How Data Will Drive the Future of Financial Planning and Advice

by Arron Price
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There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, an end to one of the most unique and disruptive times many of us have ever experienced. It feels like we’re about to emerge from a hibernation-like state—hidden from the world and people around us.

We’re in the process of reconnecting and recalibrating our lives close to what they once were. With that reconnection comes change—many changes—personal, professional, psychological.

The Need for Data In Daily Tasks

One transformation that’s been evolving within the shadows of 2020 has emerged: Data.

Data analytics in financial services has always been there, but in 2021 it’ll have a complete overhaul and facelift. In the year we’re calling the “Year of Innovation,” you’re going to see data drive the future of financial planning and advice. To understand the change, we have to know where we’re at today. Have you ever wondered why it seems fragmented when you get contracted with an insurance carrier? Have you ever thought about how long it takes to underwrite or issue an insurance policy? What about typing the client’s name and address several times in every step of the workflow? The list is virtually (no pun intended) endless.

Let’s take it a step further. Don’t you love your already-crowded inbox getting filled with updates? Sure, some are important, some aren’t—but you’re using your limited time to sift through what you need to know. How about having to go in-and-out of various tools just to do what’s in the best interest of the client.

That soon will change. The shift is happening. Data in financial planning is more prominent than ever.

Related: Top Client Concerns to Help Increase Engagement & Drive New Business

The Value of APIs in Your Financial Planning Workflow

The fintech space exploded in 2020, with more technological solutions than ever before. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that going to make things worse? Even more tools for me to log into.” But the answer is no. Not with the shape of data fundamentally changing. The utopian idea of “Enter once, use many times” is upon us. A magical three-letter acronym is hitting our space hard and fast: API.

A word that used to be thrown around only by those who implemented them is now a word commonplace in senior executives’ vocabulary. At its basic level, an API creates an environment where data is shared freely, flexibly, and in real-time. Now go back to the frustrations above. If APIs were in place, how different would the world you live in be? Very.

Building upon APIs is the idea of a “one-stop-shop.” Integrating multiple high-value software into your workflow and having data seamlessly flow through those systems is the next big domino to fall. Imagine a world where you could prospect, plan, meet, and execute business for a client all in one place. Combine that with bringing all the data together to give insights and analysis like never before. Ultimately, you’re changing your practice to a data-driven environment, where the data predicts your next steps.

No matter what innovations happen in our space, mobility is the ultimate necessity for adoption. We live in a fast-paced world where business transactions are made on the go. With everything we’ve talked about thus far, that’ll be packaged and accessible everywhere. All the data, all the function, all the value. Even with all that function and mobility, it’ll be simple and in real-time. That’s the key.

Ask Yourself This About Data…

Are you ready? This is the big question.

Are you really prepared?

To be thoroughly equipped for the future of data, you must understand how technology can fit into your practice. Take a step back, recalibrate, and reconnect the pieces. Know how you can take the old processes you’ve always done and enhance and scale them.

That’s the hardest step. Once you can do that and have technology work for you, it’s a downhill path to the future coming right around the corner.

The “Year of Innovation” is upon us. Hold your spot.

Keep Reading: Next Generation Now!

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