January 8, 2013

Don’t Accept the Inefficiencies of Manual Data Entry

Does this scenario sound familiar? There are particular asset classes you think could benefit your clients and firm—different types of alternative investments, for example—but the harsh reality is that you’re simply not prepared for the torrent of unstructured data that the custodians, asset managers or other keepers of the data for the funds in these categories are about to throw at you. 

Rather than feeding you structured data that fits neatly within specified formats and into your back office system, their SOP is to provide unstructured data in the form of PDFs, Web pages or spreadsheets—all of which may require intensive manual processing on your part to convert into a format that your in-house system will support. 

So, instead of adding this type of investment to your arsenal, you recoil at the prospect of increased manual processing and costs—and choose not to offer the investment option to your clients at all. 

A simple solution? Perhaps. But for you, it’s a missed opportunity. It means your firm is not providing clients with an array of asset choices that is as rich as it could be—definitely a drawback for you in a competitive marketplace. 

There’s now an innovative solution that turns unstructured data into structured data—automatically. That’s because more and more firms are turning to data aggregation solutions that turn the old unstructured/structured data comparison on its head.

It’s now possible to put in place a solution that uses artificial intelligence to take the unstructured data and convert it into a structured format that fits perfectly with your back office capabilities—seamlessly, transparently, automatically. 

So you no longer have to pine for the perfect “structured data feed” that seems more and more ephemeral in today’s fragmented investment world. 

You no longer have to make manual exceptions when you add new asset classes, in which you create unique manual workflows that are tolerable by themselves, but which become untenable when multiplied out over diverse investment classes and a plethora of accounts. 

The data aggregation technology to convert any type of unstructured data into usable structured already exists. It’s being successfully used every day by firms with every conceivable type of back office system and configuration. Moreover, because it works automatically and reliably day in and day out, it’s incredibly easy to use (practically effortless) for advisors and their staffs. 

Old Versus New 

Pardon the analogy, but the difference between the data aggregation solutions that are now available—and the “same old way” of handling data that is still very much in play today—is akin to comparing a sleek new, metallic  refrigerator/freezer to the old ice boxes of yesteryear. It’s the difference between letting technology run perfectly and noiselessly as it carries out its job day after day—and having the ice man carry a block of ice up four flights of stairs on a sweltering summer afternoon.

You get my point. Why fret about the complications associated with receiving unstructured data when you can turn it into structured data instead? Why limit your investment offerings because you’re concerned about your data limitations? Why not embrace a solution that will help you expand your offerings, enhance your competitive standing, ease your workload, and go straight to your bottom line?

Click here to read our white paper on turning unstructured data into structured data or read our e-book: The Definitive Guide to Account Aggregation.

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