The three key ingredients for a rich digital experience
Delivering the data-rich, transparent, collaborative digital experience the investment management community wants to see is proving a tough nut to crack.
An attractive, intuitive (and mobile-compatible) front end is clearly important. But a pretty portal has no value if it lacks substance behind it.
A powerful digital offering requires seamless, end-to-end data flows that equip users with real-time information and give them the flexibility to act. Which is where digitalisation in the investment management world has often fallen down.
Getting the digital experience right depends on having three key components in place:
1) Connected systems
Disconnected systems and inconsistent usage make true digitalisation impossible.
By acting as a central party to all participants and processes, fund administrators have a pivotal role in delivering the digital experience. Problem is, fund administrators typically use multiple systems, many of which don’t talk to each other. The data they contain becomes trapped within, creating unwieldy silos that foster data multiplication and version proliferation.
For firms to deliver a seamless digital experience that allows for the real-time presentation and consumption of data, the front-end portal will need to integrate with multiple downstream systems. To accept orders, for example, the front end has to talk to the administrator’s transfer agency platform. It must be integrated with the portfolio accounting solution to present the NAV pack, and the reporting system to deliver reports. Workflow system connectivity is essential for fast, seamless activity processing.
2) Data normalisation
System integration is a crucial part of the digital equation. But it’s worthless without data cleansing and normalisation.
Ideally, all data would be correct at source. That’s rarely possible, since different systems and data sources treat data in different ways and employ different formats.
Data cleansing is vital to identify and fix any corrupt, incomplete, inaccurate or duplicated elements in the datasets. A data translation layer will likely be necessary too.
Investors often participate in multiple funds. Yet those funds may be administered by different systems. The investor simply wants to log in and see their portfolio details. But because they are consuming data from multiple platforms, it must first be translated into a common format. The way the data is presented will then need to be normalised.
3) Workflow management
Workflows, and the business logic that underpin them, are integral to a slick, multi-functional digital experience. Workflows enable the smooth end-to-end and two-way flow of data. They expedite the assignment and fulfilment of processing tasks, automate message and approval capture, and provide valuable transparency and accountability for user actions.
Granular, rules-based workflows will trigger a series of automated steps for any kind of repeatable activity. Document capture capabilities further aid automation by enabling relevant content to be integrated into business processes. Where some form of manual intervention is required, automatically routing tasks to the appropriate teams for completion will speed up processes and foster higher-quality outcomes.
Digitalisation, done well, can be a major boon to client relationships and internal efficiencies. Done poorly, it can have the opposite effect. So it pays to get it right.
About Deep Pool
Deep Pool is the #1 investor servicing and compliance solutions supplier, providing cutting-edge software and consulting services to the world’s leading fund administrators and asset managers. Our flexible solution suite, developed by an experienced team of accountants, business analysts and software engineers, supports offshore and onshore hedge funds, partnerships, private equity vehicles, retail funds and regulated financial firms. Deep Pool is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in the United States, the Cayman Islands and Slovakia. For more information, visit www.deep-pool.com.