Showing posts with label finance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label finance. Show all posts

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Simple: Personal Big Data analytics for you finances

Most of the applications of Big Data we've discussed are focused on mass amounts of people over time. Simple, a retail bank opmtimized for you mobile device makes their users into the analysts.

As a Simple user, you essentially replace your bank with yourself in many of the traditional capacities a bank operates in.

As you spend, you can tag your expenditures with hashtags "#" and text to describe where you were, what you were doing, and who you were with. Then, when you look into your history, you can click search a specific hashtag and observe your spending habits on this topic. What's great is that the hashtags can be completely unique to you and don't depend on anyone else being able to understand what they mean and therefore your spending doesn't need to fit into a category generated by a bank.

Another really cool aspect of this business is savings. You can set a goal to do something like "save $400 for a vacation to Aspen" and set a deadline. Your account automatically saves money out of your account each day so that you can't spend it (unless you really need to, of course). Simple separates itself from other similar entities (like Mint) by its unique approach to data collection -

"Simple receives much richer data than third-party tools. With better data, Simple can help you do things like categorize your transactions, understand your spending in real time, and make all your activity searchable. Our Reports feature gives you detailed analysis of your finances over time. Budgeting is also much easier when it's right in your account." (Simple FAQ -

What's really cool is their Reports feature as mentioned above. You can view buying history based on keywords or hashtags and compare it against other things. So, for you parents out there - you can tell little Tommy that you do in fact spend more money on him than his sister Susie.

I think that this is such a cool idea because it gives a user more freedom to create their own tool. One of the main focuses of lean is to externalize operations to make a system/process improve. But, it seems as though in this case our desire to be more efficient has really limited our ability. This model really begs the question - what other areas of life could we see this applying to?

The information I have on this business is limited to their website and an article I read because you have to be "invited" to join Simple. Check it out here.  Make sure you watch the video first (it's only like 3 minutes) to get a feel for what this company is all about.