The great data distrust: Why firms can’t bank on their information


The latest Future Focus Report by TrustQuay and Viewpoint has shed light on a concerning trend surrounding data. 

A staggering three-quarters of corporate, trust, and funds service providers are dubious about the accuracy and reliability of their data. This skepticism towards data quality has skyrocketed, becoming the foremost business challenge for these organisations, surpassing other pressing issues such as enhancing efficiencies, cost reduction, and navigating the regulatory labyrinth.

A closer look at the findings reveals that enhancing quality is on the agenda for two-thirds of these firms, marking it as a pivotal goal for 2024. Alarmingly, a significant 50% of the companies surveyed are still entrenched in traditional methods, relying heavily on spreadsheets and manual processes to handle crucial client data. Such practices have raised eyebrows, with 74% expressing apprehensions about their competency to efficiently manage risks.

When the firms were quizzed about rating their data’s quality on a scale, the average score barely touched 6 out of 10. Surprisingly, a mere 41% have introduced a consistent operational model tailored for management. On a brighter note, the silver lining in this data cloud is the growing optimism around Artificial Intelligence (AI). A significant 50% of respondents are hopeful that AI will play an instrumental role in ameliorating data quality in the foreseeable future.

TrustQuay Chief Marketing Officer Paul White said, “Having trust in your data and the confidence it is accurate, reliable and accessible data is fundamental to a firm’s ability to deliver their services to clients. But it’s more than just this – firms are now recognising that improving data quality is the gateway for being able to digitalise business models and therefore dramatically improve efficiencies, reduce costs and lessen the regulatory burden. As an industry, we need to talk about data.

“Firms need to look beyond short-term fixes like spreadsheets and adopt a more offensive digital strategy by better defining their longer-term ambitions. Technology providers also have an important role to play in this conversation and, by working in partnership, help firms move beyond the current data challenges that are holding back growth.”

Adding his perspective, Ocorian Chief Information Officer Stuart Geddes said, “Once you’ve got good data that you can place reliance on, firms can then start to automate processes and therefore open up the ability to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Everyone’s talking about leveraging AI, but I think the key takeaway is that you’re absolutely dead in the water if your data is not in line.”

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