Automating the manual

Embedding trust and governance in portfolio monitoring data collection

The Case Study


Will Cox

Technical Consultant

Our solutions are built to save our clients time and maximise their productivity.

In our global practice we recently worked with one of Africa’s leading investment institutions who have over £3 billion of assets under management. They asked us to help design a solution for tracking what data had been successfully loaded into their portfolio monitoring environment for their monthly reporting schedule.

The challenge

Our client had always used a laborious process, manually updating an excel file to carry out their verifications. As well as the significant amount of time this took each and every month, it was prone to human error and template crashes. Thus creating frustration and reducing the level of trust that the data being used was actually the right data. They asked us to design an automated solution that negated these key challenges.

The initial work

We began with client workshops to discuss their specific needs and to understand precisely what they needed to track. We then created an automation which demonstrated the level of data collection compliance. This is always an incredibly useful part of our process, but was particularly relevant for this work, as we uncovered several complexities that needed resolving:

Varied definition of ‘Completed’ data collection status

Some assets didn’t collect data for all three key items of P&L, Cashflow and Balance Sheet.

Recognising asset-specific tracking criteria

Our client’s assets are split into two main groups: financial services and non-financial services. And, within these, they track slightly different data items; such as revenue in one and interest income in the other.

Determining fund-asset investment status

We also had to consider whether the status of the asset – this could be  “exited” or “pre-investment” for a certain period and, as such, did not require data collection. On top of that, we had to consider if an asset had inconsistent investment statuses, when it was, or had been, owned by different funds.

Our solution

Having taken the time to understand our client’s challenge and unique nuances, we built and demonstrated a prototype data collection tracker that retrieved the required data from the portfolio monitoring system, working dynamically based on the selection criteria we had built. The tracker was designed to suit their specific needs with clear, refined formatting, dependent on the asset level data. Upon successful conclusion of the build, we delivered client-side training to support their understanding of navigating the platform, retrieving and importing data and the overall data collection process.

What did we bring to the project?

Technical expertise

Our technical expertise in portfolio monitoring capabilities enabled us to navigate these deeply complex automations, while maintaining a clean and simple user experience.

Solutions knowledge

We called upon our portfolio monitoring knowledge to streamline and automate the transfer of data between their database and the output report.

Intuitive understanding

Our deep understanding of portfolio monitoring was used to recognise client’s needs and tackle the standardisation of financial data with ease.

The project outcome

Our client can now load all of their data simply, quickly, and with very little duplication of effort. This has led to a significant reduction in time to complete imports and design reporting. They now have a process which can scale with the size of their investment portfolio, and can be adapted in the future if they need to enhance their data set.  

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