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By David Halligan

As a Fintech firm, we are often surprised how many asset management companies do not have some kind of integrated solution in place for their transactional data and CRM. It’s been our experience that many firms still struggle with the challenge of leveraging their own transactional data within their CRM to better understand their underlying business and to identify new business opportunities.

Whether it be Institutional and/or Intermediary businesses, the need to combine this data into the CRM or data warehouse to achieve clean, accurate, and timely transactional data becomes a primary requirement. We have also seen that firms still struggle on how the data is leveraged by the sales teams and how opportunities are uncovered by using this data. We have found that no matter the size of the asset management firm, leveraging their own data is still a challenge at the forefront for many firms.

This brings me back to something I heard six years ago at an industry conference; before you dive into the Big Data pool, leverage your own data first. Data Packs have been a popular topic within the industry over the past few years. Based on the consensus of firms in attendance at a recent industry forum I attended, many firms still question the ROI of the data pack usage based on the expense. For the larger firms that have made the investment in data packs, many still struggle with how to extrapolate and integrate this data to create actionable intelligence. We have worked with clients who have integrated third -party data sets and we have found that the greatest benefits are reaped when the firm starts with a clean foundation of its own transactional data and CRM data.

Another trend discussed at the same industry event was related to leveraging a mobile strategy. Aside from our clients in attendance, only one other firm built their own mobile solution. Interestingly, most other firms in attendance either did not have a mobile strategy, or were disappointed with the out of the box app for their CRM. As a firm that has been providing mobile solutions since the days of the Palm devices, our experience has been that firms with a mobile strategy with a consistent user adoption plan to increase sales effectiveness are always the most successful.

In working with asset management firms over the last 20 years, it is clear they do not have a shortage of data, but tend to lack a comprehensive master data management strategy to utilize and leverage the data they do have. Firms tend to have several disparate systems that are not interconnected or communicating with one another. Data lakes, data warehouses, and other data stores get created, but the value of these are minimal unless there is also need a plan to leverage that data. Can the internal and external distribution teams leverage the CRM and transactional data in an expedient and efficient way, or are they handcuffed by systems that are not providing them the information they need?

Despite all the talk about big data and data packs, in the end, it all comes back to the better use of the data asset management companies already have access to. When a firm commits to a data management strategy that includes the cleansing of transactional data, and integrations amongst CRM platforms and data stores, the business benefits to facilitate growing sales will become self-evident. Based on our experience, in order to successfully execute this strategy, firms must leverage the data they already have. Once that has been implemented, the necessary foundation has been built in order to enhance platforms with other external data sources.