Sapient Global Markets, a division of Sapient and a provider of technology and consulting services, shared IT trends in financial and commodity markets in 2015.
Smart metering connected with a digitized home
The focus on energy efficiency and improved customer service is driving a whole set of new solution in the utility business. Smart metering involves being able to collect detailed power usage data and running analytics on top of that to identify how money is being spent on energy and providing insights on changes they can do to reduce the bill.
As more and more equipment in the houses gets connected, demand response will extend to being able to optimally manage the apparatus, for e.g. manage the thermostat to adjust based of the temperature outside, turn on the heater just in time for the home to be ready before the owners get back home from office, shift a washing machine to run at night when the power is cheap etc. Another direction these meters are getting extended to is to manage the net flow of energy especially in case of rooftop solar.
In today’s every changing world traders and operators are constantly playing catchup to events around them and how they impact their portfolio. The use of natural language processing clubbed with sematic correlation algorithms trained using machine learning will start getting tested to help parse through the huge amount of digital information that is flowing through to generate insights to help support trading decisions and to build early warning systems. This will become a key tool in the research that analysts do it process large amount of information in near real time to support trading and physical operations. Some will use this to track market sentiment, others to identify signs of change and yet others will use it to gain market intelligence on what competitors might be doing.
Energy Portfolio Optimization
The world is slowly moving from using simple query based tools to find what had happened to doing simulations to fathom what the future could look like and extend it to prescriptive analytics by using toolsets that can identify all the interrelated inputs, events and constraints to recommend the optimal usage of resources to maximize risk adjusted return. In this world of increased competition and decreased margins and rapidly changing supply and demand patterns it is extremely important for organizations to systematically understand all their obligations and commitments and the options they have to shape their portfolio and to be able to quickly adjust them. This requires organizations to look at all their existing commercial contract and potential contracts they can do, look at all the physical assets and options they have like storage, ships, pipeline network and model these as mathematical equations that cover all constraints and optionality and use toolsets for mathematical optimization to help identify recommendations for what to trade, what to move, what to store etc.
Solutions on the cloud
A number of these solutions are moving to the cloud — from cloud storage to cloud computing to pre-packaged analytics on the cloud. From Azure Machine Learning to IBM Watson everything is getting exposed as a service on the cloud and that should help jumpstart and prove a number of these concepts quickly without all the traditional barriers of huge storage, compute and analytics capabilities.
Citizens of the digital world
The vanishing salesman – with the proliferation of internet and mobile the intermediaries whether in insurance or mutual funds are vanishing and being replaced with direct selling. Imagine how much of the customer interaction is now getting captured digitally. This is creating a vast wealth of information about consumers that needs to be mined and used to create cross selling opportunities. Using big data and analytics techniques this information can be harvested to identify patterns, create investment advice and generate leads for targeted selling.
The aim of financial inclusion for all hinges very heaving on the penetration of mobile. For people who do not have access to the organized monetary system, mobile banking will be the key to get them started on this path and will lead to increased adoption of creative mobile solutions.