Converting Data Analytics into Business Strategy

On Oct. 24, #WebinarWednesday enthusiasts tuned in for part three of a comprehensive discussion on data analytics. The conversation picked up where NICSA’s webinar, “Adding Value with Modeling techniques,” left off.

Ryan Dargis, Senior Vice President of Northern Trust, set the stage. “Today’s session follows on our earlier data-focused webinars and will concentrate on what to do once you have identified and sourced your most valuable data,” he said.

Jackie Noblett, Senior Reporter at Ignites, moderated the panel, which included experts from Atom Analytics, DST Systems, Legg Mason Global Asset Managementand SalesPage. (NICSA members can replay the webinar here).

Greg Piaseckyj, Head of Sales at SalesPage, said many firms find it difficult to implement an impactful data strategy due to siloed information, failure to start small, and a lack of effective analyzation systems. “Whatever data you have, make sure you put the systems in place to bring it all together for proper analysis, because until you have that, you’re not going to be effective,” he said.

Michael Mattera, Managing Director at Legg Mason Global Asset Management, agreed. “Being an analytically-driven organization is not a part-time job,” he said. “Bite off what you can chew, and think about how you’re going to organize yourselves and your teams to actually be able to focus on this piece of work.”

Mattera also advised that firms take their internal stakeholders on data analytics journeys with them. “They need to know the ‘why’ and what’s in it for them,” he said.

Tim Kresl, Founding Partner and Principal at Broadridge’s Atom Analytics, built upon Mattera’s statement. “It’s not a matter of just getting the most accurate results possible from the analytical work that you’re doing; it’s a matter of getting the most accurate andusable results that you can,” he said. “And that all stems from asking the right questions and ensuring that you’re talking to the right stakeholders.”

Matthew Fronczke, Senior Executive Consultant at DST Systems, Inc., said many firms have lofty goals to become data-driven but don’t have those goals clearly defined. “Not having a clear-cut way to get there is going to be a hurdle from the first second you start that journey,” he said.


Mattera said Legg Mason’s data goal is to align its analytics strategy with its sales and marketing.

“We work with our cross-functional committee members on a biweekly basis and are in constant conversation around the type of work we’re going to do from an analytics perspective to make sure we’re surfacing insights in support of multiple strategies,” he said.

As firms build out their business intelligence teams, Kresl said it’s important they have a clear understanding of their own organizational strengths and weaknesses.

“Leaning into your strengths is very important in terms of differentiating yourselves from your competition, but at the same time, it’s important to understand your weaknesses — whether it’s a lack of staff or backend data infrastructure — and find partners to fill those gaps,” he said.


Kresl said segmentation is a way to understand specific behavioral characteristics of the advisor community, quantify the value of those advisors to an organization, and put a strategy around how to service them moving forward.

“Most firms are doing some level of value-based segmentation right now: Some are doing very good behavioral segmentation work, and others are doing great customer journey mapping,” he said. “But it’s when we line all of these things up that I believe firms are able to make the most out of the entire segmentation lifecycle.”

Piaseckyj added that segmentation can mean different things to different people. “When it comes to segmentation, it’s about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time,” he said.

At the end of the day, it’s the byproducts of analytics and enhanced segmentation — such as providing personalized, consistent messaging — that matter most. “We know from our research that consistency of message is highly correlated to advisor loyalty and advocacy, and segmentation enables firms to be consistent more effectively across the customer journey,” Fronczke said.

NICSA thanks Northern Trust for sponsoring this webinar. To view the archived webinar for additional insight, visit here and be sure to share your thoughts with us.

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