Tag Archives: FinTech

A fair call

I have been outspoken in the past on the US Administration speaking out on things they hardly understand, more specifically the nuts and fruits division (aka US Senate and US Congress), yet this morning I got confronted with one of such calls and I find it hard to disagree. The article that I initially saw on ABC (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-09/google-facebook-banking-senate-inquiry-fintech/12856080) where we get told ‘Senate inquiry asks whether Facebook, Google should be regulated like banks’ is the foundation of a much larger stage, and in the I find it weird that Apple is not named either. You see the quote “The inquiry — which in September handed down an interim report into other issues including regulation of buy now, pay later platforms such as Afterpay and Zip — is now examining whether it is dangerous to have large tech giants offering banking or other financial services”, is more than simply on the money, there is a whole range of services pushed and prodded towards consumers, if anything, the fact that players are faced with games like Gardenscape who continue their deceptive advertising trough games is a mere indication of how bad it could get. There is a basic level of protection that consumers are entitled to and as I personally see it they will not be getting it. 

Now, if these tech providers want to facilitate financial services whilst their services are not linked and behind a Chinese wall, isolating data and speculative insight away from the financial services it is one thing, it would level the playing field with the other providers. Yet in it current stage that setting is indeed extremely unbalanced, unbalanced towards their competitors and more important it will be unbalanced for the consumers who need a honest chance. 

So whilst we are getting treated to “Senator Bragg says our personal data has become an asset and the tech giants could be regulated so they use it fairly”, my response towards Andrew Bragg is that he is wrong, or perhaps incorrect is a much better word here, it is not regulation, it is isolation from internal and external data sources. Which means that if Banco Googly wants to extent a loan to Jack the Keyboard Hammer for a $99 new keyboard, they will have to do their own due diligence and use the methods the other banks and financial services have. That is the only way to keep level playing field. 

Now, player like Google Facebook and Apple might claim that the data link will allow cheaper loans, the might optionally be true, but when you get to the other side of the seesaw, and the seesaw is down for you, the data links might give you less options or more expensive options for the longest of times and the would not be fair. In that regard, have you ever seen ANY financial institution who set your wellbeing over their need for profit, please give me their name, because the alleged law firm known as Mandacious, Dissembling and Sneaky, who will inform you that there are leagues of financial institutions the always have your wellbeing at heart, all whilst you know that there are none that actually do. 

So, yes, I do believe the these tech giant have a much larger drive to own more and more money and there is nothing wrong with the, but they are doing it with a massive unfair advantage leaving banks with the empty jar of watered down milk as tech giants get to skim the cream of every milk delivery, it would be an unfair advantage, with larger implications when they start connecting financial data to the data the they already have, it would be a stage where we get a larger segregation of those who have versus those who have not. A stage that Dutch Journalist and tech savvy person Luc Sala warned us all against in the late 80’s, so 30 years ago he saw this level of segregation through technology, and when did personal segregation EVER have positive consequences? Ask the African Americans, the US Latino’s, optionally Native American Indians. Ask them what positive result they saw from segregation. Oh, and by the way good luck getting out of the room alive when you ask. 

Yet there is a larger stage the Google, Apple and Facebook will face and they already have the larger pieces in place to avoid them, as such regulation does not solve anything, it merely gives rise to legal loopholes, as I personally see it, the segregation of those services is the only decently clean and complete stage the void a lot of traps (most of them, not all), there is a larger stage where Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (yup they are in it too) can set the stage of offering testing data, but the should only be allowed if that data is open to all financial institutions and for the same price. You see, they are not alone, that field has has layers like Equifax, TransUnion, Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis and a few more, as such there is a stage where their data has more unequal benefits, which is interesting, the article never mentioned them, so whilst some are amazed by people like Andrew Bragg and their PowerPoint voice, yet the data keepers the re out in the field now are not on the ticket here, it seems weird as they have been around and their impact is not to be ignored, so why did Andrew Bragg miss that? 

And the final quote is “Senator Bragg calls it a “game changer”, although critics have pointed out that without careful consideration, it could have serious privacy implications, among other concerns”, so what is his game, when we see ‘serious privacy implications’, I merely wonder who is buttering his bread, because the few I mentioned have a much larger impact, one the is never to be ignored and they have been involved in the financial industry almost forever setting the bar of allowed data versus insincere, or unjust data, a term that should have been in the article as well. You see the unequal field is created by some having more data as well as second degree data. Second degree, or secondary data is where it is at. We can consider that Secondary data refers to data, collected by someone other than the user. Yet what is the case is that these sources of secondary data is often collected for other means and other settings, like social science which includes censuses, information collected by government ad commercial departments for other means; organisational records and data that was originally collected for other research purposes, research purposes that are now reused without the users knowledge. And that is beside the station that some of this data is cleaned badly, and often linked to settings the are no longer relevant, yet they are there connected to a user setting an unrealistic view and optionally ignoring the setting that the created debt is false. The person will soon learn the he/she cannot pay it back, or it is rated as just that little more expensive. 

All stations that players like Experian and Dunn & Bradstreet arm against, for their needs as well as the good of the people. These tech giants are nowhere near the level of clean (and optionally corrected) data. As such there is a fair call to disallow these tech giants their Fintech arm, unless it is completely isolated from their other business arms.

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The systemic variable we forgot

We all have moments that are etched in our souls. It can be for the weirdest reason; it might not even make sense to the person when it happens. It sticks with them and what they had not realised at that time what or why, it takes time for the person to realise what the brain worked out instantly in the sub conscience. For me that moment was Stanley Kubrick. I saw 2001 early in life, I saw it in Cinerama and I never understood what I saw, I loved what I saw, and was caught unaware that Cinerama was merely a phase; yet that was not the moment. My moment was ‘the Shining‘. I was caught by the trailer, after that by the movie. I had read the book, but Kubrick had done something more with the King book. That feeling was reignited in me again when they used the movie in a part of the ‘Ready Player One‘ movie.

It is this part that will matter a little further down the line. For now I need to start with the Bloomberg article ‘Coke Names on Bottles Spell Money for Fintech with Data Focus‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-02/data-is-money-for-fintech-that-helped-coke-put-names-on-bottles). The article is 2 weeks old, yet it connects to something that happened yesterday (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/experian-to-offer-a-way-to-add-your-phone-bill-to-your-credit-report.html). Even when we ignore the initial part ‘You may soon be able to use your cell phone bill to boost your credit score‘, you see, like many Kubrick movies what you are reading is not what matters. Even the initial quote “Experian, one of three major credit bureaus in the U.S., announced that it will start factoring in phone and other utility payment history into some consumers’ reports early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.” The second part is a little more to the point, yet still they will not give you the goods, which is “Your credit score is a measure of how trustworthy you are in the eyes of financial institutions. Showing that you’re consistent about paying your utility bills gives lenders more reason to think you’re a safe bet.

It is not merely about paying the bills, which is still a must. It is how much of a product are YOU? You are no longer a person, you never were, you are product for enabling and facilitation, that is all that you are to them. The collaboration of Fintech and Technology is about long term facilitation. As the technology and digital age of marketing reaches saturation, we are confronted with the stage of 4G, ‘wherever I am’. this stage is very important, because wherever you are, you are either ‘an enabling consumer’ or you are not. Those who are not have little or no value to these corporations. It is the second stage of what was called: ‘those who have’ and ‘those who do not have’ and it is now a lot more immediate. The tranche of facilitation is directly important to corporations as this is directly converted to value and corporate drive, and your credit score is a first hurdle to them. Even as they are all about a 700, or a 750 score, we are merely misrepresented. It is the 500-700 range that has the larger fortune for them and that is who they want in their partial view for now; it is facilitation towards a group of corporations. When that falters you are out of the game and you will pay exceedingly more for the same as you are considered ‘a risk’. This is the stage where we see ourselves as this is the first icon towards those getting into the 5G game and those who are told (just like a technology firm recruitment drive), ‘you are not the perfect fit for now‘.

That game will continue and expand to a much larger degree; the companies are expanding on the ‘low-risk’ populations on a global scale. The game for Fintech also changes. As we are presented: “By using Experian Boost, those consumers could see their scores increase immediately after they link their bank accounts. And around 1.5 million consumers with no scores could receive a score“, we are not informed on the change where you in advance hand over your financial data and financial stages, so that those in an early stage can be made enablers to a much larger degree as long as they commit. So the telecom and Fintech are maximising potential to have low risk customers, whilst still charging risk enabled margins to all. For them it is win-win no matter how you slice it. Soon thereafter you will started receiving the ‘pay now, avoid a lowered credit score’, which will at some point translate into imparting ‘mortgage fears’ with any late payment.

CNBC then gives us the next level of ‘misrepresentation’, or is that merely ‘partial misinformation’? As we get “This move is the latest in a series of efforts from credit report agencies to increase scores as lenders look for new ways to assess risk levels“, you see the driving change is not new ways of assessing risk, it is about having a much larger population with credit scores as the three players are trying to be the largest player and here they unite. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are staging a new setting where they have credit scores upfront, not when it has become an optional issue, but as possible risks rise. It is not merely: ‘overhaul how negative information is handled‘, which now connects to “since the overhaul, which was initiated after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found problems with credit reporting, firms have stripped tax-lien and civil-judgement data from credit reports, and millions of collection accounts have been removed. A year after the changes were made in June of 2017, 25 percent fewer consumers had a collection account on their credit report“, it basically gives them the setting that they have 25% less information, when you have a data population of one billion, 25% adds up fast, in addition, as 7 years old data falls off the debt data, having a new method (like phone bills) add it to the credibility of yourself, they get data with rollover capacity.

The question is not merely how just or how dangerous it is, it will soon become a stage of how discriminating it is. And even as that needs to be untangled, the Telecom companies and Fintech are now working together on how to select the cream from the others, making debt risk a valuating currency to add to their profit margins, as life without mobile phones is becoming increasingly important.

You see, you yourself will become the new system variable in all this. You are requested to freely hand over certain data that will identify you as an enabler to these large corporations and a larger facilitator to stamp out the credit value that you have and as such the technological abilities that you are allowed, or offered to be at a certain price. In a saturated 4G market getting the high end facilitators to be technological enablers for 5G matters to all who are ready to cash in, a lot of it and fast.

So when Bloomberg gave us: “Cassin, 51, who runs Experian Plc, has helped transform his company from a credit-reference firm into a broader data and software business. After starting with maintaining vast datasets of personal credit histories, most of its growth now comes from advising big companies on how to monetize the information they have on customers and supply chains, while avoiding privacy scandals” two weeks ago, they gave us a lot more than you realised. Brian Cassin has found a way to set the new stage, a stage he merely adopted from social media solutions like Facebook. Get them to hand over their billing history freely (for optional extra credit rating points) and as long as every bill is paid, he is happy to do just that, it is when the new stage adds other elements, that is when you either hand over more data, or lose credibility points and that is the stage of enabling them. From my data side, I would go with the premise that it is basically a brilliant move to get data. From the other side is that a financial setback will hurt more and when it is staged against your mortgage, that danger could become surreal for the person involved. It is basically a hidden trap that until you step into it, it is not a problem, when you do you will not merely hurt yourself, you will change the surrounding you are in by a much larger degree and the people handing over those details will not realise the trap they offered themselves up for until it is too late.

Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards also gives us: “You are the best judge of your ability to take on a new loan”. That is the part that bites, because more often than not, you are not. When you think back, who hasn’t made the fatal mistake when thinking: “I can buy this now, if I make sure that I only buy …….. next week“, you see, the actual premise is “If I do not buy these …… now, I will have enough money to buy …… next payday“, we do not do that, because we think we can gratify now and resolve later, and when there is a setback, we merely push it forward, which now becomes making the now initial issue an actual problem. We have all done that, and I have made that mistake a few times when I was younger. That is the immediate value for whoever uses that Experian solution as at that point the risk factor increases a lot and it will impact a few more items soon thereafter. It is a very dangerous setting for anyone under financial pressures.

Yet overall Experian is making a brilliant move to upgrade their data value in light of the 25% setback and basically these three players (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) will upgrade their value by a lot this way. It will not end here, as Bloomberg gives us the thoughts of Cassin with: “Experian also helps protect against identity theft, and it still runs the core credit-scoring business, whose newer services include allowing lenders to quickly assess applications for car finance via text message. It’s also working with Amazon’s Alexa platform to explore new technologies like voice recognition to use in credit scoring“, the new field for Experian will grow as a much more axial player of 5G in the centre of it all. Identity theft will now no longer be merely around those with a stolen identity, their services will become a founding force is what will be the establishment of non-repudiation. As I stated, 4G was ‘wherever I am‘, yet with 5G it will be about ‘whenever I want it‘ and there the threshold of non-repudiation will rise, it is not merely about streaming, data access of what is there. It will be new levels of domotics, smart devices and automatic deep learning solutions, those paths require a level of non-repudiation, not merely authentication. The expert Varun Gulshan has been informing via academic papers the part of ‘Validation of Deep Learning Algorithms‘ and when you grasp that part, you will see the stronger requirement of non-repudiation over authentication, as Fintech is catching on there, the game evolves in a very different path, parallel the same, but in operations needs quite different and requires a much larger comprehension. Even as his stage was about the application in a medical field, its application applies to a lot more technology shores. The stage of non-repudiation (it can only be diabetic retinopathy and/or diabetic macular edema) and nothing else, versus the stage that we see when we consider ‘this could be diabetic retinopathy and/or diabetic macular edema (optional stage for authentication). As we see the evolution in finding the different stage, we see a new level of machine learning; we see a stage with a setting of being able to see the positive, the negative, the false positive and the false negative. The ability to differentiate between the four is actually a much larger difference than most realise. One could argue that we have a stage where the 95% certainty becomes a 98.1% certainty, making the larger risk no longer existent and the 3.1% difference translates to a trillion dollar market of facilitation, spread over the larger three mind you, so as they unite, they also grow their exponential growth in these area’s as we see basic needs being adjusted to facilitation with fees towards the risks that customers virtually pose. I state virtually for the mere reason that this field is basically new, evolved from an origin, but still brand new and all the companies who have ever been involved with invoice chasing will see that impact and they all want to be on board.

That is the system variable that we forgot, we forgot us as a mere variable in what drives our value, not the value that others impact on us, the value that we press for in ourselves, even if the impact is from the outside sources we face every day. Experian (and others) have found a way to charge us for the risk we are towards our value. So when we see an optional $60 for 200GB, we will soon face the option to get it at the starting price of $60, with an additional risk charge. You might think that this will never happen, but it is already happening, and when Fintech evolves the risk pattern, we will pay optional more, or face credit worthiness loss, losing 20 points when we are late with payment, seeing only 2 points repair per month, that is the part we do not see here. CNBC and Bloomberg only give the ‘business opportunity’ and the harshness of risk in the other direction was downplayed through ‘a natural fit for building solid credit‘, a statement that is not untrue, no one denies that. To see that hidden trap, you need to see the economic impact that 2004 and 2008 brought the people and how long it took them to restore those losses, I can tell you now that a large group of people in the US still have not recuperated, even when we realise that most families have mum and dad work 2 jobs. that is seen in part when we realise that at present both parents work full time in 46% of these households, the number is generic and weighted making it to some degree debatable, and some sources indicate that 30% of that group has both parents working more than one job, the latest information gives us that this is based on 2016 numbers, so it is incomplete at present, I personally fear that most politicians are not that eager to dig into that shameful setting, and as I am presenting these facts, we see no clear path that the quality of life is not getting any better for many, it merely becomes more risk driven than ever before enabling an evolving systemic problem to all households.

Technologically it is brilliant and opening many (fin)tech doors all over the place; looking with a humanitarian view, it is not a good thing, we are merely enabling others to degrade us to an algorithm part, something that was already the case, but until recently never to the degree we are about to see.

 

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The promised example

In light of all the outsourcing we saw yesterday, it is time to show you just how lucrative it can be to set the outsourcing stage. In this example I will go with a software example, as I have seen this myself. You see, sometimes a place is profitable for the mother company no matter how you slice it and with this example we see this in action.

Let’s take a software vendor, selling some software solution. Normally that entire path will set you back $7,000. The software, training, installation and personalising the solution. At this point you might think, well, it is all tax deductible for the company, so what gives?

Well, some of these players still have budgets to adhere to (unless you are in Italy), and when we look at that the procurement department will state that it is too expensive. So, the sales team has an idea. They say: ‘You know what! We can (if you take all three) the entire as a package for $5250, and that is a nice discount‘. So the company takes all this and accepts the deal. So the software is bought, there was a trainer on the spot educating the staff for 2 days and they set up whatever needed to be set up and the entire delivery is complete.

It all seems straight forward. Yet, it is not to be. You see that outsourcers often have a main office outside of that country and they want their franchise fee, which could be 70% of the software, yet they will always get FULL PRICE. So they will get 70% of $3,000, no matter what the discounted invoice was. Now that company has to make due with $3,150 for training, training materials, travel expenses, training hardware and staff. And for every deal they make the cost remain high, yet the revenue has been siphoned off and the cream went somewhere else. Now we get the stage where there was still a profit, yet the staff members are still costing thousands of dollars, as is the office and all other goods. There is not taxation as the revenue was too low and this is where we see the problems for a lot of these companies. They are now in debt, governments having to make deals and I cannot vouch for Interserve, Carillion, Serco Group Plc and Capita Plc, because where I know it was happening was not one of these. Yet I feel certain that others have been playing similar games and it has been going on for over 20 years that I am aware of that tactic.

So does the entire Interserve part now make sense? A debt of well over half a billion and its board members are still up for millions in bonus? I cannot tell what the reason is for the entire Interserve issue, yet what I have seen in the past, we should take a long hard look at what some consider to be debt and what some consider to be an optional approach to deferred invoicing.

We might see partial support when we see the article in the Morningstar (at http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/AN_1542962437936788100/interserve-expects-higher-operating-profit-despite-construction-loss.aspx). Here we see: “Interserve posted a pre-tax loss of GBP244.4 million on revenue of GBP3.25 billion in 2017. It then recorded a pre-tax loss of GBP6.0 million on GBP1.67 billion in revenue in the first half of 2018“, others sources had a similar setting, yet here we also see the headline ‘News Interserve Expects Higher Operating Profit Despite Construction Loss‘, now we see operating profits versus construction loss? Does it now seem more and more that we are given a half a billion birdie, whilst some are showing to be receiving massive bonus payments? How is this not tackled? How come that for 20 years we have seen the impact of creative bookkeeping, whilst the European governments have been unable to fix anything?

When we see the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/b2c9fdd2-eeed-11e8-8180-9cf212677a57) giving us: “Interserve employs 80,000 people worldwide — 25,000 in the UK — in jobs that range from cleaning the London Underground to maintaining army bases and building a shopping centre in Dubai.” Giving me the speculative thought ‘How long until we see the Dubai part sold off (including equipment) at roughly 5 pennies to the pound? How would that screw over the 25,000 staff in the UK when Interserve folds? We will not know until the Interserve lawyers and accountants finalise they optimised plan in 2019, but I fear that the impact of outsourcing is going to be felt on a very large area. You see, outsourcing growth is through the roof and it is growing in a sphere of influence that has not been seen before. Fintech, Meditech, Pharmaceutics. It seems like the golden calf, yet it is a treacherous field. It might be a temporary field at best. I think that the construction companies have good weather now, yet the crash of the 80’s is still with them, Communications is all about outsourcing, yet when those outsourcers do not finance the training of staff, their usefulness will decline in 3-4 years as the companies are focussing on 5G. In that same light, we see a pharmaceutical growth, yet the setting is that many patents will fall over in the next 5 years. At that point these companies outsourcing can discontinue the renewal of contracts and the staff issue will not be their problem, it will be the problem of the outsourced company and that is starting to push a wave to a much larger degree than we have seen before.

So as we return to the Financial Times article we get “Interserve said profit growth for the year so far had been as expected, and it anticipated “a significant operating profit improvement” for the full year. The group, which swung to a loss in the half-year, did not provide figures“, we knew that, many sources had it. Yet we also get “It has revenues of £3.25bn but is valued by the stock market at just £75m and is already under close watch by the British government in case of collapse“, when a 3 billion revenue company is merely valued at merely 2% of that, there is a lot more going on than mere sneaky keeping of books and that needs to be seen as well. So when we consider: “Interserve’s update attempted to “sugar coat” the increase in net debt and “to deflect from the news” that the Cabinet Office is making sure it has alternative suppliers to take the place of Interserve should it fail. “The operational developments are not good reading either,” he added“, a part given to us by the independent analyst Stephen Rawlinson, we need to look deeper. You see, if the UK does get confronted with: “alternative suppliers“, we need to accept that for a chunk of those 25,000 British workers it will not spell good news, even more so, there is every chance that it gives a larger level of turmoil to those people whilst some board members end up going home with a payout that is between £380K and £2.25M, making sure that they can live in a sea of porn and Netflix for the longest of times, possibly even until the day they die.

Is it that bad?

Well, that is not certain, yet the issue that the UK accounting watchdog had to quit over criticism regarding Carillion (source: the Guardian), they give us the quote: “Stephen Haddrill will depart after nine years in charge of the Financial Reporting Council, which is subject to multiple inquiries into its effectiveness and independence” we get one thought, yet in light of “a committee of MPs described the FRC as “chronically passive” in an excoriating report into the construction group’s failure, condemning the regulator as “too timid to make effective use of the powers they have”” we should consider that there is every chance that Interserve might have been on that same side of the page making the issue larger and more critical. Is it not interesting that too often we see terms like ‘too timid‘ when it comes to dealing with the rich? The entire Sir Philip Green’s £1 sale of BHS is a nice example to keep in mind. The setting where the people behind BHS are apparently not in prison in a stage where “the settlement will not fully restore the retirement income they had been promised by BHS” (source: Financial Times). One of many failings where we see the creativity of applied accountancy and the improper use of non-committal prison sentences to those employing these fast and loose solutions. At present there is a speculative chance that Interserve might be on a similar track, but that is pure speculation, we will not know until the solution is offered, which according to the papers will not happen until somewhere in 2019, until that point arrives thousands of employees at Interserve will likely be in a state of stress. It is one hell of a way to approach Christmas.

Humbug!

 

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The beat goes on

Perhaps you remember the stage. It was around the time that Sony started giving the audience both God of War 4 and Spiderman, breaking all kinds of records in the process. It is gaming at a new level and both groups of players (and many who play both games) have been satisfied well beyond amazement. Now we see that Microsoft is trying to bring the pain to Sony and they are doing it the right way (and only 5 years too late).

With the acquisition of Obsidian (Fallout New Vegas) and InXile (Wasteland 1+2) we see that they are starting to wake up, yet will it be enough? Having exclusive RPG games is the right way to go about it. You see, dedicated RPG fans tend to be long term fans. If you get the game right, there will be no chance that these players will switch consoles or PC Gaming platform. Bethesda proved that point and it gets to be better, there are people (including me) who have the game on all their consoles. There is value in doing that, but it tends to be reserved to the dedicated few and if you are not that person and you merely like it on one system, that is good too.

But it is not all roses and honey in this arranged marriage. Former Obsidian Owner Chris Avellone gave us (via Screenrant) “Chris Avellone didn’t hold back after discovering that Microsoft had just acquired Obsidian Entertainment in a blockbuster deal, beseeching the powerful tech company to gut the leadership that still worked there” that might be the case, it might not. I do not know. Yet what is a given is that the value of such a company is its IP, plain and simple and no matter how amazing Fallout New Vegas was for the Xbox360, that is still Bethesda IP, so is the Elder Scrolls. If they cannot match my ability to create the foundation of new IP within 168 hours, what value, or perhaps what costs is Microsoft looking forward to and will it even have a chance? Let’s take a leap in another direction. In 2017 Guerrilla Games released Horizon Zero Dawn, a game that when looked in depth has an amazing story behind it. It’s a little Matrix perhaps, but the intention towards greatness was there and with reviews ranging from 89%-95% shows that they had the good stuff, the right stuff and the parts that Ubisoft keeps missing out on. Now they are in not merely in the right pace, they are literally sitting on the next goldmine. How it will turn out? No way to tell. I am not in their in-crowd, but the potential is there. Can Obsidian bring that level of pain to their competitors in this field, because that will be the need? I know a lot less about InXile, yet so far they have been largely dependent on the Bards Tale and Wasteland franchise and that could be enough if they take it to new levels, because that is what the players look for. For me the Bards Tale looked awesome as I had not touched the Bards Tale Franchise since the CBM-64. I never really got into that game. Not every game is everyone’s cup of tea and that is not a bad thing; only Ubisoft has been delusional enough to think that they can make a game for everyone and they keep on making games that pleases no one (OK that was a bit of an exaggeration).

You might think that gaming is not interesting, yet it is the most interesting part in all this, merely because gaming has remained on the edges of technology for the longest of times. Its push is also a push for hardware. It is my personal belief that the new I9 processor (an Intel fabrication) would not exist without gamers. Mark Seconi (Intel) gave us in Forbes last month “Gaming has traditionally been the more lightly-threaded of applications your PC will face, but over the last couple of years we’ve seen games and gaming engines become more threaded. Nonetheless, they do still remain lightly-threaded, but we also recognize that a lot of the gaming community also do content creation to some extent. That’s both casual creation or something more demanding and a lot of those applications are beginning to use more and more threads“, you merely have to consider how this skill could propel blockchain software solutions over time and we see that partially at Digital trends with two quotes. The first one “Rather than compete directly with either the Threadripper 1900X or the Ryzen 7 1800X, the Core i9-9900K promises the best of both worlds. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, matching the Ryzen 7, but boosts up to an audacious 5GHz Turbo frequency. Not even the 2nd-gen Threadripper has cracked that milestone. Its core count might be far behind, but the Core i9-9900K can hit higher per-core clock speeds at default settings“, as well as “the Core i9 is the clear winner in every benchmark and test we could put it through. Against the previous generation Core i7-8700K, the Core i9 matched its single-core performance, but flexed its eight-core muscles by upping its multi-core score by around 25 percent. That’s the kind of improvement two extra cores provides“, something that is 25% more powerful than anything else. This implies that your data mining scripts can clear up more data, aggregate as well as set the stage for more predictive analytics in a single day, well over 25% more because the solid state drive fixed a lot before, the processor had become the bottleneck and that is now changing. Consider another paraphrased quote: “It takes millennia to break the cryptographic algorithm. This cannot be done faster because of the computational limits we have (now that takes 25% faster). Quantum computers in the future might be the answer, yet we merely upgrade the algorithm. Satoshi Nakamoto, the bitcoin creator added cryptography in his system to help people authorise bitcoin transactions from their wallets“, yet it is not the hacking, it is the creation of all this that also takes time and if it is about speed, creating the cryptographic 25% faster will be everything in banking and FinTech solutions for decades to come, that is where the i9 will find itself get embraced by banks at the speed of light, and that is even before we see new solutions that will allow people to now create live video-edited streams on the air. A system that optionally censors ‘live news action’ within 7 seconds, from the battlefield straight to the TV recipient, a stage that allows almost instant filtering. Places like CBS, Fox News, SBS, BBC and many others will fly to the shops getting that solution taking away time constraints. When you consider ‘There are nine factors associated with newsworthiness: generally recognized significance, possible future impact, conflict, human interest, proximity, the number of people affected, timeliness, exceptional quality, and shock value‘, now consider that this so called ‘gaming chip’ optionally removes the time constraint for the creation of 3-4 of them, do you still think it is merely about gaming?

Is this about gaming?

It still is to some degree; it is about pushing corporate creativity, this is not merely set in a more expensive computer, it is seen in the creation of material and the creation of a video game is one of the most visible digital creation fields there is.

We can all admire the creativity of an advertisement, the clever use of innuendo and graphics. Yet this is all staged in a time frame. What happens when we remove that element? What happens when we see (as this is happening at this very moment) that data mining is done on the fly, the need of ‘on to go’ editing for dashboards and presentations are set to zero time? Don’t laugh because this is happening at this very moment all over the world. The systems are fast enough to no longer be the bottleneck. Now we see the need of a new kind of data miner. One that can see through data and who can creatively look at other ways to present the lack of 2.75% growth, or perhaps a long term impact that has to be explained to the shareholders in an acceptable way. It is a new age in Data Visualization, where the story is everything and now we see the intersection with gaming development. Adjusting the storyline of the dashboard is becoming the mainstream player here. Don’t take my word for that, Forbes gave us two weeks ago: “Any great story means visualization and detail. It takes the small additions of those details to build a picture in someone’s mind to truly make the story complete. The same goes for analytics and data“, it is a new style of adherence. a person needs to be able to focus the listener and create attachment of the shareholders to a cause, a trust and a commitment to that corporation, in this creativity is become everything and that is directly seen in the ability to create any Role Playing Game.

It is digital theater in a new way, the hardware is now ready to do it on the fly, but with the wrong presenter that view collapses as soon as it is presented and the gap between projection of data, capture of results and presentation to the shareholders is now diminishing and we see that solutions like Tableau are ready for that, if they can only find the right people to get the data from Point A to PowerPoint presentation. The corporations still have their marketeers to tell the story, yet the shareholders will no longer accept the delay of the presentation pushing a new need to a group of people that we have not seen before.

Uniting Business Intelligence and Gaming

In the first stage we see (a random choice) presentation (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LntX_5qA_Aw), this two minute presentation gives what BI was, frozen moments in time presented on the screen to a group of people. Now we go to the extreme other end, it comes from a game called Counterstrike. It is 90 seconds and shows how the display dashboard is adjusted (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQO8dR8NHM4). In the second stage we need to unite the views, the issue is that no one is ready at present. A company named Profitsword is making waves in the right direction, yet they have not arrived at this destination yet (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhE6RMZYF3M), it is merely on theme and it is the themes that drive the solutions. Should you doubt me, ask yourself, have you ever gone to a car site and configured a car to your liking even though you will never be able to afford the wheel caps? Jaguar, Dodge, Maserati and there are plenty more. You see, it is actually quite simple. A thematic approach gives us identity and the identity of a company translates into value, interaction gives engagement and these two elements are becoming more crucial in keeping the shareholders (and the general audience) interest. The question is problem is how to avoid a mere ‘sprinkle’ of interest and keep it business oriented. The gaming industry had that solved close to a decade ago, people ignored it too long and those in the trenches of that world are now reaping the benefits. The game has 11 million players, in May 450,000 people were actively playing the game. In a business of 100 billion, those numbers matter and the fact that this game has been around for 18 years is even more amazing. We are halfway in the month and this morning 178,000 gamers were playing that game. These numbers matter, because if engagement and interaction is everything in this field, how long until BI graphics require a lot more than we currently see?

What happens when Hawaiian Tropics changes the game and this poster is not merely advertisement, but the Shark, and the swimmer in the water becomes elements of profit, loss, ability and availability shown in its own way? What happens, when the presentation is not merely graphics, but the water itself shown brand visibility against others? That is not a fab, that is the direction that we are going in and people will stop, they will take additional looks at that presentation and when they can choose elements like placement, and product type to see how the brand shows up against others, how much better in protection, where to get it, where the best deal is and we are there now 5G will allows that to be done on the fly, to see the ads, interact and the people will engage, and as has been shown for a few years now, engagement is quality marketing. It is not views on Facebook, it is not a display advertisement, it is the engagement with the presented product that draws people in, every single time and the quality programmers for that solution have been doing it in gaming for over a decade. As I started, the beat goes on, but the tune is shifting as are the beats per minute in that showstopper. The push for engagement will be everything over the next 5 years and that will be seen even more clearly in the boardroom and shareholder presentations. Having the ability to mainstream such levels of interaction is going to be the next gold rush and at present the amount of players on that level is disturbingly low. The moment they catch up too late we will see all these golden fires that promise a lot, yet in the end you merely see a file with scorched data results.

Whatever we will see, it is not an easy path and there will not be too many good players, ready to go that distance, yet those who do will corner that market for close to the next generation. That path is actually a different one and the golden programmers will be needed, but not high on this corporate ladder. that place will be limited to the with the creative vision to see what needs to be programmed and those programmers who see the image and comprehend how to program that will end up being the people with a job and career until their retirement.

It has been a long time from the models we had to the model where creativity was the slowest element in the digital framework, however we are there now and knowing how to deal with it will be the crux. Or to frame it in another view, the time for the cold accountant is over in the Annual stockholders meeting, now it is not merely that knowledge, it is the one who finds the novelist that gives the correct engaging story that weaves it all together in a way all shareholders can relate to, that will be the golden placement to have.

This now gets us back to Microsoft. No matter what software house they buy, yes they will always have a Minecraft audience need, yet the bulk of all the gamers require a new a most original IP to get them through the next season of gaming. Guerrilla Wars figured it out and gave the people Horizon Zero Dawn. A new IP, now Microsoft needs to do the same with two houses that have relied on the same IP for an awful long time; are they ready for what comes next? Microsoft Studios has the right stage when the connected with Bioware and unleashed Mass Effect on the people in 2007, it seems to be a lesson they have forgotten too easily, so I hope that they catch on quick as this is a stage where you are merely allowed to get it wrong only once. Mass Effect Andromeda taught them this lesson the hard way, a C$100 million dollars development failure that merely gave them a 71% rating (in gaming rating translates directly to revenue), Guerrilla Wars needed a mere 50% to get a much better result, creativity and the story were everything, pretty much quite literally and we will see that same push in Business Intelligence. Data Visualisation is getting us there, whether we want it or not. When we realise to all the ways we can engage with an audience, we will learn that a few buttons will not do the trick, it will be about the backdrop, the interaction and the choice of what we see. It is a path gaming has been on since 1993. You cannot ignore 25 years of technology evolution that would actually be really stupid.

 

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