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Organization and presentation crucial to data management

Financial institutions seeking to leverage their important information for decision making can benefit greatly from organizing and displaying that data in an intuitive manner.

Buy-side use of benchmark data
Buy-side firms in particular rely heavily on benchmark data to evaluate their performance. While this may be reasonably straightforward at the most basic level – comparing an institution’s returns to those of the S&P 500 Index – using more advanced benchmarks could be more complicated.

In addition, if the staff of an investment manager want to view their performance alongside several benchmarks simultaneously, visualizing this information in an optimal way can be key. Creating such an outcome can certainly be a challenge, and David van Rooyen, founder of a London-based business intelligence consultancy that focuses on data visualization and alignment, spoke with Hedgeweek about such difficulties.

The company’s value proposition involves it helping financial institutions stand apart from the competition by visualizing data differently, and many of these industry participants currently work with technology that divides information by department, the media outlet reported.

Benefits of working with organizational silos
Firms that take this particular approach can help eliminate extraneous information – meaning data culled from other departments – that could potentially interfere with effective decision making. Keeping information in organizational silos can also bolster user comprehension, as the staff viewing the data will be better-prepared to understand it.

To harness a silo-based approach, companies need to achieve a few objectives, van Rooyen told Hedgeweek.

“In order for that to happen you need to balance two things: first, you need to balance your business knowledge. Second, you need to utilize your business data,” he told the news source.

“Getting that balance is key,” he added. “To achieve it requires a tool that not only has the data but ensures that the user uses that data. It’s one thing presenting data to a user, it’s quite another to get them to use it. That is the biggest challenge.”

Importance of user buy-in
To ensure that staff members harness useful information, user buy-in is required. Buy-side firms could spend substantial amounts of time, energy and money gathering, verifying and then organizing their data, but if staff are not on-board with using it, the information will not create much good.

As a result, advocates of using benchmark data in the best possible way will need to obtain the buy-in of users at their organizations. Doing so may require them to speak with members at all levels.

Before approaching the broader user base of their firms, staff members of buy-side institutions might do well to consider the true value of what they are trying to create. Once they have determined this benefit, it may be far easier for them to get their coworkers on-board to organize and display benchmark data in a way that helps facilitate effective decision making.

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