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Financial Advisor Workstations for the Digital Age

Financial Advisor Workstations for the Digital Age

How do you define and design the Financial Advisor Workstations for the Digital Age?  It is not an easy task to balance compliance needs, the exponential growth in social media and digital technologies, and the need to not overwhelm a financial advisor/registered representative and make the interactions easy to manage. When you hear the term “Big Data,” Financial advisors may not come to mind as the first users of this broad-spectrum technology. The sheer quantity of data that is available can be overwhelming to some advisors without a filter to determine which pieces are important and which are simply noise. Helping equip financial advisors to find the wheat within the digital chaff requires a high level of savvy, targeted software and just the right workstation or you run the risk of introducing greater distraction and reducing overall productivity. You’ll be fully equipped to create the workstation of the future for your financial planners once you sort through the various integrations and aggregations that are possible in today’s high-tech financial landscape. The real holistic view of the customer becomes even more important as advisors are increasingly competing against computer-generated recommendations by

When you hear the term “Big Data,” Financial advisors may not come to mind as the first users of this broad-spectrum technology. The sheer quantity of data that is available can be overwhelming to some advisors without a filter to determine which pieces are important and which are simply noise. Helping equip financial advisors to find the wheat within the digital chaff requires a high level of savvy, targeted software and just the right workstation or you run the risk of introducing greater distraction and reducing overall productivity. You’ll be fully equipped to create the workstation of the future for your financial planners once you sort through the various integrations and aggregations that are possible in today’s high-tech financial landscape. The real holistic view of the customer becomes even more important as advisors are increasingly competing against computer-generated recommendations by robo-advisors — intelligent alerts and insight-driven interactions provide humans with the data that they need to make proactive recommendations.

How Shifting Paradigms Impact Financial Advisors

The real holistic view of the customer becomes even more important as advisors are increasingly competing against computer-generated recommendations by robo-advisors — intelligent alerts and insight-driven interactions provide humans with the data that they need to make proactive recommendations.

Part of the value that people add to the technology equation is their ability to review a wide variety of data and make leaps of intuition or logic — but today’s digital landscape is so complex that it can cause advisors to shut down or make decisions based on faulty data. Broker-dealer firms, as well as custodial firms, are looking for ways to automate some of the day-to-day operations and focus the more expensive human brain power to work on portfolios for larger customers or highly complicated situations. This paradigm shift towards automation has driven an increase in robo-advisors to handle simpler operations.

Can Robo-Advisors Replace Humans?

Even as robo-advisors and artificial intelligence (AI) grow in significance throughout the financial world, people are still needed to make intuitive, and judgment calls based on incomplete data. The challenge is finding that fine mix between where robo-advisors can deliver value and where human discernment should take over. No matter how good the digital platform is, robo-advisors are just not quite good enough at filling in blanks and making a leap of faith to replace humans. Yet.

The Rise of Social Recommendations

Social listening tools are at the forefront of the tools that financial advisors can utilize for their business, simply because the tools are not yet fully understood by business or technology professionals. Facebook, in particular, can offer an exceptional insight into the timing of special life events such as purchasing a house, sending a child to college or an impending retirement. All of these important events can provide a touchpoint — a time for a financial advisor to receive a proactive message that could potentially trigger electronic marketing messages.

Financial Advisor Workstations for the Digital Age

The real holistic view of the customer becomes even more important as advisors are increasingly competing against computer-generated recommendations by robo-advisors — intelligent alerts and insight-driven interactions provide humans with the data that they need to make proactive recommendations.

Improved customer experience is the popular rally cry, and technology firms are scrambling hard to satisfy firms insatiable appetite for digital products that will provide a differentiating factor for their advisors. Small start-ups are not looking for larger companies to lead the way, but are instead building solutions from the ground up to compete and disrupt. Financial advisors are finding that low-cost alternatives may provide better dashboards and a more intuitive interface for their clients than their brick-and-mortar institutions, so they’re losing business simply due to their lack of tech. Financial advice is close to becoming a commodity as robo-advisors have instant access to business rules that are written to optimize ROI and run against a glut of business data to deliver recommendations that are tough for humans to beat.

Financial Analysts or Advisors?

The fine line between financial analysts and financial advisors could easily blur in the future, but there are plenty of ways that advisors can continue to add value to their clients. Having a dashboard of data that can drive specific scenarios allows advisors to step out of the role of analyst, and back into the consultative role where they can truly add value. The in-depth analytics that is currently available can be distracting without ongoing training in Financial Advisor Workstationsinterpreting the data — something that again takes advisors away from the work that they do best.

Taking Technology Out of the Picture

As advisors continue to struggle with the massive amounts of data flowing through their screens on a daily basis, CIOs are faced with providing their advisors with the right type of dashboards and models that will help them be productive, make good decisions and stay in their wheelhouse. High-quality software and dashboards for clients and advisors — implemented correctly — can significantly cut training costs, improve overall efficiency, reduce errors and allow advisors to scale their recommendations. Insight-driven engagement is yet another tool that runs behind the scenes, feeding planners with details that can make them more efficient and drive deeper engagement with the consumer. Alerts to an advisor with recommendations letting them know that their clients have a CD coming due in the next quarter, or that certain investments could be leveraged against each other allow the advisor to add value on top of the technology tools.

Tools such as aggregated account management across their entire financial landscape for families, personal access tools such as mobile dashboards and fingerprint or facial recognition will continue to drive changes in the industry. However, firms will need to respect the fact that the rate of change will cause significant disruption in the near term as it continues to shift, and this trend is unlikely to let up in the next five years. Providing good tools can help advisors retain focus on their customers and avoid the distraction and frustration of poorly-functioning technology tools.

The changes within the financial industry are coming fast and hard and will continue in the foreseeable future as technology leaders are driven by user expectations to provide ever more intuitive and usable interfaces both on the desktop and mobile platforms. When financial advisors have the tools and technology that they need to accurately and more efficiently serve their customers, they’re able to add value through recommendations and the right consultative selling that has been a hallmark of the financial services industry for the last generation.

What are your thoughts on how the future is going to unfold regarding the definition and design of Financial Advisor Workstations? Please share your thoughts.

2018-07-08T08:23:55+00:00

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