If Great Tech Is Hard to Use, It’s Not Great Tech

Jul 7, 2021

If Great Tech Is Hard to Use, It’s Not Great TechTechnology is never a differentiator in itself. Creating a competitive advantage depends on finding applications of that technology to better serve customers. The distinction may seem obvious, but as fund administrators expand investments in data operations, executives are realizing how difficult this challenge can be.

Hear Harmonate CTO Richard Scheffrin and CEO Kevin Walkup discuss this in their recent webcast – Why Quality Comes Before Speed in Private Capital Data Operations

What sets the high performers apart from the pack? McKinsey surveyed executives across industries and found that “breakaway” companies place particular emphasis on the “last mile,” or “delivering the right insights to the right people at the right time in a way that informs their decision making to drive better business outcomes.”

A remarkable 90 percent of breakaway companies devoted the majority of their analytics budget to last mile efforts – in other words, making sure everyone in their organization is using innovative tech tools – compared to 23 percent of other surveyed organizations.

Readers who are pragmatists are probably now raising their hands to say, “Sure, adopting new systems sounds good in theory, but have you ever trained an entire organization on using advanced technology?”

Why yes, we have. Harmonate has spent 15 years engineering our machine-learning solution in real-world financial environments. We know enough about technology and data operations to recognize that customer understanding of our product, Conductor, is as important as the innovation itself.

Sure, we’re a tech company. But we obsess as much about Conductor’s user interface as we do about the data engine underneath the application’s hood. The speed and interoperability of Conductor is only as valuable as the decisions it is driving. That requires seamless integration with humans.

We know the value of our product increases with each additional user. If a team of IT experts is required to extract insight from data, something isn’t working. That’s why Harmonate is creating clear and easy-to-understand dashboards and providing a white-label product that our clients, fund administrators, can customize to help develop their brand and customer experiences.

The best technology doesn’t require a long tutorial or days of training. The tools should be intuitive. That’s possible only with years of industry expertise that includes knowing exactly what functions different actors will be looking for and creating an easily configurable product that works for each role on a team.

Our exception-based machine learning algorithms empower our clients to extract, normalize and verify data 80 percent faster than their current operations. That creates significant savings in back-office functions. But it’s the speed to insight that matters most to our clients, and that is only possible if your frontline employees are receiving credible intelligence early.

Conductor places incoming documents into context, drawing on historical and contemporaneous data to rapidly identify trends and anomalies that might take other firms a week or longer to analyze and act upon. It’s not only an accounting tool. Our algorithms are looking at incoming documents from as many dimensions as possible so data can ultimately be presented to the customer in a way that adds meaning to fund administration.


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