Expert: William Rouse, Wealth Dynamix. Facilitator: Stephen Wall, The Wealth Mosaic
- Managing data is driven by the need to drive efficiency via automation speed and consistency
- Data management also driven by the need to provide better client relationships -enhanced by quality data driven insights
- Introducing data discipline key, as is using it in a smart way
- Being able to leverage data relies on having it in a usable format in the first place
- Systems being able to talk to each other is the other element
- Buy in from users in key
- Open banking is starting to play its part in terms of what is possible
- With data comes responsibility. The good news is that wealth managers are already custodians of sensitive data and operate in a highly regulated environment
- Ultimately this is an iterative journey
Over the past few years data has come to the fore as a key driver of value. But what should best industry practice be to capture, manage and store data and then use it to drive greater insight and knowledge? This is where the real challenge lies. Managers are keen to understand what is achievable with data and how to do it.
Key Challenges, Conclusions and Solutions
1. Managing data use is driven by the need to drive efficiency via automation, speed and consistency.
Building strong foundations for data management makes a business strong going forward., over the years there have been many disparate siloed solutions put into place and it has become impossible to see things are a macro level and really understand both the business and how it is performing.
2. Data management also driven by the need to provide better client relationships, enhanced by quality data-driven insights.
This is in terms of better understanding clients in the first place and thus being able to provide them with up-to-date reporting, contextual insights and other information prior to meetings and being able to reach out to them with the right information at the right time.
For example, if you can see who is going online and what they are doing you can identify who is anxious and call them, or who is looking at ESG investments and reach out with some information.
3. Introducing data discipline key, as is using it in a smart way.
The ability to submit and draw data to various applications and have in-house data applications via a data warehouse facilitates both these aspects.
If systems are siloed and data extraction is manual then this is so much harder to do in the first place. Add in a possible acquisition and then it becomes even more complex to create a united digital roadmap - where data can flow to where it needs to so that you can gain aggregated view. Having a precise organisation round what data you need and what you want to do with it is important in terms of having clear aims; accelerate onboarding, reduce cost via automation, free up the adviser to meet with clients- all are valid case uses.
GDPR means there needs to be a change in attitude and practice. Data now needs to be captured in a way that meets regulation and is systemic- a digital filing system where information can be stored, accessed and shared. GDPR also requires the ability to get rid of data and so just keeping everything is no longer an option.
4. Buy in from users in key.
If advisers do not like a system or it is too complicated to use or doesn’t provide obvious benefits then uptake will be poor. Some firms will be happy to provide administrative support to do that – particularly at the senior end, but easy-to-use digital platforms also play their part. For example, the onboarding process can be massively improved by clients uploading documents and using e-signatures on digital platforms.
5. Open banking is starting to play its part in terms of what is possible.
Being able to aggregate data from various sources and then feeding it back to nourish reporting, provide contextual information around clients and draw in data from other banks to provide a better overall view of the client - all possible! Clients need to understand that the more information they provide the better a wealth manager can service them and the less the adviser will need to bother them with request for information.
This is very dependent on the level of trust a client has with the wealth manager. For example, would a client consent to the wealth manager accessing medical or other personal information if it meant a more honed and accurate quotation for something?
There is also a discussion to be had over how much data to actually share with clients- should they ever see how much data, especially soft contextual data, you have or would that be overwhelming and come over as creepy?
This is partly a generational issue. Younger people are much happier to share data – they understand the benefits of doing so.
6. With data comes responsibility. The good news is that wealth managers are already custodians of sensitive data and operate in a highly regulated environment.
They are more likely to be able to persuade clients to part with data and promise that in doing so it will be secure and also be used to enhance the client experience – the positives outweigh the risk.
How much self-service is a good idea when it comes to data collection? Clients should have a portal where they can update their details but there needs to be mechanisms in place to verify changes and to pass data through compliance engines to identify what checks, balances and controls are then needed. Some things will always lie in the hands of a one-to-one conversation; investment goals are the obvious example.
7. Ultimately this is an iterative journey.
The clients are the people that ultimately generate the revenue and so their needs should to be at the forefront of any data optimisation strategy. Then compliance needs to be overlaid. Acceptance this data strategy is an ongoing and continuous process means a firm can be agile and adapt the tools and systems so that they can progress at an appropriate speed according to market considerations as well as what particular clients are comfortable with.