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Smart Data Foundry instrumental in FCA tech sprint


by Georgina McNamara

Joining the sustainability pilot

Smart Data Foundry are pleased to work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide synthetic data supporting their Digital Sandbox.  

The FCA worked with The City of London Corporation (CoLC) in 2020 to pilot the ‘Digital Sandbox’, which supported firms at the ‘proof of concept’ stage of development. The Digital Sandbox provided participants with a suite of features, including bespoke synthetic data assets and a range of relevant mentors, to develop solutions from both technological and conceptual angles. The pilot focused on challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and since its inception, the Kalifa Review have recommended creating a permanent digital sandbox to inspire further collaboration. 

In November 2021, the FCA hosted a series of workshops that tasked each team to build a detailed picture of their data requirements, for example, whether they required real or synthetic data, the volume required, and what connections needed to exist in the data. Their subsequent collaboration with Smart Data Foundry proved central to the approach of favouring an iterative data generation process tailored to each of the participants’ requirements. By collaborating with us, the FCA data scientists could leverage external expertise and build their knowledge of different synthetic data generation methodologies. 

office workers collaborating on data and applications taken from pxhere

Image Source: pxhere

An effective collaboration for both parties

Commenting on their collaboration with Smart Data Foundry, an FCA spokesperson stated:

Our partnership with Smart Data Foundry was central to this approach; they provided synthetic data expertise throughout the process of gathering requirements and generating synthetic data assets. Throughout January and February 2022, the FCA team collaborated with Smart Data Foundry to produce four synthetic data assets tailored to the sustainability pilot’s teams.

Chief Operating Officer for Smart Data Foundry, said:

We’re pleased to work with and support the FCA in developing their Digital Sandbox.  Synthetic data generation is still a relatively new phenomenon, making it possible to create bespoke data sets for the teams using the sandbox.  Our team is making great progress in this field and recently won an international award for its work in synthetic data generation.

This collaboration proved highly valuable in leveraging Smart Data Foundry’s synthetic data expertise to produce quality datasets for the participants.  

Forbes anticipates that 60% of the data used in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be synthetic rather than real by 2024, making Smart Data Foundry’s work in this field of paramount importance. We are exploring the cutting edge of synthetic data, and believe that its ability to limit bias and privacy concerns within AI can be closely aligned with our ultimate mission: to use data to open finance for social good. Now more than ever, as we grapple with the effects of Covid and a rising cost-of-living crisis, it will be essential for FinTechs such as ourselves to use innovative technology to support our most vulnerable members of society. If you want to read more about our work or find out how you can get involved, click here for a closer look at our mission statements.