Advanced Business Intelligence in Asset Management Distribution

Alex Monte, James Kodi

As the asset management industry faces tighter margins and an increasingly digital client landscape, effectively leveraging data has become crucial to remaining competitive. While many managers have implemented business intelligence functions to enhance decision-making in the Distribution space, dashboards and reporting which merely identify baseline business activity (e.g., net new flows in a certain region) are insufficient to make data a true competitive advantage. Asset managers must prioritize investment in the technical and organizational infrastructures to promote the predictive capabilities necessary to differentiate themselves and gain market share.

Client Case Study

The Challenge
An assessment conducted in 2017 of the business intelligence capabilities of a global US-based asset manager unearthed limitations in the availability, usage and visualization of data, as well as organizational and operational challenges. Failing to resolve these deficiencies would hinder the firm’s ability to remain competitive in targeting sales opportunities, conducting marketing activities, and managing its own operations.

The Work

The firm has prioritized two business intelligence functions: supplying advanced visualizations incorporating data science, and optimizing data management within the business. A Distribution Intelligence Platform was developed to incorporate a mobile-friendly visualization suite into the firm’s cloud-based data model, utilizing a best-in-class data architecture to store and deliver data. The manager is enhancing the intelligence team’s operating model through playbook documentation, mature data governance policies, and a service delivery model leveraging state-of-the-art workflow tools. Lastly, the firm’s specialized data science team delivers predictive modeling serving advanced use cases, such as attributing flows to business units and identifying clients- or assets-at-risk. It leverages Domino Data Labs platform, a leading cloud-based “system of record” that allows for rapid, agile automated model development and testing.

The Outcome

By rationalizing and integrating data sources, promoting self-service BI capabilities and providing advanced analytics through data science, the firm’s Distribution Intelligence organization is making good on its goal of “getting the right data to the right people at the right time.” Through a structured program of technical and operational initiatives, this manager is leading the way in effectively leveraging data to achieve true differentiation in Distribution and increase net client flows.

Where to Start

  1. Produce a top-down assessment of current business intelligence capabilities and assess the organizational and technological gaps hindering the effective leveraging of data
  2. Develop a future-state business intelligence strategy which addresses the gaps and builds the foundation for increasingly advanced analytics
  3. Conduct a preliminary vendor selection to assess the tools that will meet the organization’s unique business intelligence requirements and use cases

How Alpha Can Help

Alpha has supported many of the world’s leading asset managers in developing comprehensive business intelligence strategies and managing their execution. We incorporate specialized industry insights to aid managers in designing a clear Distribution business intelligence vision, and in navigating the vendor landscape, allowing our clients to best compete for and retain assets.

About the Author

Alex Monte, James Kodi

Alex is a Senior Manager at Alpha who has 10+ years experience in the financial services industry and consulting roles focused on target state design, program management, and implementation across the front office, distribution, operations, and enterprise data management. Since joining Alpha in 2014, Alex has supported a number of our clients with current state assessments, target operating model definition, vendor selection and strategy advisory projects.

James is an Analyst at Alpha who has experience in business intelligence, fixed income analysis, front office IT, project management, enterprise data management and distribution. He has managed a large business intelligence change program for a global asset manager based in the US, and has supported a US asset manager in developing an enterprise data management strategy.