The concept of big data is nothing new and it has been discussed in the financial services space for many years, being poured over at conferences as banks and intermediaries alike have grappled with all of the data that they house, how they can monetise it and how they can use it to improve their businesses. But, practically, what does it mean for your financial advice business and how can back office technology help?
Financial advice firms process vast amounts of data. From personal details to financial and health details, it is all part of providing an appropriate service. In these highly regulated times, many firms will sink or swim depending on their data. Get complacent and GDPR is lurking, use it incorrectly and the FCA will be interested. Maintaining accurate and reliable data is a driver not just of success, but of survival. Deploying the right back office technology can have a huge impact on this, keeping both a central record of your clients’ data and taking care of the security of it, too.
So, data plays a fundamental role in underpinning advice businesses and the advice process:
- A complete view of the client – This has always been the spine of an appropriate advice service, but data is driving further analysis of clients and technology is enabling the offering of more options to them. More options mean more opportunity, with advice businesses being able to find more suitable products to match a client with than ever before. Being able to access and analyse this information in one place helps financial advice firms to get most from the data they hold.
- Smoother business processes – Being able to rely on your data makes a huge difference to how an advice firm can operate. With accurate data underpinning an advice processes, increased automation can be implemented in areas such as income matching and valuations, realising time and cost savings. Further efficiency is introduced by back office software, since data can be entered once and used across all of the tools that you use via third party integrations.
- Drive further efficiencies – With consistent and accurate data, management reports can be produced instantly, key client documentation such as suitability and portfolio reports can be written and distributed automatically without the need for re-keying data via your back office software.
- Easing compliance – With a firm’s data in order, handing over access to the regulator if required can be done with confidence. Internal compliance checks are also made much easier, with consistently formatted and gathered data saving time in conducting checks.
- Repeatable processes – Establishing a consistent method of data capture and storage means that processes can be implemented once and repeated across the business.
- Service more clients – With increased efficiency, confidence and time running through the business, it becomes easier to onboard and service new clients. More clients equals more revenue, too, so any business can realise these benefits by collating and maintaining accurate data.
Data quality has myriad meanings for financial advice firms. From smoother internal and external processes, to the creation of a more efficient business, data has become one of the backbones of any financial services company
This is being driven by technology helping to shape, maintain and make useful the data that a firm holds. The combination of good quality data with the adoption of technology in the advice process means firms are realising huge benefits simply through being able to repurpose data and provide accurate and timely information to clients and for use within the businesses.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how your data can better work for you, our eAdviser Index analysis explores how, with the use of back office software, advice firms are improving their accuracy and calling upon their data at the click of a button to generate report. You might be surprised at the end results this is generating for firms. Click here for more info.