Financial services firms struggle to use data to support business decisions

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of asset managers claim that the data management systems and processes that they use today are not ‘very effective’ at supporting business and operational decision-making.

In addition nearly half of asset managers (45 per cent) said their organisation typically measures RoI on data management projects afterwards by carrying out an annual survey into how the business is performing to relevant quality metrics.

These were among the key findings of a recent survey commissioned by Asset Control, a solutions provider for financial data management. The survey also revealed that in terms of management priorities for data management, ‘reducing cost of current operation’ was ranked as one of their top three priorities by just under half of the sample (48 per cent), the highest percentage score recorded. This was just ahead of reducing operational risk by streamlining data flows and preventing redundant storage and traffic (completing the top three priorities and both scoring 46 per cent); ‘tracking and reporting on data quality’ (41 per cent) and ‘cataloguing data to make sure data assets are clearly defined and known throughout the firm’ (also 41 per cent).

Eddie Grant, Head of Managed Services, Asset Control, says: “These findings highlight not just the data management priorities of financial services businesses but also some of the shortcomings they face with their existing approaches. There are clearly issues with efficiently feeding quality-proofed data into decision-making and with accurately, regularly and pro-actively managing RoI. These are challenges that can be more effectively addressed using an outsourced managed service approach, where KPIs on data quality and delivery are pre-agreed, transparently tracked and regularly reported on allowing for pro-actively tracking RoI and improving quality data delivery.”

The study additionally found that cloud providers such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure were deemed the most suited to help provide a data infrastructure for their organisation in the future by a third of the sample (33 per cent) ahead of application providers such as Charles River, SimCorp or thinkFolio (26 per cent), highlighting the growing focus on cloud-deployed managed services across asset managers’ organisations.

Finally, when asked what metadata/contextual information/quality intelligence their organisation has access to today to improve the quality of decision, respondents ranked ‘application and business context’ highest (cited by 38 per cent of the sample), followed by ‘run-time stats and volume information’ (referenced by 36 per cent of the sample) and user ratings and comments (35 per cent).