Why data has become a firm’s most valuable asset

  • by Chris Pitt on

Cloud services and storage have become completely ubiquitous. Data volume for a medium-sized advice firm has increased from terabytes to petabytes to zetabytes. The cloud is no longer about saving money on hardware and storage costs. It has become a fundamental business enabler for extracting powerful insights from the deluge of data and using appropriate technology to drive increased efficiency, better decisions, and to generate competitive advantage. It means data itself has become a firm’s most valuable asset.

As with all assets, ‘data quality’ needs to be managed. Therefore, what data is collected, how it is validated, and how errors are identified and corrected efficiently have become critical considerations.

In addition, over the coming years, there will be significant development and adoption of AI. Firms need to ready themselves in order to take full advantage of the new opportunities that AI will, in time, present. Data quality sits at the heart of AI.

What happens if you put diesel in a Ferrari?

The answer is that it breaks down very quickly! Collecting poor or inaccurate data and using it has similar results. OK, the effects may not be so immediate as fuelling a Ferrari with diesel, but the results are the same; it becomes costly to fix, everyone overtakes you and you fail to reach your destination.

Now is the time for firms to implement a solid data strategy

The quality of advice given, client servicing, business efficiency, the ability to scale, regulatory requirements, and the need to be future-ready are all factors that play into the importance of managing data quality. Firms need to consider:

  • Why they are capturing data
  • How the quality of data will be measured and monitored
  • What processes they will use to ensure it is captured correctly
  • What processes they will use to ensure it is correctly maintained
  • How these processes will be developed and governed
  • What are the best systems and tools
  • The increasing regulatory demands, including; GDPR, SM&CR, Regulatory Reporting, etc.

6 practical steps firms can take to improve data quality

There are several practical steps every firm can take to improve data quality, including:

  1. Ensure the tools and systems you use have sufficient automated data validation built into them. If they don’t get them changed, or change the systems you use (‘pain now, gain later’)
  2. Mandate the capture of key data
  3. Use analytics tools, such as Power BI, to identify data errors
  4. Automate the collection of missing or the correct of inaccurate data
  5. Make someone in your organisation responsible for data quality
  6. Use data from external sources to correct and enrich data

Time4Advice’s Data Technology and Services

All advice firms sit on a huge amount of valuable data and therefore, a wealth of opportunities. We provide a range of data strategy and data management services that help firms unlock the opportunities.

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