Product Updates & Company News

Scheduled Maintenance Planned for August 1

Who this impacts:
All users of the DNA Behavior Platform (API users and Parters, Enterprise users, and Retail Subscription users)

What is happening:
Over the past year, we have launched several new features such as the DNA API and the all-new Financial DNA Investor Experience that have increased the demand on our DNA platform and cloud-based Microsoft Azure hosting network. To keep up with the increased demand, we are adding more servers and resources. A temporary maintenance period will occur in our Production environment. Below are details about this scheduled maintenance.

The release will occur on Saturday, August 1 between 1:30 am, and 3:30 am ET. During this period, our system will not be available. We advise that your team run a few tests following this release to ensure that everything is working as expected on the production instance. As always, if there are any issues or questions, we will be available to assist.

When it’s happening:
This scheduled maintenance will occur on Saturday, August 1 between 1:30 am, and 3:30 am ET.

How this affects you:
All users (participants, admins, and API users) will not be able to use the DNA Platform on Saturday, August 1 between 1:30 am and 3:30 am ET. Following this release, the site will be available as usual.

Major Release: Architectural Changes in Summer 2020

Update: Release of Architectural Changes Delayed until December 2020


This original notice was posted on June 3rd and updated on June 17th. We will postpone this API Endpoint URL change until December 2020 to allow our clients to make any necessary preparations for this change.

What is happening:

Over the past year, we have launched several new features such as the DNA API and the all-new Financial DNA Investor experience that have increased the demand on our DNA platform and cloud-based Microsoft Azure hosting system. To keep up with the increased demand we are adding more servers and resources. In order to complete this exercise, there will be a temporary maintenance period within our Production and Sandbox environments. Below are details about this scheduled maintenance and a workaround so that you and your business are not affected.

Who this impacts:

All users who access the DNA Behavior Platform ( and API during the release period.

When it is happening:

Users will be affected during the following release periods:

How this affects you:

While our platform will remain active, the domains and will be
unavailable temporarily during this release period.

Actions you can take so that this doesn’t affect you:

To prepare for this upcoming release, we previously set up additional domain names to be accessed during this time to minimize the impacts on you and your clients. These domains will remain active to minimize the impacts of this maintenance on your business. You can use additional domain names during this time are listed below. Please note, these new domain names will be available beginning at the times and dates below and will remain active following the release. – API URL for the Sandbox environment – Admin system URL for the Sandbox environment – API URL for the Production environment – Admin System URL for the Production environment

Customized Experiences Include Helping Investors Manage Market Fears

Customized Experiences Include Helping Investors Manage Market Fears

Before I jump into this product announcement, I would like you to know that we planned this launch months ago, long before there were hints of our current market disruption. While Market Mood does aid in managing client’s fears in volatile markets, our intention is not to attempt to capitalize on these difficult times or the concerns of investors. Stories are starting to come in from the DNA community members around the world about these trying times and we are seeing the fear and emotions that DNA measures, come to life.  The fear and emotions that investors are experiencing is real and it would be a disservice for us to make these times an opportunity for DNA. For this reason, if you feel that this tool will help your firm or aid in your ability to manage your client’s fears – we will work with you however we can by providing trials or waiving steps or fees to simplify the onboarding and get you started. 

Our team at DNA Behavior released a new behavioral finance API endpoint called the Market MoodTM API to help financial services firms measure clients’ market fear or exuberance. This Fintech tool arms them with data to behaviorally manage clients during times of market volatility.

While financial advisors have been using Market Mood since 2015, the API provides a flexible, relatively quick way for firms large and small to scale this solution.

Stopping Clients From Making Financial Mistakes

The Market Mood API measures the current level of market fear or exuberance for each investor. It also provides easy-to-understand behavioral management tips and action items for investment advisors (and Fintech applications) to behaviorally manage or “nudge” their clients, in a way that is tailored to each client via automated customization.

Research affirms that investment advisors bring the most value to clients by stopping them from making impulsive decisions that change investment positions at the wrong time. Our own research tells us that, in typical market conditions, using Market Mood can help advisors bring an additional 150 bps to investors; however, in adverse volatility, this can increase to higher amounts.

Like all DNA Behavior tools, Market Mood helps individuals easily (and practically) apply behavior to create customized experiences. In this case, advisors & Fintech apps customize the experience for investors, easily using behavioral finance nudging techniques (traditionally only addressed in advanced textbooks and research papers).

Investor clients typically have one of two reactions to market events. A reaction to market news they hear regarding movements of a particular index, such as the S&P 500, and a reaction when they see their actual portfolio in their investment app. With the Market Mood API, we help firms measure both reactions; the API measures client-specific Moods as well as Moods powered by market indices.

Nearly Each Clients Will Have a Different Reaction to the Same Market Event

It’s logical that clients will react differently to the same market events, but traditionally, firms and advisors treat each client the same when markets are volatile. With recent market shifts caused by events such as the China trade talks, Brexit, and now the coronavirus outbreak, some investors are opportunistic when the markets are down, and others are fearful.

In sharing his experience, Shay Woodward of Performance Wealth says that, “Market Mood is a new way of thinking about and looking at my DNA Client Data and how clients will react to the stock market. The communication cues and tips provide a structured approach to engaging with my clients. I continue to find better ways to engage with my clients using Market Mood.”

Market Moods Clients May Have

There are eight different Market Moods, represented with four colors to easily demonstrate the level of urgency for financial services teams.

Market Moods, when investment returns are positive:

  • Comfortable
  • Exuberant
  • Watchful
  • Apprehensive

Market Moods, when investment returns are negative:

  • Comfortable
  • Opportunistic
  • Concerned
  • Fearful

Learn more about Market Mood: Download the Market Mood Brochure

Market Mood API Documentation

API Security: New Rate Limiting Policy

In early March, we will be adding a new rate-limiting policy for the DNA APIs. This upgrade is to ensure site availability and security in support of all of our customers and partners.

While we do not publish a rate-limiting policy, we might temporarily rate limit if we identify traffic that appears to be abusive. We rate limit until we are confident that the activity is not problematic for DNA Behavior, our partners, or our customers.

To ensure maximum protection for the site, we constantly evaluate traffic as it surges and subsides to adjust our policies. If you or your customers receive the HTTP 429 Unprocessable Entity – RATE_LIMIT_REACHED status code, which indicates too many requests and might indicate anomalous traffic, we rate limit to ensure site stability.


Depending on the API endpoint, the request limit and the rate limit window in which the request limit resets vary.

Each endpoint is configured with a bucket that defines the following:

  • the request limit, and
  • the rate limit window (per second, per minute, per hour, and so on)

If your firm has specific requirements or standards for API requests, the above items can be configured on a per-account basis. Contact your account representative to discuss this.

Exceeding the Rate Limit:

If you exceed the provided rate limit for a given API endpoint, you will receive a response with HTTP Status Code 429 (Too Many Requests). You can refer to the HTTP Response Headers for more information on the rate limits applicable to that endpoint.

Actions such as rapidly updating configuration settings, aggressive polling, or making highly concurrent API calls may result in your app being rate limited.

If your app triggers the rate limit, please refrain from making additional requests until the appropriate amount of time has elapsed.

2020: Seeing More Customized Behavioral Experiences

2020: Seeing More Customized Behavioral Experiences

Navigating differences is a key problem to be solved as it is a strength when you can do it and a liability when you cannot. That’s at the core of our behavioral insights work over the years, whether looking at the individual, team, organization, family or other scenario, like business-customer, hiring manager-employee or financial advisor-client.

One long-in-the-making manifestation of that work was completed this year and will officially debut Jan. 7, 2020: a book, Leadership Behavior DNA, Discovering Natural Talents and Managing Differences (Freedomstar Media), co-authored with (Ret.) Colonel Lee Ellis, who I consider my mentor.

The premise of our book: Whatever your leadership style, learning to recognize and better manage differences is the key to building a winning culture and improved productivity. Leadership Behavior DNA is grounded in statistical research and data from millions of clients and more than 45 years of workplace experience. Disrupt how you lead, perform, and relate to one another, with this book – and me and Lee – as your guide(s). (I have an “in” with one of the authors, so let me know if you’d like a copy of the book prior to the official launch.)

A strength of the book stands in the fact that it is tested. The behavioral insights and application thereof are real-world tested and validated by academia. Perhaps best, we’ve had ample opportunity to account for diverse anecdotal feedback from customers, business partners and others. And we continually look for creative ways to gain other perspectives.

As an example, this year we implemented a series of “Future Tech” dinners – think “Mastermind” meets think-tank meets great meal at which participants discuss behavioral challenges and solutions and the future of leveraging behavioral insights at scale across a broad range of applications. (Say that three times fast.) We gathered those both familiar and unfamiliar with our behavior tech platform to openly reflect on and ideate about DNA Behavior tools, how they applied and what we might not have yet thought of.

We also worked hard and enjoyed taking our behavioral insights solutions to more audiences and new platforms via our agile API (which is now enabled with AI and machine learning). For some time now our API has helped a variety of organizations quickly “plug in” the DNA behavioral chip to discover and leverage behavioral insights already within their people and systems. By leveraging a suite of enterprise-ready AI services, applications, and toolsets, we can accelerate the adoption of behavioral insights across large enterprises of all sizes in any industry and in many market channels.

As current events and news shape the world, think of how behavioral insights might give you a leg up. For example, there is much talk of recession: Financial advisors and many other professionals can help themselves and their clients be prepared by leveraging behavioral insights. An easy way to explore how a behavior insights tech platform might help navigate challenges in your realm, is our weekly Open Office Hours. After a quick primer, ask questions – no cost and no obligation. Or find us at one of the many conferences and speaking engagements we do throughout the year, ranging from those focusing on human resources to wealth management, API (natch) and more. I’ll of course increasingly be on the road in 2020 talking about the book.

For now, I can share a trend we’ve been observing that is heartening: Increasingly, medium-sized and larger organizations that truly want to leverage people data – up to and including behavioral insights – are leaning in, up to and including installing a Behavioral Sciences Division led by a Chief Behavioral Officer or other dedicated champion of getting the most of the vast amounts of data now available, personalizing every interaction.

I’ll leave you with a trend I saw emerging this year that I expect to continue in the New Year: Medium-sized and larger organizations leaning in to more fully leverage people data to deal with the vast amounts of data now available, personalizing every interaction. Using technology to customize behavioral experiences on a mass scale is the emerging innovation and we are leading the charge, including having designed a Quick Scan product to meet the unparalleled opportunities in this area.

What behavioral insights (and related) trends do you see on the horizon for 2020?



The Security of Your Personality

The Security of Your Personality

Individuals often marvel at the amount of data that we have available with the DNA API. The follow-up question (often with skepticism) is what personal information DNA requires in order to provide it. We can now say: “None”, “zero”, “zilch”, “zip”, “nada”.

With the DNA API, participant data can remain completely anonymous – we don’t need client’s names, emails, date of birth, address, assets, anything. All we need is their responses to the psychometric questions.

Improvements to the DNA API:

Over the past year, we have seen trends of security breaches, data leakages, and data misuse. If your firm is as concerned as we are over this then you should be hesitant to provide any of your data to third-parties. Now, if you don’t have a business reason for us to know the identity of your clients, then simply don’t send it to us.

With the DNA API, client’s results are stored in our database using a GUID – ‘Globally Unique Identifier’. It is a 128-bit integer number used to identify people, places or things. In our case, each participant is assigned a GUID by our API partner. We store this value in our system alongside the behavioral data we have available and use this ID as the “name” of the client going forward.

In addition to modifying how we identify participants; we have also added 100’s of new behavioral insights and area adding 100’s more. We now can measure virtually every human habit an individual has for investing, life, working, or decision-making. If you are interested in learning more about our API, access the guide below.

Download the API GUIDE

Clients data is anonymous and lasts forever:

On client demo calls, we are often asked: “if the data remains anonymous on your system, how do you manage clients as they retake the process each year.” The beauty of the Natural Behavior product, the backbone of our API, is that clients do not need to retake the process, ever.

The results last a lifetime with our Natural Behavior assessment, unlike many other behavioral products out there. Natural Behavior is built using a forced-choice model which removes situational bias- this allows us to measure a client’s instinctive behaviors that don’t change after age two. This means that clients don’t have to re-take our assessment and their investing, work, and decision-making habits we provide insights on last a lifetime.

Other security measures we take to bolster security:

In addition, to allowing individuals to remain anonymous in our system, we have also taken many measures over the years to increase overall system security and align our processes with industry best practices. Below are some of the measures taken to ensure the security of the DNA Systems.

Active Security Monitoring:

DNA Behaviors application environment is enabled with a security service to actively monitor all of its resources. This system collects and processes security-related data, including configuration information, metadata, event logs, crash dump files and more. These processes help identify securities incidences in real-time.

This security service helps prevent, detect, and respond to threats with increased visibility into and control over the security of the DNA Systems. It provides integrated security monitoring and policy management across the network, helps detect threats that might otherwise go unnoticed, and works with a broad ecosystem of security solutions.

Security Pen tests:

Throughout the year, DNA Behavior works with an experienced third-party security consulting firm to perform both manual and automated vulnerability scans and penetration tests on our systems. The third-party security experts perform this penetration process using many methods such as those prescribed in OWASP methodology to identify potential vulnerabilities. All the vulnerabilities are then reviewed and fixed by our technology team and a final report is available. This penetration report is available to our client base. To request your copy, contact us.

Undergoing Security Reviews by enterprises:

DNA Behavior caters to all clients, large and small. When we work with large enterprise clients, the team routinely participates in security reviews with their technology team. This provides an objective additional eye on our processes and is readily welcomed by myself and my team.

Reviewing Trends in Security Breaches:

As part of my role, it is my responsibility to regularly review current trends and styles of breaches that are happening to firms around the globe. We regularly review the methods and mode of these breaches and make proactive steps to ensure that we are taking appropriate precautions to prevent a breach of that type.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior.