Best practices in data analytics for the fund industry

Q: What are the 3 mosData black holet important things in business today?

A: Data, data, data

The declining cost of computing power may have made data easy to collect – but, ironically, the ease of collection has made analysis exponentially harder. It’s a function of volume – the more information in the database, the tougher it is to organize and extract the relevant pieces.

Yet getting the data analysis right is critical, since firms that do a better job of discerning the forest from the bits and bytes trees will have a competitive advantage. At the NICSA General Membership Meeting in October, we talked about how companies can use data most effectively and avoid “analysis paralysis.” Panelists from Access Data, a Broadridge Company, Huntington Bank, J.P. Morgan and Strategic Insight shared the following best practices for the fund industry:

  • Ask the right questions. Make sure that the insights you’re trying to glean from the data are actionable.
  • Understand what’s in the data set, and think about adding to it if that will make it more useful. If you’re using an outside data provider, ask them to give you a tour.
  • Increase the likelihood of product launch success by using data to differentiate between cyclical and secular trends, to evaluate the competitive landscape and to assess the potential for crossover sales.
  • Study the cost/benefit of marketing to defined client groups in order to make your sales effort more efficient.
  • Deliver data to the front lines. A wholesaler armed with compelling visualizations of data – and not just an iPad – will be more effective.
  • Declare an end to board books! Provide information to fund boards in an online slide show format, highlighting key items – with additional detail available in appendices if directors want to drill down.
  • If the data is too big for you to handle on your own, consider hiring a 3rd-party provider to help you organize and analyze it.

We’ll be talking more about using data at the 31st NICSA Annual Conference and Expo, to be held February 10-13 in Miami. Join us for Tuesday morning’s “Big Data: Big Opportunity, Big Problem or No Big Deal” session, with speakers from BlackRock, Citi, Morgan Stanley, New Vantage and State Street. Click here for more information and to register.



  • Mrodriguez22262

    Looks like a great line-up. Is this the right link to the registration form?

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