As I look back at the evolution of Spinnaker and on the learnings we’ve collected over our engagements to date, I see one common thread: our best solutions come out of need, and oftentimes a place of frustration. They rarely come from, “Hey, wouldn’t it be interesting if…” or “You know what I really want…”. They come from an individual, or a group of individuals, working towards a goal where they themselves cannot identify a solution – they need guidance and consultation on how to get to the best version of “there”, and how to do that efficiently.
This was very much the case with the newest addition to the Spinnaker Consulting Group family, Flying Phase. Born out of our clients’ need to solve for large-scale challenges – and leverage the power of their data through automation – we decided to explore the possibility of a new division.
I want to share a little background on the name, as it’s a great illustration of what this team is capable of and how they operate. As many of you know, I was schooled at the Naval Academy and spent 5 years as a submarine officer. I have a genuine love of the water, and on weekends, you’ll often find my family and I sailing Virginia’s waterways. Our name Spinnaker speaks to that passion and our mission of helping client organizations catch wind, and get to where they’re going faster.
As we began to look at innovation in the sport of sailing, our attention turned to the America’s Cup and the Emirates Team New Zealand, which is revolutionizing the sport with their innovative AC75 monohull design based on computer simulations. The idea behind the technology is that by lifting the hull out of the water you eliminate water drag, and the boat can travel faster than the speed of wind.
Organizations that are centralizing their data, making it more usable for a variety of internal roles and supercharging it through advanced analytics and automation are taking a similar flight – traveling at a faster pace than their manual counterparts. They’re able to condense 3-month long forecasting efforts into reports that can be developed in a matter of hours. And while the role of quants will continue to change in our industry, the machine is capable of identifying patterns at a speed far outpacing the human brain.
Clients arrive at the decision to increase their analytical rigor for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes it’s at the behest of a regulatory body, other times, particularly in the case of smaller organizations, it’s the simple desire to better inform decision making. And while most anyone can understand the implicit value of a well-justified, data-driven argument, understanding the process of getting there is a completely different skillset. It takes a well-rounded team who understands the technology, the process of product development, and the skills to actually manipulate the data. And in an industry like financial services, which has at times been cautious to adopt new technology for a variety of reasons (among them regulatory, cost, and complexity of legacy systems), it takes a team with business acumen and experience solving real problems.
We’ve found that skill triumvirate in the Flying Phase founding team, made up of Abdul Mallick, David Buckler, and Justin Klevs. We like to joke that these guys have been to the future – they understand how to build this data ecosystem within the financial services schema, and almost equally important, what pitfalls to avoid. And while the services they bring to the table – big-data transformation, machine learning, and extreme automation – are a complement to the Spinnaker offerings, it’s our shared desire to demystify and democratize data innovation that we believe will make this addition a success. We’re also applying a winning formula from the Spinnaker experience – building a team with a depth of real-world experience in their field.
We see this move as the first of many other new service offerings – where Spinnaker is the hub, guiding clients to a solution for a distinct need, and our sister organizations are working alongside, solving for technical, specialized needs.
I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Flying Phase to the Spinnaker family. For more information on service offerings and the team, please make sure to visit their new website – www.flyingphase.com.