Fortnum CEO Neil Younger

Platform provider HUB24 has released a whitepaper detailing the need for advice industry participants to collaborate and use standardised data tools to record processes and information, which it says is key to overcoming what licensees see as a dearth of “quality” data.

The paper, released this week, outlines how difficult it is for licensees to monitor what is happening in their advice practices when advisers “label and store documents their own way”.

“Moreover, much of the data held is unstructured and not visible, contained in emails and PDFs of SoAs, RoAs and FDSs,” the paper continues.

After speaking to various industry groups, HUB24 reports that the way to reduce the cost to serve for both advisers and licensees is to gain access to “whole data sets”, which requires “scale and collaboration”.

Finding ways to deal with unstructured data is critical, the paper states, quoting licensee Fortnum Financial CEO Neil Younger.

“Data is captured in a number of different ways and because as a licensee, you deal with individual practices, the advisers are not employees, they run their own businesses,” Younger said. “Capturing that data in a standard way is a massive challenge.”

“There is definitely a need to bring more digitisation and structure to advice data sets,” said Adrian Patty, Chief Technology Officer for advice collective XY Adviser. “Technology can do a lot but there is a lack of useable data. Any rationalisation of data and conversion of unstructured data to make it more useable is a great value add.”

HUB24 notes that it has established an online ‘Innovation Lab’ to investigate how technology can be leveraged to solve the data issue, an indication that the platform provider is looking to take a more active hand in the sector.

“HUB24 is evolving its capability from being an asset custodian to a custodian of data…” the paper adds.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. Contact at [email protected]
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