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Policy Principles for Fintech: Productivity Potential
Policy Principles for Fintech: Productivity Potential

The financial services industry is considered to be more of an information industry. Here the real value of money is not really taken into account rather, it (money) is a nominal representation of the real value (which would be the goods and services provided). While a majority of industries which follow similar paths have sort of experienced disruptive gains. Contradictory to those, the financial services industry has been at the receiving end of incremental innovation. Today due to the influx of the development of technology, the financial services industry stands at a juncture, where expensive, single purposed networks are giving way to cheaper, and general purpose ones.

When we talk about this industry, we must bear in mind its long and historical tryst, with the IT sector. For instance, it was during the 1950s that the Diner’s Club and American Express, which happened to be a mail delivery firm, provided their customers with the first credit cards, in order to lessen their cash burden. Then came the next decade and banks began to offer self-service ATM’s, in a bid to improve the quality of their tellers. The decade after that saw the emergence of the great stock market. This stock market was instrumental in replacing the manually functioning floor trading, with electronic stock trading. This change was brought about for the sake of making trading faster and cheaper.

The 80’s brought about new avenues for experimentation and banks started with various new processes, in order to help their customers. This was the time when net-banking was introduced and this move was made so as to provide network services, which allowed to customers to conduct their banking business from anywhere. The later couple of decades saw banks becoming more tech-savvy and fully embracing the potential of internet banking. Today, almost all of the banks have adapted themselves to the world of mobile banking, most of which have their own mobile applications, which allow the customers to do everything at the click of a button.

As opposed to the belief during the olden days, the increasing rates of inclusion of the IT sector in banks have led to a greater increase in the labour productivity throughout the sector. Let’s take the example of all of the banks in the United States, in the field of commercial banking the labour productivity from the year 1987 to 2015, has increased by 153 per cent. This is about twice as more as the labour productivity increase of the whole economy. The introduction of Information Technology has gone on to ensure full automation of the tiniest of services, increasing efficiency. For instance, banks would automate all of their back-end processes, which would, in turn, save them hundreds of hours of monthly routine.

Today the technology has benefited the banks so much, as to the fact that it allows the banks to have fewer branches, yet have more efficiency and productivity. Self-service options like ATM’s, mobile banking and so on have helped in further reducing the costs of the banks’ services and improving their productivity. This is the reason why more and more candidates take up courses from Imarticus Learning in order to be a part of this field.

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Do you have what it takes to be an Investment Banker? Quiz!
Do you have what it takes to be an Investment Banker? Quiz!

Despite the global financial crisis and fear of layoffs, investment banking remains the most sought after career in Finance. But do you really want to be a banker? Are you prepared for what it entails? Answer our 7 question multiple choice quiz to find out.

 

1) Imagine you’re late for a meeting and you need to get from BKC to Express Towers and you don’t have time to stop for petrol. Which situation would you want to be in?

a. Petrol? I can’t afford the EMI on a car. It’s the train for me.

b. That’s fine. I will just take an Uber or an Ola.

c. My driver never lets my car run on empty

 

2) You are a massive Arsenal fan and Arsenal is playing Man United on the weekend.

a. You have planned a massive football viewing party at your house and have called everyone because you are the life of the party.

b. Because you know you might want to work, you don’t plan a party but make plans at someone else’s house and promise to make a dip

c. You make no plans and tell them you’ll call them last minute because it’s quite likely you’ll have to work the weekend.

 

3) You have prepared the pitch, come in at 5 am and taken print outs ahead of time even making sure you have an extra one as a backup but the client shows up with three extra people and your boss barks at you in public because you are one print out short.

a. You storm out but not before telling him that it was his fault he didn’t tell you there were extra people

b. You say you’re sorry and offer your own

c. You say you’re sorry, offer your own and rush out to find another print out at the hotel business centre

 

4) You have been working hard on analysing the telecom industry and are excited to have found a contact in a company you know your team has been trying to get to

a. You go straight to your MD with the information so he knows it was you who found the contact and sends you to pitch

b. You go to your immediate boss with the information and hope he passes on the fact with credit to you and invites you to the pitch

c. You send it to your immediate boss knowing full well that business development is not your purview and it will be a few years before you get sent on a client call

 

5) They are doling out work for the next big deal that your team has bagged and you’ve been put in charge of creating the financial model

a. You bury your head in hands, wipe the sweat off your brow and reach for Aswath Damodaran or panic and look for an old model you can work off and start to hyperventilate

b. You shrug it off – you might not live to model, but you’re comfortable with the mathematical complexity and know you’ll get it done in time

c. You beam with happiness. You live for numbers. You worship numbers and ask your boss if there is any restriction on how many sheets your model can run into and wonder if you can throw in a crystal ball forecasting tool for good measure.

 

6) Who is your role model?

a. Ambani

b. Adi Godrej

c. Mother Theresa

 

7) It’s the end of the month, your weekend is here and you have no work planned. What’s your idea of going out?

  1. Order in because you only have Rs 1000 in your bank account.
  2. Go to a pizza hut
  3. Go to Taj

 

The Answers will be revealed on April 3rd! Click here.

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Industry Report: Data Driven Innovation: Disruption Vs Optimization
Industry Report: Data Driven Innovation: Disruption Vs Optimization

Any successful innovation is a result of a good measure of disruption. Over this, you must add a very generous helping of talent and a lot of creativity to go into the mixture and finally a splash of intuition and you’re good to go.

While this may be the probable recipe for any innovation, but does it also happen to be the recipe for a successful innovation? That seems to be a different story altogether, because usually the one thing that any successful innovation depends on, is whether it meets or exceeds the assigned business goals.

It also finally boils down to the inclusion of big data into the mix. It is this ingredient that would help you ensure that your innovation is very successful. This is how you will figure out the coveted je ne sais quoi for your success. So one must remember to always get out their big data analytics tools and crunch some data in order to get amazing results.

Innovativeness, responsiveness, and resilience happen to be the trifecta of deriving business agility. These happen to be the core business drivers, which when put together, you have a great picture of how businesses deal with change.

Analysing the information that you have gathered or that is at your disposal, will help any organization deal much better with change as a result of a thorough optimization process. All a professional is required to do is gather all the data that is available on anything that they are doing, crunch all the numbers and go on to make recommendations on what all changes need to be made in order to ensure the betterment of the process.

While data analytics may be supremely efficient in making human processes more efficient, it has also experienced one flaw. That flaw as surprising as it may sound is humans. This would be more clear as the processes become complex. For example, when the data grows, it inadvertently means that the need for analysing the same also grows. But the downside here is that people, as a rule, have a limited attention span. So when it comes to analysing information, this attention span can prove detrimental in the processing of the information. So in a way no matter how good and exemplary your data analytics tool is in giving off results, it is redundant if there happens to be no one to read them or even understand them.

This is the reason why in order to eliminate the weakest link, there are many organizations which are trying to establish totally automated feedback loops. For instance take a firm which is responsible for managing giant amounts of data, from airports to factories and data centres. While the traditional approach to handling any kind of glitches here would be, drawing up of a number of reports, based on mathematical formulas and adjust the maintenance schedule accordingly. On the other hand, if there are mechanisms that would know beforehand when the glitches would occur and correct them way before happening, this would be a better arrangement.

This is why Data Analytics is becoming the most sought after profession, with many data aspirants trying to get professionally trained from institutes like Imarticus Learning.


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Career-hacks: 5 Tips to Rock Your First Job
Career-hacks: 5 Tips to Rock Your First Job

A first job (whatever position it may be) is definitely bound to be extremely daunting. But have you ever wondered how different it would be if you had like a manual of sorts? This way you would know all the tricks which would help ease that anxiety and stress. What if we were to tell you that there are certain scientifically proven, magical career hacks, which would get you from a newbie to an experienced professional?

Here are five such tips to get you started:

#1: Post-its for the win

Many social scientists have found that when compared to a typed out message, a post-it note makes a bigger difference. Using these would make it effective in asking someone to get a particular task done for you. Asking for help in the more modern and nonchalant way will give off oodles of results. Don’t believe us? The next time you want your boss to help you out with a certain report, all you’ve got to do is stick a post-it on it and then watch PIs work their magic.

#2: Being concise is of great value

Facts state that any average reader would only be able to pay attention to the written word up to about 300 words. Anything more than that and you’ve lost them as well as the message that you wanted to send across. Remember the 300 world rule the next time you are shooting a mail to a colleague. Another thing to remember is writing all the important detail at the very beginning of the mail, instead of leaving them until the end. This is because most of the professionals due to their busy schedule tend to skim through emails and hence the important things would be left out.

#3: Notepads are your best friend

Wherever you go in your professional capability, always ensure to carry a notepad with you. When you are a fresher in a workplace, it is very obvious to be really overwhelmed by a lot of things, which is why your attention will never be able to be on one thing. This is where notepads come to your rescue, even if you are just doodling something, they make you look very engaged. You can note down questions and important points and mull them over after the meeting gets over as well.

#4: Ask a favour of someone who is your nemesis

Have you heard of the Benjamin Franklin effect? This was basically what Franklin did to become friends with another rival legislator. You can definitely try applying this when it comes to a co-worker with whom you’re facing certain difficulties. Whenever you ask someone for a favour, it makes that person think as to why they should do you a favour if you aren’t really nice. This way you can lay down a good foundation for best friendship in future.

#5: Always explain

If you explain why you need something more than the other person, then chances are that they will give it to you. All you have to do is use the word ‘because’ while explaining it. This way, it increases your chances of getting greater success in whatever you want, from single copy maker machine to greater things.

 

So now that you know of these tricks, be sure to use them as well. Many professionals today have begun to realize the importance of generating skills that are industry relevant, which is why institutes like Imarticus offer basic assistance on workplace etiquette.


 

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Singapore to Use Analytics for Smarter & Greener Transport System
Singapore to Use Analytics for Smarter & Greener Transport System

In The News

Singapore’s second minister of Transport, Ng Chee Ming, in the speech that he gave at the Committee of Supply Debate, mentioned that his team would be making use of Big Data and Analytics. This use is basically in order to ensure the improvement of reliability of trains and also to help the public bus operators, in tracking the location of their buses. This move is made in order to make sure that the traffic flow in the country is smoothened, due to the availability of comprehensive data regarding traffic.

The minister stated, “In time to come, we will be able to integrate private transport data as well. Using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology and through the in-vehicle units installed in all vehicles in Singapore, we will get aggregated, comprehensive and real-time on road traffic.”

This will greatly help in the improvement as many motorists will be provided with accurate traffic data, which in turn will assist them in deciding on the fastest and most congestion free route. It will also help in the development of the traffic light system in order to respond better, to various traffic conditions.

The minister also added that his government is well on its way for the implementation of a new technology. This is known as the Electronic Road Pricing System and will come into effect in the year 2020. This system will be based entirely on the GNSS technology and will smoothen the process of curation. It will help accelerate the collection of a lot of thorough real time, aggregated traffic data and dispense the same, effectively to car drivers and motorists.

The minister further stated, “This information gathered by the system, will also help the LTA (The land transportation authority), which will then be able to develop a more accurate picture of the real time traffic situation and intervene wherever it will find necessary to. This process will be further developed by adjusting all the timings of the traffic lights and ensuring the provision of traffic lights, with the priority of buses.”

This is another such accomplishment in the field of digital transformation of existing resources, all thanks to big data and analytics. While this is only government based, there are many other avenues with the help of which, analytics is reshaping the businesses take place across industries. Today, applications like Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of things are more than just capable of bringing in immense growth and development for the entire world. With this rapid change in the technological sphere, accelerating the rate of growth and development, we are steadily reaching a stage of thorough digitalization.

If reports are to be believed, then by the year 2020, almost all the companies and their well-being will begin to depend on their ability to create and bring about digitally enhanced services, products as well as experiences. No wonder then, in today’s day and age more and more people are looking to get professionally trained from Imarticus Learning, which provides courses in tools of Big data and Analytics.


 

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The Promise of AI: Application in Education and Health Care Sector
The Promise of AI: Application in Education and Health Care Sector

Read the previous part of the report here.

The field of Artificial Intelligence is experiencing great advances, both rapidly and on a large scale. The various fields that have successful applications of AI to make them better are namely the accessibility sector, agriculture, business operations, consumer convenience, disaster prevention, response to disasters, education, energy, environment, health care, prevention and screening for any health discrepancies as well as, treatment and monitoring of the same, industrial operations, public safety, social good, transportation and so on. All of these fields have enhanced applications of AI presently and will have more in terms of the future as well. But the two fields here of greater importance would be health care and education as they happen to be determinants of the global development. This is why this article will be talking about the various applications in the above mentioned fields.

Let’s begin with education. One of the very primary applications of AI would be dealing with personalization of the maths. Let’s take for instance the IBM, which seems to have developed a new age tool known as the Teacher Advisor. Based on the Watson cognitive computing platform, this tool will reportedly help all the ninth grade math teachers. It would help in developing personalized lesson plans, by analysing common core education standards and student data. This way it will be able to assist the teachers in tailor making personalized instructional material, which would be based on the intelligence levels of the particular students. Other various applications of AI will possibly involve the method of predicting which students would be potential drop outs in particular years, or transforming teacher assistants in automated machines. Artificial Intelligence would seemingly make it easier for all the students to learn new languages as well as, would improve them by providing feedback in real time.

Let’s move on to health care, the various applications of AI here would include, prevention of loss of vision in Diabetes patients, analysing speech in order to predict Schizophrenia, successfully figuring out how to prevent pancreatic cancer, transforming a microscope in order to diagnose malaria, developing diagnosing techniques in order to diagnose voice disorders and so on. Other applications would be helping of all the diabetes patients in taking smart decisions, streamlining the discovery of drugs, developing robot surgeons in order to make stitches even safer, using artificial intelligence in order to speed the recovery stages of a patient, as well as to speed radiotherapy and lastly increasing participation of people in Clinical Trials, as it would be safer and side effect free.

AI has already begun its work especially in the health sector as a certain stat-up has developed an app, exclusively for patients with Type 2 diabetes. This app basically analyses all the medical records of the patient and then goes on to make personalized recommendations about alterations in their diet, which would help them deal better with their disease. Such developments would ensure a better, healthy and disease free tomorrow for our entire world. These developments have urged many to take up a career in this field. This is why we see a number of data aspirants pursuing professional training courses by Imarticus Learning.


 

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Life Hacks: 5 Tips to Help You Crack Interviews
Life Hacks: 5 Tips to Help You Crack Interviews

While we all may be extremely talented and confident in our daily lives, the mention of an interview definitely ends up making us feel insecure. So many of us tend to ask our relatives, friends, parents as well as neighbours for any kind of information that would help us better our chances of cracking the interview. But the truth is, that we live in the year 2017 and just a melange of very ordinary tips like ‘be a perfectionist’, or ‘sit straight and look the interviewer in the eye’ are not really going to cut it. This is the reason why we must look for interview tips, which are more like life hacks.

 

Here’s a list of five such life hacks that are guaranteed to smoothen out your interview process.

1. Research is of utmost importance

While you may think that the above-mentioned hack sounds quite similar to those generic ones, but it’s not. You must research about the company you are going to be interviewed for, but not in the same old way. Take help of the all-powerful Google search engine. All you have to do is register your G-mail account on their service called Google Alerts. There you can put in the keyword for which you require information, in this case the name of your company. What this service does is, it sends you all the latest information about your keyword, on your email id. This way you will be able to follow every highlight and current happening of your company.

2. Prepare a cheat sheet

Yes, we are well aware that carrying a cheat sheet is always against the rules, but then again when it comes to a job interview, that is not the case. Think of the cheat sheet as similar to your visiting cards or C.V, many people happen to share both of these at every interview they go. Now to the more important part, what you must include in your C.V.? All you have to do is include one or two of your accomplishments at your previous jobs. It would be better if one was an individual assignment and the other would be a team assignment. This way you would be able to present a detailed summary of your previous profiles to your potential employer.

3. Exercise helps

Are you prone to nervous jitters before an interview or anything similar? You can solve this worry by literally getting pumped up. Exercising would help loosen your muscles and get your blood moving. Thus you will be able to keep your mind clear and stay focused instead of being consumed by anxiety. If you haven’t got the time to pencil in a work out, then just a brisk walk or rather a few jumping jacks would be more than enough too. Just remember to take a shower after your exercise and you’re good to go.

4. Schedule an interview early in the day

Most of the HR managers take your preference of interview timings, so make sure that you get yourself a morning slot. This is mainly because of the fact that no one can function properly knowing they have an interview in the evening. This way, you would be readily inviting a case of anxiety butterflies by waiting the whole day. Scheduling interviews in the morning or earlier in the day will help you appear more confident and fresh.

5. Join a course

Many HR Managers today, feel that a number of candidates although educationally prepared, are not prepared for the industry. This is the reason why an increasing number of professionals have begun taking courses that train them to develop industry relevant skill sets.

Imarticus Learning helps candidates with getting industry endorsed training and proper career guidance to crack their interviews with finesse


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Book Review: Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think
Book Review: Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

Book Review

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This illuminating book is co-authored by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier. Viktor, a professor of Internet Governance and Regulations at the Oxford Internet Institute of the Oxford University and Kenneth, who holds the position of Data Editor at The Economist, both have written this book in an argumentative format discussing mainly the things that seem to have changed the nature of surveillance.

They write “In the spirit of Google or Facebook, the new thinking is that people are the sum of their social relationships, online interactions, and connections with content. In order to fully investigate an individual, all analysts have to do is to look at the widest possible penumbra of data. This data which surrounds the person, not including just whom they know, but also who all those people know.”

Both the authors argue that big data analytics have played a crucial role in revolutionizing how we all of us see and process the world around us. They compare this to a number of other processes including the Gutenberg printing press. In the course of this book, the readers receive a fascinating, and sometimes alarming, results of big data’s effect on the world. This effect includes the changes in the businesses, governments, science, medicine, privacy as well as our thought processes. They believe that it is these notions of causality, which will give way to correlation as the readers try to make sense of the various patterns.

With this great increase, the storage costs of this ever increasing data are also steadily increasing. Data crunching techniques, which were once available and used for spying agencies, research labs and gigantic companies, today are steadily becoming democratized.

The authors go ahead to write, “the ability to capture personal data is often built deep into the tools we use every day. These include the website to all the apps on our phones.” The purpose of writing this is to bring to the fore, the many secondary uses of data. Not every single company is able to let their customers know or even give a warning for the recycling and reuse of their data. For all the positive points of this massive data revolution and its benefits, there are some very worrying aspects too, which are highlighted by the authors. This is explained with the use of a fictionalized futuristic scenario, where data analytics would be so advanced that people could be very well arrested, well before they even committed certain crimes.

While they do endorse the fact that these developments are definitely going to bring a lot of positivity and development, but then it also has a number of consequences to deal with. One thing this book reiterates time and again that Big Data as a field will be a pool of opportunities for Data aspirants. This is why Imarticus Learning is becoming popular by the day as many candidates opt to get professionally trained for the same.

 


 

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Technology and Deal Making – Robot investment banker?
Technology and Deal Making – Robot investment banker?

If there was one part of Investment Banking that hasn’t changed since Barbarians at the Gate was written is Corporate Finance Advisory. Go into any M&A or Equity Capital Markets advisory office and, apart from the increase in Reuters and Bloomberg terminals, not much has changed. Pitches are often still on that dreaded powerpoint and called the ‘deck’. The ‘deck’ as we know it also hasn’t changed focusing on showcasing skill followed by analysis of Industry and then company leading to the proposal or pitch. The IM, or information memorandum, hasn’t changed and financial modeling for all practical purposes still runs into a million sheets that some poor analyst has given up every weekend for; using macros is considered being technologically advanced. So when news came out that a team of programmers had descended on wall street’s most uptight offices- Goldman Sachs, analysts began to shift around in their leather chairs with a certain amount of unease. Technology usually means someone is going to be replaced by a machine.

A team of 75 programmers, internally referred to as “strats”, have begun developing been developing technology that hopes to make dealmaking more productive. These strats are now part of equity underwriting and leveraged buyouts teams. They are analyzing client data to understand how firms can offer better advice. What advice has worked and what hasn’t; algorithms that could possibly evaluate a book building process to glean why some offerings do better than others when everything else holds equal. But how can automation do deals? Isn’t deal making about relationships? Endless rounds of golf and board room relationships? The current management speak is trying to reassure bankers that technology will only take out the grunt work. But junior bankers know what happened when technology hit trading.

Another cause for concern is whether the criteria to become an investment banker is going to be affected as well. Will bulge brackets now look to MIT instead of Harvard and Wharton? What does that mean for twenty-something-year-olds who just finished an expensive MBA and need to pay off a gigantic loan? Will a tech geek take their job?

It is believed that technology is going to lead to a 10 percent reduction in Investment Banking staff over the next few years. Kognetics, a software company that uses artificial intelligence to assist dealmakers say that almost a quarter of routine Investment Banking activity can be automated. ‘Sellside’, an application developed by ‘strats’ for Goldman that compiles deal information, is already making some analysts uneasy. But I think it’s quite some time away before an algorithm can decide which two companies should merge. But going by the failure rate of mergers these days, perhaps an algorithm might have better luck.

 

Written by Reshma Krishnan, Imarticus Faculty


 

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Big Data to Now Help Fight Illegal Fishing
Big Data to Now Help Fight Illegal Fishing

In The News

Time and again we have all come across news of the inability of the law enforcers to implement clear and efficient laws in the regard of oceans. This is exactly where we give a chance to the illegal elements to play their card. Illegal fishing has become very common today, both in India and the West. Records state that as much as a third amount of fish, which is sold in America is a result of illegal fishing. Not only is it illegal, but it also has a grave ecological impact on the ocean ecosystem.

Data Science, with a new development of data technology, seems to have come to the rescue. The basic aim here is to stop these illegal happenings by ensuring the protection of the high seas. This technology basically uses the satellite signals of the ships, in order to detect any kind of transshipment. This will take place whenever two vessels would meet at sea to exchange their cargo. Transshipment basically refers to the method, with the help of which great amounts of illegal fish is able to make into the main (legal) supply chain. Once this has taken place, there is close to no way of finding out which is illegal and which isn’t. This is why the recognition would provide major help in stopping the practice.

Global Fishing Watch has reportedly analysed about 21 billion satellite signals, which have been broadcasted by various ships, over the period of 2012 to 2016. This company majorly uses an artificial intelligence system, which was created by the professionals here and helps in identifying all the ships that have refrigerated cargo vessels. These are also known as reefers. Once the information is gathered, it is further verified with fish registries and other related sources, which rounds up the number of reefers to about 749. This is about 90% of the entire world’s total number of such vessels. With this technology, this company was able to track all of those scenarios when reefers were acting like potentially illegal and likely transhipments as well as times when a ship and a reefer were moving at a close proximity.

This development has led to a lot of speculations in terms of the development in the field of Data Science. Thus, we see a number of data aspirants looking to get professionally trained in this field by pursuing courses from Imarticus Learning, which happen to offer courses in data analytics.


 

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