What’s really holding up your factsheet production? (Hint: It’s a four-letter word)
Factsheets are a staple of the investment marketing collateral mix. Studies show that they are still the most widely used sales tool in the field. Every quarter, there is a rush to get them into the hands of the sales force faster than competitors. Many factors slow down factsheet production timelines, but the most critical factor is… data.
The efficiency, accuracy, and consistency of marketing and communication output is directly tied to a firm’s data management strategy. Firms can significantly reduce their time-to-market and risks associated with factsheet production by automating their data management process.
Data: The root of factsheet production inefficiency
On the west coast, there is a Turnkey Asset Management Provider (TAMP) that saw its data as a key bottleneck in their factsheet production. They produce a variety of factsheets and performance reports for advisors and strategists. In turn, they then provide reporting by allocation approach and strategy to show the performance of each. The fact sheets must be produced quickly with the correct data shown consistently across all marketing and communications.
TAMPs provide practice management, marketing, and investment strategies to independent financial advisors. Timeliness and accuracy of communications are critical to their business operations. This west-coast TAMP is among the most successful of their kind. They experience substantial growth as they add more strategies and more clients (advisors) to their platform. The director for this TAMP knew they must address the root cause of their production inefficiencies. That’s the only way to scale their operations effectively, meet their SLAs, and manage risk. So, they started by taking a closer look at how they were managing their data.
The cost of manual data management
As with all types of investment firms, this firm is inundated with data from many different internal and external providers in non-user-friendly formats. However, their data scenario is on the more complicated end of the spectrum. The firm’s strategies are often composed of Funds, ‘Funds of Funds’, or higher-level composite investments that can be up to 5 levels deep, resulting in a great deal of source data to be aggregated and calculated. For instance, if they want to calculate class exposure for US Equity in a particular strategy, they first have to evaluate the strategy holdings, and then if those funds are multi-asset, the fund’s holdings. It was a very nested calculation that was done manually in Excel by their very talented Analyst.
This manual process was taking their analyst anywhere from 40 to 120 hours to complete for each reporting period. Their Director saw this as a poor use of talent and an impediment to the firm’s growth. He immediately pinpointed data automation as the low-hanging fruit.
A SaaS data automation solution was selected in conjunction with a factsheet automation solution. The platforms work together to save the portfolio management team an estimated 2,000 hours annually. This allows them to focus on core business functions that drive the business forward like managing and enhancing the current investment process, researching new topics, and creating new investment solutions for their clients — instead of pushing data around in Excel.
Reaching factsheet ‘nirvana’
Typically when a firm needs a more efficient way to product factsheets, they immediately start looking at factsheet automation. And, rightfully so. But for this firm, they recognized that the real ticket to efficiency and risk management was getting their data under control first.
Their data automation platform provides the firm with immediate access to their data in a clean and consistent form. For an investment marketer, this is a dream come true. Instead of wondering where the data is — trying to hunt it down, or waiting for it to arrive — the marketing team can see the status of the data at any time from a central dashboard. When the data is approved, they can access it immediately for use in any type of marketing collateral.
This firm is using data automation in conjunction with factsheet automation to streamline the entire process from data aggregation to final factsheet output. The data is collected from every source provider, validated, calculated and then fed directly into the factsheet automation platform to generate 50 types of strategy factsheets and a dozen different monthly performance documents.
The marketing team gets their factsheets out much faster without having to worry if the data is correct or consistent from document to document. That’s what we call factsheet nirvana.
This automation solution is a scalable platform. It will continue to accommodate their growing production demands and manage risk as they expand the firm.
To learn more about how this firm used data automation to streamline its factsheet production, read the full case study here.
Here are some related resources that might interest you:
From the Blog:The 3 Ways to Approach Content Automation
From the Blog:Why Data Management Should Drive your Document Automation Vendor Decision
From the Blog:Is Now the Time to Automate?