Danny Donado
This week we launched Bipsync, a research automation platform to maximize the productivity of investment professionals.
Advances in information technology and the rise of user-centric software design have contributed to a productivity arms race among “knowledge workers”— professionals who leverage IT to gather, analyze and synthesize information to guide critical decisions. Investment professionals are the ultimate knowledge workers, but a perfect storm of industry compliance requirements, internal conflicts of interest between IT and end-users, and notoriously clunky software from traditional market providers has held back technology adoption among the audience that stands to benefit the most.
Investment management IT vendors have traditionally focused on technical areas such as network security, back office accounting and quantitative data products, with little emphasis on usability or interface design. Industry attempts at knowledge management have centered on products to help investors centralize and find notes, files, contacts and data. These Research Management Systems (RMS) provide clear value to the fund by institutionalizing knowledge but are about as intuitive and productivity-enhancing to the analyst as you’d expect in an industry where commercial software still looks like this:
For research management, the usual industry solution of developing internal IT systems is a costly and ineffective option because of the fundamental conflict of interest between the investment professionals and IT teams: what’s good for professional productivity almost always complicates compliance and security requirements.
At the same time, consumer software has seen design go mainstream: companies such as Apple, Evernote and Dropbox have fundamentally shifted what consumers expect from software in terms of usability, accessibility and aesthetics. A patchwork of these tools provides some benefit to investment professionals, but anything on the public cloud is almost always banned by IT due to data security and compliance concerns. With no better alternative available from industry vendors or custom IT, investment professionals either resign themselves to falling behind the technology curve or they circumvent IT and run the unauthorized software anyway.
Bipsync is our take on how a modern investor should be equipped to maximize personal productivity and make faster, better investment decisions — without sacrificing compliance or security requirements.
It’s the software I wish I’d had when I was an analyst.
What Bipsync does differently
At a high level, Bipsync differs in three major ways from alternatives such as traditional RMS deployments, consumer productivity tools, and custom internal IT solutions:
- Design focus: user experience is everything
We believe that in a post-Apple, design-driven world software has to delight users to see meaningful adoption – even in the enterprise. A historic focus on complex technical software and lack of end-user alternatives have left traditional investment management IT vendors without the means or motivation to design productivity software that end-users will actually use. Whether it’s integrated functionality from one-off tools to minimize app switching or thoughtfully designed user interfaces, Bipsync is designed to benefit individual analysts, not just the fund.
- Market focus: purpose-built for investors
We believe that research management requires a vertical approach to meet both the full range of industry requirements and to optimize tools for industry workflows. For investment professionals, a patchwork of consumer tools such as Evernote and Dropbox will always be limited in functionality while industry compliance requirements are beyond anything consumer-focused software hosted on the public cloud can provide. Whether it’s integrated market data, auto-mapped relationships between companies, industries and geographies or dashboards to track your research pipeline, we’ve tailored Bipsync to an investor’s workflow – and packaged it into a dedicated installation with the compliance functionality that IT demands.
- Technology focus: modern data access and connectivity
We believe that research management should connect rather than silo your data. Internally developed custom software is often ill-suited for research management: aside from the significant costs and absence of design as a core competency, IT teams are naturally predisposed to build “walled gardens” that silo data, do not connect to other apps, and require significant manual work and data entry from analysts. Whether it’s auto-importing your notes and contacts from apps such as Evernote and LinkedIn, accessing your research from any platform or device, or integrating disparate data sources using the APIs, we’re building Bipsync to have the connectivity you’d expect from a modern web platform.
Each point above on its own would be a welcome development for software serving investment professionals. But we’re not aiming for incremental improvements — Bipsync is re-imagining research management by combining all three of these elements into the industry’s first Research Automation platform.
In terms of functionality, Bipsync distinguishes itself in how it enables investors to execute key research tasks and processes with ease, all from a single integrated productivity environment:
The fastest, most efficient digital notebook for investors.
|Data Aggregation Automations:||Content Creation Automations:|
Slice and dice research across multiple dimensions.
Auto-map personal organization to collective knowledge.
Analytics, reports and visualizations on your research assets and pipeline.
|Insight-enabling Automations:||Compliance-related Automations:|
You can sign up and start using the free Free Plan of Bipsync right now — it’s free for personal use and supports teams of up to three people. The Free Plan marks a new level of accessibility for research management and related technologies.
This week we’ve also unveiled our first two commercial offerings, the Fund and Enterprise tiers. Each of the commercial tiers gives our customers a dedicated Bipsync installation — one of the fundamental differences between our security architecture and that of public cloud-based consumer tools. Advanced administration and configuration, compliance capabilities, and support with SLAs are some of the other features we think make the offerings compelling.
And yes, releasing our revamped iOS app is priority number #1 following launch. We made the difficult call to withhold our existing iOS app from launch because, frankly, it didn’t provide the experience we think our users deserve. Instead, we’re rebuilding the app from scratch, specifically optimized for mobile note-taking. The team is doing everything possible to have the new Bipsync Notes iOS app out before year-end. In the meantime, you can of course access the responsive web app on your iOS devices.
We hope you love using the product,