Wealth Management firms are spending billions on IT to differentiate in the market place. Yet the question remains, can “Big Data” have a material impact on the business? Can it deliver business outcomes by reducing risk, increasing assets under management, driving profitability, client satisfaction, products per client, client and financial advisor retention, all while improving the cost/income ratio and return on equity?
These are questions that are being discussed in board rooms across the financial industry and topics that I will cover in this blog series.
In order to answer these questions we need to put the wealth client at the center and understand changing client needs and expectations around how the client wants to be served by the firm. We need to examine external factors such as the impact of game changing consumer technology and unprecedented client access to information, as well as understand how new market entrants are challenging the traditional financial advisor value proposition and business model as a new round of Robo-Advisors hit the market.
Up until recent years, banks enjoyed an account centric transactional business model. What is changing is the onset of unstructured social interaction data as smart mobile devices and mobile broadband Internet usage reach high penetration levels. Device proliferation is leading to the availability of “data exhaust” from mobile phones, tablets, automobiles, video cameras, and from sensors in buildings, streets, consumer wearables and footfall traffic counters. Correlation of such data to better attract, retain, and serve clients can create market advantage.
The “Big” in Big Data comes from the fact that worldwide data volume is doubling every two years with unprecedented volume, variety, and velocity. Ninety percent of the all data in the history of the world was created in the last two years (SINTEF)! The concept of Big Data is about the correlation and analysis of transaction data, social interaction data, and machine/sensor data in a way that can turn data into knowledge, knowledge into insights, and insights into actions in real-time.
So what does this all mean for wealth managers?
As a wealth manager, what impact would it have on your business if you were able to increase the understanding of your client exponentially? Actions derived from data are informed by highly personalized needs predictions that can arm wealth managers with deep insights about their clients, increase their relevance in every interaction, and directly contribute to business outcomes. Big Data can help wealth managers transform the client value proposition and re-imagine the client experience.
The new vision for financial services is that a firm must be present in the financial lives of its clients, any time, any place, on any device, and across any channel.
The firm can no longer wait for the client to come to it. It must be proactive in delivering highly relevant value-added services in real-time and anticipate client needs. The firm needs to aspire to creating a “market of one” experience for each wealth client, understand the needs of and the hierarchy within the household, and move to a client centric versus account centric go-to-market approach.
When it comes to Big Data in Wealth Management start with the foundation, put the client at the center, and define business outcomes. Focus on building capabilities around what is possible while re-imagining the client experience.
Wealth management firms can take concrete steps in the form of measurable business outcome based projects to significantly enhance the client experience. These include:
- Define a roadmap for wealth client data analytics maturity. This will identify gaps that can be addressed resulting in more relevant advisor-client interactions.
- Establish a wealth client listening system across all channels. Early detection of client behaviors can lead to the identification of issues and sales opportunities.
- Create a real-time single view of wealth client data with data virtualization. Substantial savings can be had by leaving disparate data in place while providing managers with a single view.
- Establish an analytics driven financial advisor collaboration platform. This helps create market differentiation by maximizing advisor productivity, sharing best practices daily.
- Deploy mobile virtual advisor video capability and establish branch analytics. This improves client experience and gives advisors more minutes per day with clients increasing cross-selling opportunities.
- Empower advisors with real-time client insights to drive business outcomes. This helps the advisor manage to client life events with much greater granularity and speed.
The choices that wealth management firms make around data analytics in the next two years will determine their position in the marketplace. Can Big Data help wealth managers? With a client centric and business outcomes solutions approach, the answer is an astounding YES!
I will discuss each of the above steps in more detail in my next blog. As always I welcome your suggestions, stories, and feedback!