Author: Dan Zambonini
The term Research Management Software has sent a shiver down the spine of hedge fund professionals for over a decade. Like a late-night spicy burrito, it always seems like a good idea at the time: a compliant, consistent way for people in a fund to record, share and explore research. But soon afterwards, you suffer the unfortunate long-term consequences of something that sounded good but turned out to be full of stale ingredients.
The configuration and roll-out takes months. Updates are painful. Research data is silo-ed in a proprietary system. Worst of all, nobody’s using it and everyone’s gone back to Word files on a shared drive, because it’s far too complicated. You’re in a meeting trying to quickly take a note and the screen looks like you’re completing your tax return.
Bipsync was founded in Silicon Valley in 2012 to solve these problems. Our Research Management Software (RMS) isn’t an unloved, forgotten part of a suite of products, and we don’t outsource the technology development. We were founded by investment, software and design professionals to specifically create an awesome, modern product for people who deserve better than the status quo.
We’ve tackled the traditional RMS problems in three different ways:
- Platform and infrastructure. We use a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model on individually hosted installations, together with modern software development techniques like iterative development, test automation, continuous integration, API-based architecture and continuous delivery. These allow us to make frequent, seamless updates; offer secure access via native mobile apps; and offer two-way data integration between your internal data sources and the RMS.
- Design. Simple, easy-to-use software is difficult to design, especially enterprise software like an RMS that needs to offer a wide range of features. We’ve had design and usability experts in our team from the start, and worked with hedge fund analysts and portfolio managers to iterate the interface over many years. While we continue to add features and expand the product, it’s always done with the user and usability in mind.
- Automation. The previous two techniques are at the heart of the current wave of popular consumer applications: thoughtfully designed software, which is continuously improved and accessible on multiple devices. But as a technology company, we want to do even more. We want to push the boundaries of our industry and bring new efficiencies to analysts and other investment professionals. We’re approaching this through what we call Research Automation: automating or semi-automating the tedious and complicated tasks that distract investment professionals, take up valuable time, and introduce accidental inconsistencies.
Research Automation features in the Bipsync Research Management System currently include:
Automatic Tagging via Machine Learning
For a few hundred of the most popular U.S. companies, Bipsync can automatically tag notes, emails and web clips to the relevant company based on the title and content. We use an internally developed machine learning model to perform the recognition – your research is never sent to a third party or viewed by human eyes. The model uses a corpus of tens of thousands of news articles to perform the recognition, so you don’t even need to mention the company name – the model will recognize important words related to each company.
This feature is currently in beta, and if our users like it we will expand the number of companies it can recognize over the coming months. The feature can also be disabled in the settings panel for those who don’t want to use it.
Automatic Organization via Relationships
When a note is tagged to a public company (either manually or via automated tagging), Bipsync recognizes the company and also automatically displays the note under the related industry and country.
Bipsync also automatically tracks all metadata for notes so that they can be browsed by other properties, such as author or how they were created: mobile, email, etc.
The Bipsync RMS features a highly configurable workflow system, which you can set up to perform any number of automated actions when specific conditions are met. For example:
- On Friday, notify all users with more than five incomplete notes.
- When an investment idea is moved to the Revisit Later stage by a user in the Portfolio Manager user group, notify the owner.
- When an investment idea is moved to Full Diligence stage and it is incomplete, email a specified address.
- When a clipped note is created and the clipped note originates from wsj.com, add News to the Note Type field.
Subscriptions and Notifications
With one click, you can subscribe to companies, industries, countries, people, investment ideas, and any other kind of tag in the system. You’ll then automatically receive in-app and/or email notifications when research changes in your topics of choice.
Bipsync RMS includes a wide range of automated dashboards and reports that help you analyze the composition and trends in your research and investment ideas.
With our software-as-a-service model, hosted on individual private installations per customer, much of the traditional I.T. work is automated for you. We configure and manage the servers, including failover, twice-daily secure data backups, and security and RMS updates. All changes to notes are automatically versioned and can be rolled-back or examined for compliance purposes at any time. Synchronization of research data and files to mobile devices is also automated as part of the RMS, without the need for any third-party sync solution.
We’re always looking for new ways to automate tedious tasks for investment professionals and make the Research Management Software that you deserve. Let us know what else we could be doing to make your life easier.