The Role of Data Architecture in Sustainable Growth and Business Success
It would be foolish to launch a business without a plan, construct a building without a blueprint or embark on a road trip without a GPS; yet when it comes to implementing the proper architecture for a firm’s data, many leaders are content to blindly push forward without the right structures in place. Whether it’s because they’re unaware of the potential costliness of failing to develop their data architecture, or because they’re overwhelmed by how forward-looking they’ll have to be, wealth management firms are taking unnecessary risks by ignoring the importance of their data structures and workflows.
With so much economic uncertainty clouding the horizon, firms that put in the effort to properly harness the data they have will see their efforts rewarded. Data that’s being managed with foresight and a regularly updated plan can transform the trajectory of a business, because proprietary insights gleaned from a firm’s own data fuel automation, improved client experiences, expanded revenues and greater profitability.
To capitalize on this opportunity, STP has put together this report. In it, we define, contextualize and lay out a blueprint for your firm’s data architecture, helping you think about the data you have (or have access to), and how you can use that information to get ahead of your peers and competitors.
What is Data Architecture?
At its core, data architecture describes how data is managed, modeled, governed, normalized, transformed, distributed, analyzed and consumed. Put another way, there are aspects of glossaries, blueprints, rulebooks, workflows, maps and business plans within a solid data architecture.
Why is Data Architecture Important?
Sound data design produces actionable insights that are unique for individual employees and firms as a whole.
Data used to represent a valuable, yet burdensome, raw material. Sourced from inputs as varied as market and trading data, multiple accounting systems and customer relationship management information, these signals were often confusing and time-consuming to organize and analyze.
With proper data architecture, however, firms are able to automate processes and prioritize revenue generating activities, relying on their own proprietary formulas for analysis and growth.
Putting the proper systems in place is also important for efficient scaling.
Firms with a global footprint—or ambitions for expansion—can enjoy the two-fold benefits of well-designed data architecture: accelerated expansion and cost effective growth.
Scaling across geographies or client segments is easier with the proper workflows and plans for data, as new inputs from disparate sources are normalized and fed into a firm’s data platform. Firms are also able to better manage their costs, as technology, not an army of employees, does the heavy lifting of onboarding, reporting, account maintenance and execution associated with a growing business.
Successfully Implementing Data Architecture Leads to Proprietary Insights
At STP, our data architecture is designed to take inputs from all different sources and forms, normalize and aggregate that data, then run it through our proprietary data platform, where clients can extract business-changing intelligence and analysis. Firms operate from, and rely upon, our single platform, regardless of the asset classes, investment vehicles or types of clients they’re working with.
Our approach facilitates uniform data governance, standards, definitions and downstream dashboards, making reporting and utilization effortless. Firms can also deploy their own strategies, based on the insights supplied by our data design and platform.
Our operations are envied by larger institutions. Calcified legacy firms are hampered by siloes and the inertia of decisions made decades ago. Poor information management produces inflexible and unscalable infrastructure, not suited to today’s wealth management realities.
It’s not just a matter of infrastructure. Even in situations where firms have their own data structures, collecting and aggregating information from multiple repositories is time consuming and resource intensive, if a firm’s architecture isn’t properly designed. These unwieldy institutions can miss windows of opportunities in market conditions or face regulatory scrutiny, solely due to poor data architecture.
Investment in modernizing data architectures, therefore, is critical. Organizations lacking the capacity to ingest and consume a variety of structured and unstructured data sources, whether raw and in real-time or consisting of signals already analyzed, face the very real risk of disjointed problem solving and disparate business lines.
With the right architecture, information about sales and assets under management can be tied to products, channels, opportunities and financial behavior. As firms shift from product-centric to customer-centric models, they need a unified strategy for handling information about transactions, demographics and client activity. Furthermore, those insights need to be shared not just with the advisor, but across the business, from the home office to the back office.
To find success, organizations need to plan for the future, projecting a strategy for handling and capitalizing on the data they have, while finding new sources for data they want. To do so, firms need to carefully consider their own business model and the resources they have for implementation, including their technical abilities, the accuracy of the data they have, the time and resources they will need to implement their architecture and the cost of making changes. There’s also the weight of success or failure: the first few use cases will set the tone for future endeavors.
STP’s Data Architecture Solutions
At STP we understand what’s at stake, because we’ve planned and built our own data platform, and have worked with firms needing our consultative approach as they go about their own data design. Over the last 10 years, most successful wealth managers have developed an understanding of the value data provides; now they’re looking for service providers that can help them uncover their own insights.
We provide clients with solutions that fit their strategies. Data management, as a business asset, is no longer on the periphery of today’s financial service firms. Businesses that want to grow, automate repetitive tasks, empower their sales staff and connect with the next generation of customers need the right data architecture in place.
For firms eager to formulate their own architecture and processes, we can serve as an ancillary data source, consultant and tool for analysis. For organizations ready to partner with a data platform provider, we’ve put in the time and effort to provide a solution you won’t find anywhere else.
Inject the expertise of STP into your data architecture. Connect with us to learn more.