This month Andy Valvona from SSP shares some thoughts on the increasingly important topic of the importance of data and management information, and how you can use this to turn to your profitable advantage.

Financial services firms everywhere have undergone major changes over the last five years due to regulation changes and the introduction of new technology. This, combined with the more well informed consumer, has made the cost of doing business more expensive than ever before.

As the market continues to strengthen, more value is being placed on unlocking the potential of existing customers, the customer journey and satisfaction. We see other industries working so hard to understand their customers and the true value of their client base, especially in retail, travel and insurance. But are financial services firms doing the same? For example do you know who your most valuable clients are? Do you know your current client worth and potential future worth? Do you know how if your profit from valuable clients is subsiding?

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This is why leading financial advice firms need to focus on profitable growth. When considering profitable growth, management information (MI) is essential for long-term success. Quick and easy access to high quality and accurate data will support expert decision making to sustain longevity. MI is no longer a set of static reports of spreadsheets; it’s a dynamic and interactive tool to help you make decisions. Today there are solutions available that allow you to drill down into large amounts of data, interact with it and identify key trends for opportunity and growth and of course areas for improvement.

For example, highlighting the importance of time recording, not just for charging but as a key measurement of MI to help you make more informed decisions and improve the overall management of the business. You can identify other potential opportunities such as unused tax allowances or the need for pension consolidation. With access to advanced MI you can identify sales trends by product or adviser, spot cross-selling and upselling opportunities, or adjust marketing, sales and service resource as necessary.

Information is a prized commodity and financial advisers produce and manage some of the most valuable information in existence, however technology is restricting advisers from making the most of this data and stopping advisers from being able to see the total worth of the existing client base.

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Technology has revolutionised the financial advice process and it is a must-have for advisers to streamline the process, to ensure consistency and of course compliance.

Combine this access to advanced MI with improved access and financial advice firms can capitalise fully on their two major advantages over other advice channels, their personal relationships and the trust they have built up over time. Accessibility is essential in today’s market, omni-channel access and 24/7 service capability. Today’s consumers expect everything and they want it for free but the reality is that all activity costs money and clients need to understand the true value they are getting through access to an advisers time.

All firms will have a different view of MI and today’s omni-channel customer journey, technology has to be prescriptive allowing firms to perform accurate client segmentation, enabling focus on profitability and helping to find recurring revenue and growth opportunities. Embracing new technology and ensuring a client-centric approach is reliant on having the right foundation and culture in place and should be seen as a long-term investment in the business. Adding value and helping to improve on capital adequacy will future-proof your business and help sustain growth in this ever-changing environment.

SSP’s Advisor offers a unique tool, SSP Adviser BI, which is a complete business intelligence and analysis solution. It enables you to drill down into large amounts of data, interact with it, extract richer management information and identify key sales trends. It also allows you to perform ‘what-if’ analysis to help control budgets and improve business planning whilst demonstrating that Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) is embedded within your organisation.

With SSP Adviser BI, you can drill down into your data and see areas of your business that are not performing well, identify areas of opportunity and growth, understand the likely consequences of your decisions, reward staff who are performing well and educate those who are not. Our business intelligence capability enables financial services organisations to understand the data that forms the foundations of a successful business. It is vital that visibility can be achieved from an ‘umbrella view’ and at a detailed level to ensure that decision-making is informed and correct, first time.

To learn more, you can contact me at andy.valvona@ssp-uk.com

Andy Valvona – Business Development Specialist at SSP Adviser