The Most Effective Way to Stop the Finger-Pointing Game of Dueling Data

Published by Patrick Flaherty, CIPM, Director - General Manager, ARKON
March 2nd, 2017

The word data is thrown around so frequently and casually in this era of technological innovation that many people overlook its significance. When we think about data, numbers, statistics, and figures typically come to mind, and without a frame of reference, they mean very little. Raw facts without organization or structure are useless.

When data is processed or arranged in a sensible way so that it tells a story, however, it becomes information that transforms it into an extraordinarily useful tool. In financial services, data analytics drives investment decision-making and trading. Without the ability to capture, analyze, and optimize data, financial institutions cannot compete.

Access to Data is Critical

Financial organizations retain massive amounts of data. Here are two major obstacles that limit access to it:

  • Firms store data in numerous disparate systems. Considering how frustrating it is to simply store documents using different tools such as local drives, flash drives, the cloud, and email, it is clear that retaining volumes of data strewn throughout various disconnected systems across an entire organization makes for a daunting, frustrating data management methodology. When data is stored is disparate systems, it is not well integrated. In the financial services marketplace, there are systems for financial planning, trading and rebalancing, performance management, and client reporting. Different vendors may even manage them. The end user struggles both with knowing where the right data lives, and then being able to get to it.
  • Firms lose trust in having reliable data as it travels across disparate systems. Across organizations, data moves. As it travels, it passes through numerous systems. During its journey across various platforms, the data becomes stale. The numbers transform and look slightly different in each location, drifting from the core set of data. It can also exist in different formats, so it cannot be synced or aligned. If the end user manages to get to the right data, there is no guarantee it is accurate since it did not originate from a unified, reliable source.

When advisors have to sort through copies of data stored in multiple locations to assimilate it either by hand or using a different tool, they can hold up critical decisions. Inaccessible data is a threat to client success and in turn, advisors’ livelihood. Without ready access to reliable data, advisors cannot be good stewards of their clients’ wealth.

The more answers an investment advisor can access by relying on one system to bring together all the information they need to support their clients, the more efficiently they can provide service. With access to data, advisors can pare down their time spent searching and preparing information and invest more time and energy in serving their customer.

How to Unify Dueling Data

Conflicting data leads to challenges that hamper an advisor’s efficiency and threaten the integrity of the information they need for advising clients. Integrating disparate systems is the ideal solution for streamlining accessibility and eliminating data inconsistencies.

To be able to more effectively sync separate, siloed systems, the better the integration of the full system to provide reliable and accurate data across the firm. When systems share information, end users can log in once to access information that may reside across several platforms. With open architecture linking numerous systems, users can access a unified source of information without having to know and tap into the different locations where every single piece of data lives.

With integration, each component of these disparate systems serves as an expert in its own silo, but it is able to pass and share the data required to employ the firm’s business model and rules. Users can gather all the information they need from one place, which reduces the likelihood of it not matching.

An Accessibility Solution

The ideal technology solution to address data accessibility challenges brings together and maintains a core set of data across multiple functions and uses. Financial organizations benefit by having an engine to make sure all the appropriate business rules are applied and data stored in different silos are linked. Utilizing a unified source of fresh data ensures accuracy of the numbers themselves and any computations including them. Technology that draws in the right information from many different sources of fresh data and helps advisors quickly provide financial results to clients in a variety of ways, saving firms time and money.

Contact First Rate today to see how our CORE solution can help solve your problem of having dueling and disparate systems.

 

About the Author: Patrick Flaherty, CIPM, is the Director of the ARKON Wealth Management Platform. He is responsible for overseeing the operations of the ARKON business unit including developing and maintaining client and partnership relationships. In 2011, he completed the requisite study and exams for the certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM). Connect with Patrick via LinkedIn.

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