The explosion of financial data has presented challenges for financial professionals, who now often have too much information to analyse and process. How does a partnership between LSEG and ModuleQ use the power of AI to overcome ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’?
- The inundation of data has created challenges for financial services professionals.
- ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ can often turn large organisations into victims of their own success, as they fail to catch new waves of technology innovation, Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen famously observed.
- The launch of Refinitiv AI Alerts, the first intelligent assistant for financial services in Microsoft Teams – born from a partnership between LSEG and ModuleQ – is a clear triumph over the Innovator’s Dilemma. And proof that start-ups and large organisations can innovate well together. How did it happen?
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Both LSEG and ModuleQ saw the challenge that the explosion of data, and not enough signal was creating for harried professionals in financial services.
Both also observed the possibility of emerging technologies (artificial intelligence and Microsoft Teams as a platform) to solve this problem and make professionals more productive and happier. That vision of combining data and technology in a human-centric way has grown stronger and even clearer over the years.
Instead of information waiting passively for people to search for it, with the power of AI, information can become proactive: delivering insights just at the right time.
Microsoft Teams makes this new model possible by providing an interactive environment where AI can interact with people directly, almost like a virtual colleague.
“Not only is the right information surfaced, it’s appropriate for the current context, actionable, and can lead directly to a moment of clarity for decision-making. This is exactly how to do it.” – Mike Pell, Director, The Microsoft Garage NYC and author of The Age of Smart Information
Underpinning this functional vision, were a set of shared values that helped guide the co-creation of this solution.
A shared sense of curiosity and market-obsession by LSEG and ModuleQ sparked a meeting between the two teams, and led to the idea of engaging professionals with AI-driven insights on Microsoft Teams, and embedding Intelligent Tagging into the solution.
Using the LSEG Business Accelerator to validate the idea with the market obliged the team to revisit many initial assumptions. It also guided them on which user groups to focus on (bankers and client-facing professionals) and content sets to prioritise (breaking news, people moves and significant developments).
This validation also increased the confidence in the partnership, resulting in an increased minority investment by LSEG in ModuleQ. The potential was palpable, and the next step was the execution of the initiative.
Building trust and confidence
Key to the execution plan was an incremental approach to learning and building trust and confidence.
The managing director of the Business Accelerator joined the Board of ModuleQ, facilitating information sharing at the executive level across both organisations. LSEG also trialled the solution internally with its Sales and Account Management function, before rolling it out to pilot customers, again with an incremental and iterative approach.
These early adopters provided feedback and ideas for improvement, as well as generated enthusiasm virally among users.
The trial progressed smoothly to a successful internal rollout with over 1,000 users globally. It also proved that AI-driven market data in Teams could deliver highly relevant, personalised content and sustain extraordinary levels of end-user engagement in the range of 60 percent DAU/MAU (daily active users/monthly active users); a level that compares favourably with leading social media platforms.
Next phase of the learning journey
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, programs such as Microsoft Teams became essential for the new virtual/hybrid environment professionals found themselves in.
Like many innovations, the timely rollout of Refinitiv AI Alerts appeared to be a quick response to a market need, but in fact reflected three years of imagination, design, building, market validation and many, many learnings.
The launch is the beginning of the next phase of the learning journey, and will hopefully be one of many successful examples of corporates and startups partnering to solve market challenges in our new digital era.