Overarching themes from the recent IDT Summit: a Series

AlphaCert Team

Our team recently attended the 2023 Investment Data & Technology (IDT) Summit in Sydney where those from the industry discussed how institutions can manage the evolving role of data and technology in investment management. In a series of blogs, AlphaCert senior leadership will share key takeaways and themes from the event.

In our first IDT wrap up, Daniel McCarthy, AlphaCert Executive General Manager talks us through the two overarching themes that come through strongly from the variety of sessions.

It’s the People

Although data is an important component of investment management, people continue to be central to success. It doesn’t matter what the data’ problem’ may be and how the technology addressing that challenge can help, it is about ensuring the right people are in place to leverage the technology and support growth. Businesses should focus on having the right capability, buy-in from stakeholders and strong data expertise in place to ensure success.

There are many technology and data platforms in the market that enhance business operations, but it is the people that are the secret sauce. A strong partnership and shared values mindset with technology vendors that focuses on building skills and capability will increase scalability, efficiency, accuracy, and innovation.

This approach will also help to address the skills gap. It is incredibly hard to find and retain those with strong data knowledge with investment management experience and investment into the growth of your people will ensure loyalty and IP that is invaluable when dealing with data.

A way to invest in the growth of people was to explore the benefits of LLM’s and Generative AI. These concepts are starting to change the way we think about UI/UX for analytics and rather prompting will be critical skill set in future with no need for flash UI interfaces. An example of a large organisation ‘training’ all their analysts on prompting by encouraging regular use of ChatGPT was shared in one of the sessions.

Data Governance vs Empowerment

Data enablement is the process of making data more accessible, usable, and valuable to your people and business. Implementing data governance frameworks as part of that enables efficient data management and enablement, while ensuring the privacy and integrity of your data and complying with regulatory requirements. Data enablement with data governance means less checking, confirming, misusing, looking-for data, and rather more value-add analytics. What came through strongly at the conference is that this was Data Empowerment.  

Data projects and the large investment they require can have massive ramifications for the long-term value of the business, so ultimately need to solve three things:

  1. Establish a data model (Inputs, the bit in the middle, Outputs)
  2. Have the ability to master data and join it all together
  3. Implement governance of data (people, process, systems, usage)

Getting these three things right will allow investment management firms to move forward with confidence, address security concerns and data silos, increase visibility and better manage their resources.

These all work to decentralise data which means that data is easy to access and prevents the spread of spreadsheets. This will also increase the value of data as data assets only have ‘value’ when they are used by the business. Implementing robust data empowerment gets data in the hands of the business.

Watch out for our next blog by AlphaCert Managing Director Phil Pietersen as he shares his key take ways and observations of the technical themes from the IDT Summit.

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