The Concept of “Wide Data” and How it Directly Applies to the Typical Investment Manager
There’s no doubt that the rise of big data has transformed how companies around the world make decisions. However, as our ability to gather data increases, big data is giving rise to another type of information—wide data. By delivering greater detail, wide data yields more profound insights into specific audiences to predict future behaviors.
Unsurprisingly, greater specificity proves invaluable to investment management firms. To that end, wide data is better for any business seeking to increase profitability and reduce risk across the board. Gartner anticipates that over ⅔ of all companies will move to prioritize wide data over big data by 2025.
However, one thing must happen before investment managers can capitalize on wide data to develop growth-focused strategies. Firm leadership must understand what wide data is and how it’s different from big data in wealth management.
What is Wide Data?
Several years ago, networkworld published a great article discussing the concept of “wide data” as opposed to big data, claiming that “true insight lies at the intersection of different data sets.” This article remains relevant as data gathering and big data analytics mature.
However, to truly understand the magnitude of data available, know this: Data Never Sleeps reports that the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Even more mindblowing is their assertion that 90% of data today is from the last two years.
Suffice it to say that big data has grown exponentially beyond what we thought plausible ten years ago. The sheer amount of data available helps companies in all industries understand the big picture.
The problem with big data? It’s so vast that it only helps companies understand the big picture. Until recently, the myriad sources and methods of collecting data mean that most information is held in silos that are difficult to combine, compare, or contrast.
Enter wide data.
So, what’s the difference?
Unlike “big” data, “wide” data applies to the typical organization that is more often concerned with tying together data from disparate sources, often a wide range of sources and thus the name, for meaningful analysis.
Even though it’s not called “big data,” wide data can still be large. It just doesn’t have to be.
Because big data is locked up in different silos, it is either largely unusable or requires substantial effort to manually analyze each data set and then tie it together. Conversely, wide data slashes the boundaries of those data silos to combine data from multiple sources. The resulting insights offer a detailed analysis that leads to better data-driven decisions, and—in turn—reduced risk.
The Value of Wide Data vs. Big Data for Investment Firms
Implementing wide data is not a matter of asking how gathering data can be advantageous for investment firms. Instead, it’s a matter of shifting processes to be able to quickly aggregate and act on the insights wide data presents.
The concept of wide data makes even more sense to investment managers than to the average layperson. Investment management firms spend an excessive amount of time pulling data from different sources, spot-checking the data for accuracy, and finally trying to put it together in meaningful form, typically first into Excel, then into PowerPoint, etc.
While saving time is a vital incentive, risk mitigation is an even more critical driver. Every time a person manipulates data manually, the risk of error increases at a dizzying rate. To ensure accuracy, the resulting Business Intelligence (BI) reports must be double and tripled checked.
It follows that investment management firms can gain a competitive advantage by using a software solution with advanced BI reporting capabilities that can aggregate and analyze data from any source.
Leveraging Wide Data to Strengthen Market Position
It’s clear that wide data represents the future of business. With strong insights, investment firms can more readily analyze data to create better reporting and, in turn, help clients mitigate risks associated with certain investments.
Wide data overcomes the drawbacks of big data to deliver a better solution for investment management firms and their clients. In gaining real-time data analytics and comparing to a wide range of data, it’s now possible for wealth managers to react quickly to dynamic marketplace shifts and protect the bottom line—of clients and their companies alike.
Emerging technologies, including improved data analytics and BI reporting, are proving to be the answer to the typical investment manager’s wide data needs, whether they are large or small.
INDATA’s advanced BI reporting capabilities capitalize on the strengths of wide data to help investment management firms better serve their clients while simultaneously growing their market share. Schedule a demo today.