5 Ways That Approaching Data Differently Can Help Your Financial Institution

Image courtesy quotesgram

Image courtesy quotesgram

We spend a good amount of time talking with our customers and offering ideas on how they can use new data or use it differently in their financial institutions. After doing this for awhile I thought I would summarize some learnings here so that it might help you think about your business.

We work with a variety of firms: buy side and sell side, US and non-US, conservative and aggressive. You might think that across this big variety of organizations there would be an infinite number of use cases. In fact, the ways our customers can improve their business using new data sets and interpreted data delivered right to them typically come down to 5 consistent areas: less cost, more revenue, compliance, managing risk, and innovation.
These are five areas where financial institutions can use unique innovative data sets to improve their business:

1) Cost efficiencies
Reducing cost, or doing more with the same number of employees, is on everyone’s mind these days. Look at the tasks your team performs and determine which ones are repetitive. Are they searching for information when they could be spending time analyzing it? Does the information come right to them, when they need it, in a customizable way?

2) Driving more revenue
You can drive a more complete understanding of your clients and prospects by understanding the whole picture. By combining the account information you may already have, you can use what is going on in the broader market to see what companies are doing. If you are in wealth management, money flows can be seen by company acquisitions, stock sales, and compensation changes. For corporate bankers, company intentions (even those of competitors) can be detected. Companies often publish their intentions far in advance of acting which, when known, is a topic for discussion. You can also use data to know your clients faster. Heading into a client meeting? Don't be caught flat-footed offering to handle the deal that they did that morning. Be informed. Get the information sent right to your mobile device.

3) Compliance
Regardless of the specific regulatory laws you may be facing, my experience - both with data and when I was in banking - suggests being proactive has great benefits when working with regulators. One way you can be proactive is to adopt new datasets and new ways of leveraging that data. Produce a report before they ask. Look at something from a different angle, and explain why this gives additional perspective. Document and communicate those thoughts.

4) Risk Management
We never expect machines and software to replace human thought in any area, especially risk management. However, great efficiencies can be achieved by easy and current access to data. Leveraging a new dataset that you didn’t have before gives you additional visibility or a new way of looking at a risk.

5) Innovation
Institutions that are in the middle of broad restructurings and rethinking big parts of their business are some of the most innovative ones we work with. Not surprising, I suppose, since they need to think completely differently. Are they missing patterns and trends in data because they are trying to read it all manually, when they could automate that and speed up the process? Are there insights on companies, industries, or key words that they can learn from these data trends and patterns? That is how they will serve their clients better and outperform the competition.

So how can Thomson Reuters Intelligent Tagging and Open Calais help with all this? 

Connecting data together and making it easily relatable to each other is always a challenge. At the heart of Open Calais is the ability to extract high quality linked data. With the introduction of Thomson Reuters Open PermID this already great functionality has been highly improved. Let's focus on that here.

The Thomson Reuters Permanent Identifier or PermID is a machine readable, 64-bit number used to create a unique reference - which will never change over time- to a piece of information. The PermID helps customers and partners handle data management challenges, eliminate mapping inconsistencies, reduce operational risk, and streamline end-to-end workflow processes across various platforms. It can be thought of as “the bar code” for information.

One use for the service in our context is to tie company SEC filings to PermID metadata. This allows the user to see more context of what the filing is about. You can see an example of that below:

Once you are on that page you could easily explore more information related to that filing, the company that made it, and even potentially people and places and things that were mentioned in the filing.

What I've reviewed here are some approaches to looking at data differently. Clearly there are many different avenues to utilize new approaches to data. The important thing is to get started, learn from that, and continue to iterate.

Michelle Bonat is the CEO and Co-Founder of Data Simply, whose Financial Intelligence Platform machine-reads SEC filings like an analyst and turns those into signals for investment professionals. Learn more about how you can impact your business by taking a look at our data at app.datasimply.com

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