The stock market is a human-designed, human-run financial system. It was created to give value to corporations. In the 1960s, the average share was held for four years. Now, the average share is held for less than 10 seconds. 

With the introduction of AI to the stock market, it has completely changed the way that the stock market operates. With this rapid buying and selling, companies need to adjust their strategies. There are a variety of industries AI will disrupt – Wall Street being one of them. 

blue and yellow graph on stock market monitor
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

How Can Wall Street Benefit From AI?

AI-driven systems can foresee market trends but also help to make the trade better. While there is understandable anxiety about bringing AI into a human-designed market, what if it could be used to avoid bad situations? 

The stock market crash of 2008 occurred on Sept. 29, 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777.68 points in intraday trading.

Check out some more benefits of bringing AI to Wall Street:

  • The ability to analyze millions of data points
  • Being able to execute trades at the optimal price
  • Forecast markets with greater accuracy
  • Efficiently mitigating risk which provides higher returns

Another Benefit of AI on Wall Street

With the introduction of AI to Wall Street, there will no doubt be some jobs that will be replaced by AI. And although this may seem like a “doom and gloom” statement, AI will also introduce new jobs to many industries. New problems will need to be solved, and humans can be the ones to focus on the complex, more interesting issues, while AI works on the rest. Humans will also be needed to ensure that the AI used on Wall Street is working as intended.

Companies that are Making AI Work in Finance

Industries AI Will Disrupt includes Wall Street. A group of men sit around a boardroom table with a large screen TV at the end. Everyone has phones and laptops and they are looking at charts and graphs
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

AI is a game changer for the stock market. Electronic trades account for almost 45 percent of revenues in cash equities trading. There are many startups that are building their businesses around the impact that AI can have. Such as:

  • Sentient Technologies Inc: This startup has spent 10 years training an AI system that can scour billions of pieces of data, spot trends, adapt as it learns and make money trading stocks. 
  • Emma: In a new way, this startup launched a hedge fund last year using AI to write news articles.
  • Greenkey Technologies: Greenkey is using AI for trading by incorporating natural language processing technology and speech recognition software to save traders time searching through large amounts of data. 

“Trading is one of the top 10 places that AI can make a difference…a trading algorithm can look at the data, make a decision, act and repeat—you can have full autonomy.”

~ Nello Cristianini

There Are Industries AI Will Disrupt – Time to Get Ahead!

Change is scary. But automation has the ability to take the monotony out of the stock market, leaving the fun stuff for the humans. If you are wondering how you can use AI, reach out to one of our Chatbot Consultants. Save your human workforce for the complex problems.

Whether it’s temporary or permanent, working with a distributed or remote team has unique communications challenges when compared with working in a brick and mortar office environment. The need for clear communication is even more critical, and it can be easy to default to over-communicating with team members to make sure everyone understands. If your team has many meetings, conference calls, Zoom meetings, or presentations, it limits their opportunities for uninterrupted productivity. 

Optimize Your Remote Team Communication

It’s essential to keep communication clear and concise. Here are a few ways you can optimize your remote team’s communications, so everybody feels connected, but still has plenty of time for getting work done. 

Minimize Internal Email Use

Keep your emails for client communications and occasional company-wide briefs. Your team can spend a lot of time responding to too many emails every day if they’re getting all kinds of internal communications that way. 

Use Internal Chat Programs like Slack or Microsoft Teams

Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams make it simple to organize communication. Having multiple channels means staff members don’t have to perform lengthy searches for discussions relevant to their work. It also means they don’t have to participate in or even read conversations that are not relevant to their work. 

Slack also gives your team opportunities for personal connections. You can have specific interest channels like memes, houseplants, and pet pictures, where staff can relax a bit chat with each other when they need a break. Think of this as the virtual water cooler, which helps your team grow stronger and feel more supported as individuals.

READ MORE: 5 Exciting Tech Tools

That Zoom Call Could Have Been a Slack Message

Remote Team Communication

Zoom fatigue is a real thing; everyone is feeling it.  

Zoom meetings can be helpful, but they’re not always necessary. Having to be on video, especially when working from home, is extra pressure for team members. Having everyone on video can be uncomfortable and awkward, not to mention the almost inevitable audio and video delays—try to have a strict policy and see if you can limit video meetings to interviews. 

Video meetings can tend to drag on, with information and discussions that are not relevant to everyone in the team. To reduce or avoid Zoom fatigue, it’s crucial to keep video meetings as short as possible and stick tight to the agenda. 

Before you book it, define your purpose and the benefits of a Zoom meeting. Clearly lay out what the meeting will accomplish and stick to time limits. Need to do a brainstorming session? What about using a collaborative mind-mapping software and voice chat?

Consider that audio and video delays can be confusing and make it difficult to track information. If you cover critical information in a zoom call, you’ll need to make sure it’s written out to send later. If it’s been written out for the agenda or later in meeting minutes, could you have made that a conference call instead? Or even a slack message? 

If Zoom meetings are a must, limit them to 10% or less of the week, so staff doesn’t start hitting Zoom fatigue. If meetings cause tons of distraction, you may want to set limits on how many happen per week, and when they happen. You could decide on meeting-free times collectively, or maybe one day a week that all meetings are on, or one day a week that has no meetings at all. 

Remote Team Communication

Hold A Daily Scrum

Keeping in touch and keeping up with what all team members are working on can be challenging on a remote team. If your team is up for it, and it works for all time zones, consider starting a daily scrum. 

Traditionally, a scrum is a short stand-up meeting immediately after an event where members of the press can ask leaders or speakers questions at significant events. That iteration of it is based on rugby terminology. It’s a format that easily translates to a team environment. 

In a team scrum, each team member has a minute or two to say what they got done yesterday, what they’re working on today, and what impedes their progress. A scrum can help you keep track of project progress, and it can help your team stay connected and on track with each other. 

Scrums must be fast, that’s the point. Otherwise, they’re just another “meeting that could have been an email.” For voice chats, set a timer if needed. Each person should have no more than two minutes to say as briefly as possible what they’re working on for the day.

You could even do a digital scrum in a Slack channel every morning. 

Remote Team Communication Strategies Are a Must

Many companies have been experiencing challenges and growing pains with an abrupt switch to remote work situations. And it might seem like a huge pain in the butt right now, but don’t give up. There are tons of companies worldwide who have managed to nail down productive and profitable remote team communication, including having team members in dramatically different time zones. 

Remote Team Communication

Your company can figure it out, and you’ll be that much stronger for it, since your operations will become flexible and dynamic. As a bonus, in the future you can continue to adapt to any situation and keep your team functioning smoothly.

Have you implemented a communications strategy for remote workers yet? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

Life throws us curveballs. And sometimes, they impact not only our daily lives, but also our businesses, in a big way. Nothing like outside factors to force you to pivot and completely change the way your well-oiled machine was running. If your business had some (or all) of your employees work from home to accommodate changes, then you know how dependent we have gotten on our online tools. 

With nearly 5 million Canadians working from home – and many companies carrying that on into the future, it is not too late to implement tools to make everyone’s work-life a little easier. 

The answer: online office chat tools.

office chat

The Benefits of Free Office Chat Tools

Before launching into more advanced or bespoke chat tools, let’s consider what you can implement for free. Starting slow and experimenting with the tools on offer will not only save you money, but it will also allow you to collect data from your team on what works and what doesn’t for your specific business.

In general, you can expect the following benefits from an online chat tool:

  1. Faster Support: The overall response time using an online chat tool is much faster, meaning that the answer you need comes to you much quicker – saving valuable time and money. 
  2. Team Force: If you are unable to answer a specific question, you have the ability to forward messages to specialists and members of different teams. By creating multiple lines of support, the issue can get dealt with quickly, without calling in many different departments unnecessarily. 
  3. Instant Documentation: We’ve all painstakingly searched for an important email from three months prior. Online chat tools provide instant access to chat histories, which allow you to easily sort, search and filter past conversations and even databases. 
  4. Data Security: Conversations on an online chat app are exchanged solely encrypted. Meaning that the data from the live chat software is secure, giving you peace of mind when your workforce is distributed.

Check Out These Popular Free Office Chat Apps First

  • Slack: Slack is a channel-based messaging platform within a secure environment.
  • Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is a workspace for real-time collaboration, meetings, file and app sharing. 
  • Google Chat: Google Chat is a team messaging application where conversations occur in “rooms.”
  • Discord: Discord is an instant messaging and VoIP application platform. It specializes in text, video, audio, and image exchanges between users and is well-positioned for file sharing and troubleshooting in real time.
  • Mattermost: Mattermost is a self-hostable, open-source online-chat service with file sharing, integrations, and search. 

The Next Step: Amp Up Productivity with Chatbot Solutions

office chat

The chat apps discussed so far are facilitating conversations between people. But what if you could put the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to work in these chat apps? Consider how a chatbot could be used in your business to have conversations with your employees.

A chatbot can be specifically trained on tailored sets of data to do any of the following to assist your workforce:

  • Find files within large company databases
  • Answer commonly asked questions
  • Facilitate support for onboarding
  • Perform IT tasks (like password resets, assisting with systems and account setups, etc.)
  • Setup meetings and automate emails to include conferencing software and links

Let your imagination run wild. Chatbots can be programmed to perform many different tasks with the right team of talented consultants. Using the data your team provides about where productivity could be improved, you can cast the vision for a solution that is right for your team. The chatbot consultants you collaborate with will then ensure the project path that leads to success.

office chat

Using Office Chat Apps and Chatbots Is the Future

Try out a couple of free online chat app options first and find what works best for your specific business and team. Be sure to get your entire workforce to provide feedback too so that your tool supports the maximum number of employees.

Curious how you can take this data and create a custom chatbot solution to further increase the productivity of your workforce? Contact one of our chatbot consultants today to discuss the fastest way to implement a solution in your business.

Today, with many people working from home, the rise of the gig economy, and agile procedures taking centre stage, efficiency and clarity are everything. People just don’t have time to read through a traditional two-page resume when they are looking to hire someone. They also don’t have time to move through a typical hiring process in most cases.

Speed up Recruitment and Vendor Selection Processes

Add to our current distaste for costly and time-consuming processes the new reality that is COVID-19. We’ve had to move most meetings to a virtual platform and systems have had to adapt rapidly to keep everyone in business. 

The silver lining here is we now know we can undergo massive digital transformation when we need to and we can be resilient in our workplaces. Naturally, that extends into the world of HR, hiring, and vendor selection for specific projects.

But how can you get to know someone you want to work with when you can’t meet in person? Resumes are great to check off a few boxes about education and experience, but what about personality? What about soft skills? What about communication skills during a meeting?

Here’s where the short professional bio comes in as the perfect alternative to the stuffy traditional resume, which doesn’t do a lot to showcase the real person behind their achievements. The short professional bio is already gaining in popularity within the vendor selection process and when enterprises are looking to hire contractors. It’s a simple piece of documentation that can really sell a person and back-up their expertise.

What’s Not Included in a Short Professional Bio?

If you were taught how to write your resume in decades past (let’s not get into specifics here, shall we?), then your resumes have likely included the following:

  • The summary or professional mission statement
  • A detailed account of all previous positions
  • An interests or activities section
  • Reference list
Short Professional Bio

All of these features are outdated. The summary section, detailed experience history and reference list don’t paint a complete picture for your potential new boss or client. Anyone can make themselves sound good on paper and “pad” their experience as well as their hard-working nature and desire to overachieve in their summary.

On top of that volunteer activities, sports and interests used to add some flavour to a boring resume, but they also added unnecessary content. It’s important to be respectful of people’s time and to only include important, essential information for the job you’re applying to. The same goes for references. If they want them, you’ll be asked for them and you can follow-up with an email.  

What Is Included in a Short Professional Bio?

Now, let’s outline the sections that need to appear in your short professional bio. At a bare minimum, you should have the following section headings:

  • Title/Company Info
  • Your professional headshot
  • Skills/Expertise
  • Contact
  • Experience

Optional sections to include if you are a consultant or entrepreneur may be:

  • Client roster
  • Industries served
  • Services/Specialties
  • Certifications

For example, if you are a consultant looking to be the preferred vendor for a large enterprise project, then the “Client Roster” serves to showcase your experience. But let’s say you’ve only been a consultant for a couple of years, and most of your prior relevant experience was as an employee. Then, you’d want to showcase your background under the “Experience” heading. But the difference here is that you’re only highlighting the high-level of what you did. State your title, the company you were at and one bullet point about your duties or accomplishments. 

Bonus Tips:

  • Bullet points are your friend – be concise
  • Use bold brand colours to separate sections on the page
  • Try to get your bio down to one page of content with a font no smaller than 10 point

You want to stand out because of the time and effort you put into creating a concise, well-organized and eye-catching bio. There are many tools you can use to get started, but Canva is definitely a favourite. There are templates you can customize for a modern bio (under the Resume heading), which will help to show just how adaptable, creative and personable you are, all from a design perspective. It’s important to take the time to craft this document, pouring your personality onto the page, and then this document does the talking for you.

Short Professional Bio

Customize Your Short Professional Bio for Each Pitch

Just like resume writing, you need to customize your bio for each industry you are applying to, each company you are pitching to, and every potential project. You don’t need to rewrite the whole thing, but in considering who you are speaking to, you’ll want to highlight different skills and perhaps adjust the tone. 

Using a tool like Canva makes it easy to update on-the-fly. Even if there is no impending pitch, you’ll also want to look at continuing to update your skills and experience every six months or so to ensure you’re staying current. And then it’s no big panic when an opportunity presents itself; your changes to the short professional bio will be completely manageable. 

Keeping your bio short, sweet and easily updatable is just another way we’re employing agile methods. Check out our process page to see how we apply agile to chatbot development projects. 

Traditional procurement processes are grueling, and honestly, they just take far too much time and effort. If there’s one thing that 2020 has shown us it’s that we can adapt quickly to change business models and systems when we need to.

Switching to an agile procurement approach is just another way that businesses that change things up to make systems work better for them. But before we get into all the benefits of agile procurement, let’s define what it actually means.

What is Agile Procurement?

An agile procurement process is one that is truly collaborative between the business seeking a solution and the supplier of that solution. The business defines the desired outcome of the project and works with the supplier to determine the appropriate result. Agile approaches are all about being flexible, which is a huge advantage when working on innovative products or technology. 

In a traditional procurement process the business would have spent tons of time defining the exact deliverables required of the supplier. But when your project is at the cutting-edge of your field, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need on a granular level. 

Agile Procurement

Agile procurement allows for change to happen during a project. Both parties understand and are open to changes in approach, technology and deliverable, so long as the agreed-upon result is reached. This is key, because in high-tech businesses, data and learning come in quickly, and project managers and teams need to be able to react and continuously improve based on the information that they have.

Traditional Vendor Selection vs. Agile Procurement

Let’s take a look at a simple example that can compare the two approaches to procurement to better illustrate the potential advantages of embracing an agile methodology. 

Automotive Supplier Case Study

Imagine that an automotive manufacturer is looking for a supplier of suspension components. The new car they’ve designed is a stunner, and they really want the handling to be revolutionary. They can approach the procurement process in one of two ways: 

Traditional Vendor Selection Process

The large company puts out a request for quotes and specifies very precisely what the suspension components should look like and how well they should perform, including:

  • Material specification
  • Minimum lifetime
  • Load cycles to be applied
  • Minimum strength requirements
  • Specified stiffness

Based on their initial calculations, all of the above criteria should be satisfied by the chosen vendor. But getting all this information in the first place took a tremendous amount of effort on the internal engineering team, and it set in stone the exact performance envelope for the car. 

Agile Procurement Process

The large company contacts a few chosen vendors and describes the end result they are looking for from the designed suspension components: second-to-none handling, given the constraints of the current design envelope and a desire to improve on strength and stiffness targets from previous models. 

Instead of boxing in suppliers with rigorous specifications and requirements, the company works with the vendors to allow them to come up with the best solution. So long as the suspension surpasses the previous targets, the vendors are now free to come up with a novel design.

The automotive company now has a few innovative approaches to choose from during the procurement process, and has likely been delivered options that it never would have dreamed of if it was still sticking to a traditional vendor selection process. 

Benefits that Result from an Agile Procurement Process

Now, there is clearly a level of comfort that many large corporations will have with their tried-and-tested vendor selection processes. And that may work for projects with long lead times and fairly stable deliverables (like those of the next pick-up truck manufactured in North America). 

Agile Procurement

However, if your company is looking to push the envelope, disrupt the norms and deliver something new and exciting, the slow-and-steady vendor selection process just isn’t going to cut it. An agile procurement process is going to much better accommodate change (which, as the saying goes, is really the only constant). 

Agile procurement delivers the following benefits:

  • Time-consuming specification-driven processes are virtually eliminated by discussing solutions rather than approaches
  • By inviting the vendor into a collaborative partnership, you expand your pool of innovative options and facilitate a better working relationship
  • It anticipates change, allowing both parties to adapt and be flexible as data becomes available, which also helps to ensure the best solution is delivered
  • Much of the in-house project management burden gets off-loaded onto the vendor, where they know how to best manage their teams
  • Minimize risk by taking the project in small steps and allowing for data-driven feedback to drive project direction and course correct as required

Agile Methodologies Apply throughout Your Business

Agile approaches to many business functions are quickly being adopted across industries, because the above benefits can translate. Software development teams were first to embrace these principles in order to work smarter, but business leaders can get creative and start applying them to all aspects of their companies for maximum effect. 

Looking for another example of how an agile approach can be applied to procurement and project management? Check out our process page to see how we applied agile methodologies to chatbot development projects.