Today we are seeing significant changes in the way financial services information is being curated and delivered. Data analytics and the increasingly widespread use of data visualisation techniques are finding their way into the wealth management industry as firms look for more efficient ways to acquire insight from ever increasing amounts of data to monitor the effectiveness of their products, strategies, and resources. Data visualisation is the presentation of data and information in a vivid, visual context that helps users better understand and quickly grasp its significance.  

Keeping in step with clients and peers means being able to use digital visualisation techniques to explore data and identify and track key performance indicators. Through the use of technology, wealth management firms, asset managers and broker-dealers can ‘curate’ or selectively organise and display important data views in easier, more accessible and meaningful ways to help achieve greater insight and understanding of their business, as well as their clients.

Data Visualisation: The Next Frontier

The amount of data being generated each year is growing exponentially. More data has been created in the past two years than in the entire history of the human race. By the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every person on the planet. With exploding growth in data volumes comes the need for businesses to organise, interpret and act on data in real-time to stay competitive. Data visualisation techniques improve the ability of business leaders to identify trends in a vivid, graphical context and can allow them to see and grasp important connections and identify new opportunities.

Some of the needs expressed by wealth management firms include being able to readily compare and contrast assets under management, account growth and fund inflows and outflows across different time periods, accounts, and different managed-account sponsors and managers. Industry firms are not only looking to pull reports from data, but to use data more effectively to make more informed investment and business decisions. There is more to it than just data; it’s about making data actionable and meaningful and delivering it in useful dimensions and formats.

New data visualisation techniques are now being developed to allow managers, sponsors and sales organisations to more effectively plumb and understand how they use their data. For example, a manager may want to know the effectiveness of their sales groups, whereas a sponsor may want to know what their distribution of data might be around managers. A financial advisor might want to look at his top 10 clients by assets or in terms of revenues produced. By giving different audiences access to the same information, one central database can be maintained to allow many different users access to the data to use it in the ways they want and need.

Data As A Strategic Asset

To stay competitive, firms need immediate access to data in easy-to-digest and useful formats. It is important that firms start to accept the modernisation and digitisation of wealth management and make the necessary changes to their organisation. This will help them to optimise the user experience for the next generation of wealth managers and their clients. Technology is enabling a completely digital world where consumers have access to information whenever they want. Organisations have to keep up and deliver services seamlessly, whilst meeting the customer needs, to ensure a positive user experience that they will come back for time and time again.

In the future, asset managers in the model management space can look forward to data views and visualisation capabilities that allow them to learn how their models are being used and distributed, and how they perform. They will also be able to compare and contrast model usage and penetration across sponsors and identify important trends. For sponsors, the future will bring data visualisation of their model data to enable them to quickly identify the top investment managers, strategies and financial advisors, and readily compare and contrast each category. The integration of data and digital processes makes this all possible, with dashboards that allow users to depict the most important metrics that they want to measure.