Next time you’re “just browsing” with no real mission in mind, take a look at some of the so-called “disruptive” financial service providers. Examples include Funding Circle (peer-to-business loans), Nutmeg (robo-investment advisor), Crowdcube (startup equity crowd funding), but there are many others. Most people will notice the commonality of these sites.
Notwithstanding they are all “sticking it” to the banks, the more subtle and powerful issue they are all addressing is that everything they present on the web (and mobile) is elegant, well laid out, and most importantly, extremely easy to understand — even for those who are relatively inexperienced in dealing with financial matters.
This trend is not temporary — it’s permanent. The consumer has waited a long time for understandable data from their financial service providers.
The next five years will see a significant shift, therefore, in how you and I are shown financial data. And that means a substantial increase in our ability to interpret and use this data. This is one of the most transformational aspects that web technology is bringing to financial services: intense, creative work on the user interface. We are moving to a new era where people stop being scared of looking at their own finances and actually look forward to doing so, improving their lives and decision-making in the process.
This type of simplification needs to happen in the “institutional” asset management world. Institutional investors (many of which are represented by pension funds, endowments and charities) are accustomed to receiving stodgy custodian reports and unwieldy books of detailed analytics from their investment advisors. But the trustees on the boards of these organizations (and even the beneficiaries) deserve simplified data. Hey, even the sharp financial analysts deserve simple, more periodic data. It’s a snapshot of the mandate or portfolio, securely delivered, that keeps them up to date with information that is rich enough to know how the portfolio is doing but not so detailed that people don’t understand — or worse, pretend they do understand.
Here’s a snapshot of an example institutional portfolio, driven through the Kurtosys Unified Data Model, that we have turned into an infographic. This is the kind of widget that we can reproduce in HTML that can be embedded into any website with our single script tag technology. We think this sort of live dashboard would be received warmly by the investment community — supplementing all the useful “stodgy” stuff of course.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Hide-Featured-Image”]