As The Economist famously proclaimed in 2017: The most valuable commodity in the world is no longer oil, it’s data.
Five years later, we’ve charged ahead, doubled down, and surely we can all agree that the importance of digital data isn’t lessening. But we’ll save you the trouble of the “here’s how technology has changed our world” spiel and, simply, get to the point:
We’ve made a god out of data.
At Daizy, we’ll be the first to admit it, because we’re data people. We love numbers, logic, statistics, and code just about as much as any humans can. Often, we claim our data capabilities to be our “superpower.”
But here’s the problem. Data on its own is inherently not human.
When was the last time an excel spreadsheet moved you to tears of joy? More like tears of frustration…
Has a pie chart ever brought back the nostalgia of your childhood? Doubtful.
We all know bell curves are pretty, but even the most pristine statistical distribution is unlikely to evoke the “love at first sight” butterflies.
Cheesy? We know. But the point remains. We recognize, at least at this point in human history, that there is still a massive void between the information we have access to, and the ways that we humans relate to it.
It takes abstraction, narrative prowess, time, talent, and deep understanding to turn data into something meaningful. We try our best, but it’s hard.
As our founder, artist and engineer Jonty Hurwitz, openly admits, “Daizy is the most challenging art piece I have ever taken part in creating.”
The pursuit of bridging data and human nature is a cornerstone of our identity at Daizy because we believe it to be necessary to the future of our industry and the products needed for all of us to navigate it.
So let’s discuss why bridging data and human nature matters to the future of informed investing and, therefore, to you.
Admittedly that data point is pretty meaningful all on its own, but let’s dig into the implications.
The information revolution has inherently changed the value proposition of expertise, advice, thought leadership, and how we source knowledge.
In generations past, professionals spent lifetimes fervently pursuing and niching down into unique combinations of information, until they became experts in that knowledge area. Most then used that knowledge through starting businesses, putting it into practice, or disseminating the information to the world.
Lawyers, doctors, consultants, etc. are sought out and valuable because the information they hold costs a significant amount of time to gather and master.
But that paradigm is shifting. As the barriers to information continue becoming lower via data access and the internet, technology, especially AI-powered, is supplanting experts in many industries.
Our industry is a prime example. Brokers and financial advisors are losing ground to robo-advisors, consumer fintech, chatbots, and artificial intelligence newsfeeds and research platforms.
But we think the pendulum is already swinging too far.
How is your robo-advisor going to empathize and help you navigate your emotions as you watch your portfolio fall 20% in 3 months?
Are you going to ask your chatbot for advice about your anxiety around the financial changes of having children?
There’s certainly no amount of artificial intelligence that can solve a dispute with your spouse about your monthly budget.
Overly simplistic, we know. Nevertheless, it seems clear that we are missing an essential human element in our financial lives as we ditch our advisors and charge forward with our smartphone-powered expertise.
As we continue to build at Daizy, we hope our hybrid AI and human-powered insights and support can help provide that human element we see missing across our industry.
One of the reasons not everyone can be Warren Buffet or Michael Burry is because raw financial data is boring!
We’re well past the point where we can hope every investor has the skills and desire to analyze financial statements, model future cash flows, and the ability to accurately value companies.
Not everyone is going to base their decisions on primary source data, and therefore, narratives and abstraction of data will always be drivers in the market. And that is where bias, manipulation, and a number of dangerous pollutants can seep through the cracks – separating data-based reality from the narrative reality.
For example, Tesla dominates the popular narrative of leading the automotive industry’s transition to clean energy. Regardless of the data supporting or opposing it, either way, data has become subservient to the power of that narrative. And Tesla’s stock price often reflects that separation.
In the absence of unbiased, digestible data, peoples’ investment decisions are inevitably subject to the most popular or loudest narratives, for better or worse. Instead of narratives that are separate from the underlying data, we need data-based narratives from as many perspectives as possible.
At Daizy, we seek the middle ground between raw financial data and the dataless narratives. We provide primary source data in a digestible, simple, human feeling form. We believe these data-driven resources will lead to more balanced and sustainable portfolios and beneficial diversification for investors.
Although financial gain is often the primary motivation behind investing, we know that humans are motivated by much more than money.
Our hope is that the products we create at Daizy will allow investors to infuse broader and deeper motivations into their investment decisions.
By providing insights about sustainability, integrity, non-financial risks, market sentiment, and much more, we add an additional layer to investors’ “whys”. We hope this inspires a future of investors that care about more than just the bottom line.
We also recognize that if money is the only dimension of investing success, it is harder to stay disciplined and engaged during stagnation or decline. But, if investment analysis is augmented by personal, genuine interests and beliefs, it can help investors’ level-headedness during volatile times.
We believe that investors deserve information that allows them to use their passions, beliefs, and morals to balance out the motivation behind their investments and to keep them engaged in healthy financial habits.
At Daizy, we’re calling for a balance – a complex reality where we harness the power of data without letting it replace our humanity.
Daizy exists to bring data to life, to make it more human, and to empower people with the tools to make better use of it. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.