Planners demand one-stop data shop

02-Feb-2016

By Elizabeth Somerville

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Data analytics firm Einsights is simplifying its reporting processes to allow advice practices to collate and analyse their business information through a single portal.

In an interview with financialobserver, Einsights commercial director Benjamin Lindsay said in the past advice practices had typically relied on pockets of data from their customer relationship management (CRM) system, accounting system and various product providers.

This made it difficult for them to access a complete view of their business data, which was often a lengthy process requiring assistance from an IT team, data scientist or actuary.

“Potentially, they’ve got at least 20 different data sets,” Lindsay said.

“That’s because the Australian market is very product driven, so realistically adviser groups often have lots of different product offerings [all with their own data], so to understand their commissions, revenues and dealer group fees they have to look at all of them.”

The dealer group level was typically more focused on revenue, but it was still helpful for them to be able to break earnings data down by different channels, products, advisers and client segments, he said.

“It’s often quite difficult for people to do that and then to cross-reference it from the different pockets of data they have is often a delayed process,” he said.

“The whole industry has struggled to automate those processes, cleanse the data and validate it.

“It can be quite a manual process for the industry, but we’re able to slice and dice that information very easily and put together all of the data in one place as often as needed.”

Einsights currently provided advice businesses with a “quick view in the rear vision mirror” of their data streams, but was looking to move into predictive analytics in the future, he said.

“A lot of planners are becoming frustrated with some of the things they can and can’t do within the tool set they’re given by their dealer group,” he said.

“If you’re a financial planner, you just get lumped with this particular technology and it may work for you, but it may be more configured to a bigger or smaller practice.

“Or if you want to add a particular field, then you have to wait six months to get it.”

An overlay that bridged the gap between a CRM, accounting system and product providers would be able to supply a single holistic data snapshot, he pointed out.

“Neither [a CRM or accounting system] is going to take over the other, but if you want to analyse your revenue and your costs, you’ve actually got to have something that has an overlay that allows you to analyse both,” he said.

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