By: Adam Hoit, CPO, Backstop Solutions Group
Do you know what “glowing up” means? I must admit, I did not. That’s the title the marketing team suggested for my presentation at our 2022 conference, Backstop Beyond. After watching a few TikTok videos, I learned "glowing up" is about making a "positive transformation" in oneself. And that's how we set the stage at our annual Backstop Beyond conference to showcase some of the transformations in the works and on the horizon.
As I told the crowd at the conference, we don’t just release enhancements and deliver new products because we can – we want to be sure they make an impact on our clients’ businesses and that people will use them. Everything we previewed at Backstop Beyond is the result of the information, intelligence, and insight our clients share with us. And all our work is grounded in three basic principles:
Simplify: How do we make it super easy for you and your team to take advantage of our solutions?
Automate: How do we deliver the information you need directly to your fingertips?
Personalize: Whatever your role, how can we enable you to work with information in the best way for you?
In Chicago, there’s also a quote that we try and live by every day from the famed architect Daniel Burnham. He says, “Make no little plans.” It's a constant reminder that we're not here to make little incremental changes. We're here to make a big difference for our clients. And we need you to help us understand what will make the biggest difference for you so that we can translate that into solutions.
With that framing, let’s dive into our latest innovations.
Research insights at your fingertips with Home Base
Backstop is a versatile platform for teams doing research and managing an investment life cycle. What we’ve found from talking to folks in the industry is that they have a lot of recurring questions every day. Who is my team talking to? What do we have under diligence? Where are we spending our time? What's the latest commentary? What are those sources of critical insight that help move the organization forward?
We wanted you to have an easy way to get answers to those kinds of questions – without having to work for it and without having to ask colleagues. A lot of those answers are already in your Backstop platform. Home Base is a simple way to bring those answers to the surface quickly. Instantly see the things that matter most to you.
Home Base will be the place where you start and end your day.
Actionable insights for BD team members with Dashboard Filters
Last year we introduced dashboards for visualizing and managing the capital raising pipeline. This year we’ve added Dashboard Filters that allow everyone on the business development team to get the information they need with just a few clicks. Instead of each person having to create an individual dashboard, they can zoom into actionable insights at the team member level or zoom out to see all activity at the team level – all in one dashboard. We started last year with four views or ways of looking at the data within the dashboard. Now we provide over 16 distinct visualizations, enabling anyone on the BD team to view actionable insights in the way that best suits their needs.
Search begone with Document Feed
We know people in this industry spend a lot of time searching for documents, combing through shared drives, and jumping around to different systems – well, those days are over. In addition to automating the flow of documents into Backstop through Backstop IntellX, the documents you need are now fed directly to your fingertips in an automated and curated way.
Radically improved user experience with UX Transformation
We’ve spent about a year and a half making Backstop easier and more satisfying to engage and interact with. We went screen by screen, experience by experience. We took out all the unnecessary noise and clutter. We brought in patterns from outside, from applications you're using every day in your private life – why shouldn’t your work life be just as easy and intuitive?
Surface information in seconds with Entity Activity View
The new Entity Activity View is built to surface data on over 10,000 activities in less than five seconds. We have some clients with entities that have literally millions of activities associated with them, and the update time is mere seconds. That’s fast and powerful!
Shape product strategies with Product Insights
Want to have a deeper insight into the products you’re offering to the market? Product Insights shows you things like current AUM, changes over time, sources of AUM, and inflows and outflows over different time periods. These are critical pieces of information to help you shape product strategies.
Critical insights in seconds with Portfolio Insights
On the flip side, if you're on the portfolio team, you want to see where the capital you’re deploying is going. We rethought portfolio insights from the ground up. You can quickly see how you’re allocated, how you’re weighted, whether you’re in line with policy, and risk analytics all in one view. I expect this will become the new home page for many folks on the investment team, giving them easy access to critical insights in seconds.
Travel got its groove back with Mobile 2.0
Travel is picking up – both business and vacations. Well, good news: we’ve revamped our mobile experience, so you leave nothing behind when you’re on the road or on a plane. If you need a quick answer for a meeting or feel compelled to check on work while you’re supposed to be on a break, you can find what you’re looking for without losing any time.
On the horizon:
Client service teams will be introduced to the new Home Base optimized for servicing investors, maintaining key relationships, managing across a team, and tracking pipeline.
And we have a host of innovations ready for release in 2023 and look forward to sharing more about them shortly.
That sums up a few highlights from our “glowing up” in 2022. And unlike some of the makeovers you see on TikTok, ours is way more than skin deep. We’re on a mission at Backstop to help asset managers and asset allocators make the most of their valuable time and make decisions with clarity. And clearly, we make no little plans.