We have listed out frequently asked questions, but please get in touch to find out more.
Which systems do you integrate with?
The short answer is any and all. Perhaps most importantly, that allows us to incorporate and standardise data sourced from multiple systems. Users work off one combined data set giving one version off the truth.
Using IBM Analytics, our solution offers data sourcing/ integration, a calculation engine, reporting capability and dashboarding. If you are already using a dashboarding tool (e.g. Qlik, Tableau), then we can provide a data set to send downstream.
On the finance side, do I need a general ledger?
Yes. Whilst our solution will make much of your GL redundant, you will still need a tool to post journals. This can be a separate GL or a cost ledger at the back end of an accounts payable system. We do think you could run a very simple, cheap GL allowing you to pivot your finance activities around our data-driven BI tool.
Cloud or On-Premise?
The good news is that we offer both. Sensitive fields like Client Name have deliberately been made optional allowing users to choose whether to include in the data set or not. Our cloud offering and bridge to cloud is sourced directly from IBM, ensuring total security of data.
What data do I need to provide?
If you can provide the data in the format we require, you would expect to be within UAT within a month. However, changing the import routines are still relatively quick if data is already available in a different format. We can take data via a csv file or through direct link into your platform. These are the data sources we need:
- AUM extracts detailing positions held under each client account.
- A listing of inflows, outflows and transfers (optional).
- Static Data for each client account.
- Income by client account (optional).
- FX rates.
- On the finance side, a trial balance from your core platform and/ or a general ledger extract.
The data requirements for each are fairly simple and we would welcome the chance to discuss further.
What if I can’t provide the required data?
Talk to us. We have an incredibly flexible offering that can be implemented in parts or its entirety. The calculation logic available to us allows us to create an ETL layer where necessary (ETL = Extract, Transform and Load).
How much IT support is required?
Very little, and this is a key selling point. We are all about user driven activity. Users can view data, build reports and develop dashboards without the need for a central IT or change team.
From an infrastructure perspective, it all depends on whether the cloud or on-premise option is taken.
- The cloud option takes minimal IT support.
- The on-premise will require IT to spin up a server, allowing us to install the application directly. Being a memory driven application, the server may need to increase in size as the data volumes increase.
Whether you take the cloud or on-premise option, we will work with you on back-ups and disaster recovery requirements.
How do I manage data security/access rights?
Security can be managed across all data sets, all dimensions and even down to the individual elements. As part of the matrix control structure, users access rights to either view or amend can be managed individually or as part of user groups. The decision on who manages user rights sits is determined by our client in accordance with corporate guidelines.
When should I define the business data structures?
One of the key benefits of our solution is data structuring, ensuring one version of the truth across the data set and across the organisation. Establishing the right data structure for cost centre, client or rate card for example can be a challenge and we recommend to work through this towards the beginning of the implementation. Changes can always be made, but it will set you on the right path towards stronger data governance. Actually adding the data structures to our solution is very straight forward.
Is the data good enough?
Our solution helps to highlight data issues much more quickly and effectively than a manual approach. For each issue identified, you are given a choice between correcting upstream or trying to address in our tool. We always prefer the upstream option for better governance, but we understand that is not always possible. A great benefit of our solution is the option of a quick implementation to give immediate data improvement points.
What is the best implementation approach?
Our solution is available in its entirety or through individual modules. Assuming that AUM reporting is the first requirement to address, you can add the financials, headcount, planning & forecasting and ICAAP solutions at a later stage. We can also offer the entire solution through stages allowing you to get a quick return on certain modules before progressing.
How quickly can the solution be implemented?
Our experience suggests that implementing an AUM Reporting tool takes many months, let alone the work required to integrate financial reporting and planning & forecasting capability. By comparison, our solution can be ready for user testing in a matter of weeks. As an example, if you choose the cloud option, your environment is very often ready for you the next day; and if you have already been working on your data structures, hierarchies and data sourcing, then you will be up and running very quickly.
We have consciously allowed for issues over data sourcing ensuring that amendments can be made without pushing out the timelines too far. However for some clients, there will on occasion be times where significant development is required. We have the advantage of industry experience and the technical expertise to deliver changes as quickly as possible, yet always ensuring that delivery is controlled and adheres to your requirements. We also have a toolset that is very flexible to each and every client.