The Lang Cat

A financial platform analyser tool incorporating The Lang Cat's existing comprehensive database in an intuitive directory and comparison platform.

Introduction

The challenge

The finance sector is an industry that can often present challenges to its users due to the complexity of technical jargon making documents difficult to interpret. Software for compiling financial data in a concise and easy to interpret manner simply did not exist. This is something the team at The Lang Cat wished to address.

Existing problem

The Lang Cat has become an industry leader in financial platform insight. Until recently, their bespoke service involved a massive amount of manual input and lacked a level of interactivity and customisation for customers. As a result of their extensive experience, the team knew that a technology driven system would greatly streamline the process for their customers, reducing overall cost and time required to generate reports.

Proposed solution

Terry Huddart, Head of Proposition at The Lang Cat, came up with a solution that would utilise data technology to do the heavy-lifting of the compiling process. This proposal would greatly improve the accessibility of their services and greatly reduce the overall costs for both the team and their users. The Lang Cat platform analyser tool was developed with the intention of bringing greater transparency and more informed research to financial institutions, advisors and their clients—everyday investors.

Workshop sessions

After meeting several potential development partners and visiting the likes of tech incubator CodeBase, The Lang Cat Founder, Mark Polson was recommended to speak to Bad Dinosaur by an existing client.

Although initially cautious of BD’s practice of charging for time as opposed to a finished product, The Lang Cat project team, including Rebecca Christensen, Head of Marketing, soon recognised that this process would allow for more flexibility and oversight. The project proposal and discussion during the initial workshop session proved essential in establishing trust in Bad Dinosaur’s process and abilities.

At Bad Dinosaur we have a similar goal to the team at the lang cat, where we try to be as transparent as possible with clients about their expectations and our method of delivery. We were so pleased when the lang cat chose to work with us, as they embody so many of the beliefs that we at Bad Dinosaur also maintain.

Russ Peterson, Director, Bad Dinosaur
Russ Peterson, Director, Bad Dinosaur

Design

From our workshops, it was clear that the analyser platform needed to be designed with user flexibility at its core. The desire was for users to have the ability to create custom comparison scenarios and have data returned from The Lang Cat's extensive database in a concise and easy to digest manner. The design team utilised a card based format to enable full customisation, alongside a heirarchy of symbols and colour coding to guide the user through the process seamlessly and allow for clear interpretation of the data returned.

The expertise offered by The Lang Cat was as important as the data they possessed and they were keen to promote this further. Therefore, alongside the directory and comparison reports section, the design included an intuitive 'insights' page. Here, The Lang Cat could collate their wealth of knowledge within an easy to navigate knowledge base.

It was always important that the platform be adaptable. The flexibility of the infrastructure means that we can easily apply the way we collect and analyse our data to other markets. There are various different areas that we already have our eye on.

Terry Huddart, Head of Proposition, The Lang Cat
Terry Huddart, Head of Proposition, The Lang Cat
Development

Development

Over the course of late 2018 and 2019, The Lang Cat met regularly with Bad Dinosaur developer Ian, who has a strong background in database solutions and so worked as lead coordinator on the project. The vision that Terry brought to the development process and the industry knowledge from The Lang Cat as a whole was tremendously helpful to keeping the project focused going forward.

The lang at have an immense passion for their industry, so working with them to develop their Platform Analyser software was smooth from start to finish. After digesting the swathes of jargon the financial sector has, we were able to provide a specification for a product that has vastly improved the way financial advisors record their due diligence practises. The lang cat were able to astutely identify key aspects of the process and distill them into a flow that allowed us to build them a powerful proposition for their clients.

Ian Henderson, Developer, Bad Dinosaur
Ian Henderson, Developer, Bad Dinosaur

How did we build it?

The Lang Cat platform analyser

The project involved building two main components. The first of these was the online database to house The Lang Cat’s valuable market research, which allows them to update and compute thousands of comparison metrics without the need for spreadsheets and time-consuming manual input. The second phase was creating an outward facing portal called Platform Analyser, which digitises the due diligence process for clients and also cuts down on the work they have had to do in the past when updating their data.

Throughout the project Terry was clear that the platform being built would have to synthesise what had been a complex process and maintain or improve the high level of oversight that The Lang Cat keeps on its data. He also emphasised the need for the infrastructure to be easily adaptable in order to include further investment platforms when needed.

One of the big advantages of this platform is that it will not only cut down on the work intensive process of manually transferring data, but going forward, the business efficiency kit that has been created means that when we add a new investment platform we simply have to provide the new user with a login to the portal where they will upload their data for us to review.

Terry Huddart, Head of Proposition, The Lang Cat
Terry Huddart, Head of Proposition, The Lang Cat

The future

Going forward, the database and Platform Analyser that Bad Dinosaur has built for The Lang Cat not only means that they can offer their reputable service to more clients at a more affordable rate, but it also means that employees will have more time to research and analyse data, to work directly with clients, and to enter new markets.

To date, The Lang Cat has been undergoing rounds of testing with its users, and although there is a learning curve when using any new product, the response has been extremely positive, and an early benefit is the data collection portal has seen a significant reduction in the amount of time required to collect and validate data.

With more time on their hands to dedicate towards building and expanding its already thriving consultancy, The Lang Cat looks to have an even brighter future ahead of it, one that Bad Dinosaur will be happy to continue playing a part in. A great plus of working in the tech industry is the way that technology can help to empower positive change across all industries, and at Bad Dinosaur we’re proud to keep making that happen.

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