Sell-Side Technology Awards 2022: Best reporting platform or service for the sell side—Bank of America

OVERVIEW

Connect Studio is a dynamic, self-service analytical and management reporting tool, built by Bank of America’s treasury and forecasting technology team. The platform has enabled its users to create new insights into products, financial performance and forecasts, in a flexible, data-rich environment. With these capabilities, Connect Studio has improved upon the existing suite of third-party enterprise tools used for reporting and analytics in the finance, treasury, risk and chief administration office business areas.

Connect Studio addresses the need to provide a real-time integration solution for the bank’s internal data sources, supported by a user interface that organizes and filters data with the drag of a slider, and enables the ability to shift and pivot results into and out of spreadsheets. The platform is built with open-source components and is a modern web application that provides global analytical insights to the chief financial office (CFO), global risk, and chief administration office teams.

“This is a game changer for us in risk. It will help us in understanding the drivers in liquidity risk and will also be invaluable for internal rate of return and capital work. And let’s not forget the time savings—we go from weeks’ worth of work building trends to only a couple of hours.”
Mark Zarb, managing director in global markets and risk, Bank of America

THE SOLUTION

Connect Studio expands on common features available in business intelligence platforms by adding capabilities, including trending large data volumes, single click math and statistical functions, attestation workflows and annotations, all within a single, integrated tool.

Leveraging Connect Studio’s API-based connectivity to other internal data sources, the platform has improved the ease and speed of integrating and analyzing disparate datasets from across the business. 

Connect Studio enables users to more deeply analyze their data, by bringing together specific key metrics (e.g., aggregate consumer credit card balances) and financials, and merging that with macro-economic variables, enterprise reference data, and credit and risk models. Previously, these views required multiple departments and resources across business lines to manually produce reports, which resulted in inefficiencies and potential operational risk.

Evolving and growing user expectations for insightful business intelligence and analytics solutions have been incorporated into the platform, including drag-and-drop analytics creation, data drill-downs, auto-generation of key performance indicators and metrics, variance analysis, data source lineage and traceability.

WHAT’S TO COME

Bank of America will expand Connect Studio’s use across additional chief financial office, chief administration office, and risk teams, providing analytics speed and efficiency, and cost reduction with the retirement of legacy applications and third-party software licenses. 

Planned focus areas include:

  • Deeper capital and liquidity risk monitoring
  • Corporate planning, enterprise stress testing, and recovery and resolution planning
  • Technology and operations expense monitoring and management
  • Cost savings and gained efficiencies through retirement of legacy treasury and CFO analytics applications.

WHY THEY WON

This category is unique in this year’s Sell-Side Technology Awards in that it is the only one won by an end-user firm as opposed to all the others won by third-party technology providers or brokers. The reason for Bank of America’s win is Connect Studio, which has been truly transformation for the firm, not only in terms of the time-savings it has delivered, but also through the transparency and granularity of the forecasts it is being used to generate.

“Connect Studio is an integral part of the forecasting transformation being executed across Bank of America. The calculation and aggregation capabilities, coupled with the spreadsheet-like functionality in terms of cell-level formulas and formatting, deliver a seamless environment for our analysts to successfully transition their forecast processes to the Connect framework. Furthermore, the analytical and reporting performance delivers cutting-edge efficiency to support the forecast processes. We look forward to continuing to discover new and exciting ways to leverage this powerful application.” 
JR Beatson, global head of end-to-end forecasting, chief financial office group, Bank of America

 

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