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In recent years the term “analytics” has become a buzzword in almost every industry. It is a term that is synonymous with data and technology, but also often perceived as highly complicated and hard to implement. Moreover, it is a word that can mean very different things depending on who you ask!
At Deloitte we have a very simple view of what we mean by analytics – it is the interface between raw data and the decision makers i.e. bridging the gap between data and useful understandable information enabling family offices to have confidence in their data interpretation. The most common mistakes we see when applying analytics tend to be when the analyst is focusing too much on:
The latter point in particular is one that we believe is predominantly pertinent to Family Offices, and in this blog we will explore that further.
An additional misconception we see around analytics is that it is complex and expensive – a lot of people hear the word and think of things like artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and real-time data feeds. Whilst analytics can extend into those realms it can also be short, sharp, tactical solutions and services that are easy to implement. Things like Excel macros, automation, and basic visualisation all come under the remit of what we would term analytics! Really the key question is “does this use data to help make my life easier?”. If the answer is yes, then you’re already using analytics.
There are a huge number of benefits that can be achieved through using analytics and, as alluded to above, the types of benefit really do depend on what problems you and your Family Offices are facing. For example, if manually combining lots of data sets is what keeps you up at night then automation pieces can condense that manual work down to the click of a button. Alternatively, if the issue is around asset tracking and inventory, then specialised visualisations can give quick insight into what is where – and how long it’s been there! This insight can be used for making key decisions, such as “how much should I invest in security at this property?”” but can also be used to give confidence in information. Simple tools such as interactive expenses dashboards can allow families and their Family Offices alike to understand where their money is being spent and quickly identify any spikes or anomalies - all whilst keeping information secure and accessible.
As mentioned, one key mistake people make with analytics is to not consider the end user enough when designing a solution. In large companies this can be somewhat mitigated by the fact that a diverse board and management means there’s likely always someone who will relate to a particular type of interface (that does also mean there’s likely someone who won’t but that’s a discussion for another time!). Family Offices do not have this luxury, as the small number of interested parties means it is extremely important to deliver insight in the most tailored and accessible way possible.
This is where an experienced analyst can really add value – by understanding their business concerns and requirements, at an individual level, the analyst is able to create bespoke interfaces on the underlying data that cut through the noise and bring out the answers that really matter to the families and their offices. These tools can be used to feed into reviews and reports, explore areas of concern, and even provide ongoing assurance embedded within the Family Office and delivered via secure online portals. This will allow the users real insight into the data, without the requirement of complex tech solutions.
In summary, the world of analytics is extremely wide and is also becoming ever more accessible. Gone are the days where analytics implementation meant rigid and expensive off-the-shelf solutions that only half solved the problem – the advent of new data, new technology, and new thinking means that analytics is now an agile and issues-led process that delivers targeted insight for specific problems. In a time where bespoke analytics is available quickly, cheaply and securely the question is no longer why would you use analytics, but rather why wouldn’t you?
For an example of what interactive analytics for Family Offices can look like, take a look at our demo dashboard here.
To find out more, please do get in touch – contact details can be found below.
Rosh is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance practice, where he runs the Insurance & IMPE Analytics and Modelling team. He has extensive experience in the field of assurance analytics, with a strong track record of working with big-name clients to understand, develop, and deliver the insights they require. Rosh has a passion for really understanding our client’s businesses, and the risks those businesses face, and he also has the technical expertise to provide targeted solutions to address those risks. His main tools are VBA, SQL, Tableau and PowerBI but he has experience working with a range of technologies across the complexity spectrum.
Ahmed is an Assistant Manager in Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance practice with experience of working with Investment Management and Private Equity clients, with a primary focus on embedding analytics. Ahmed has had significant exposure in helping engagements begin their journey with analytics, he has been a pivotal part in the deployment of analytics within IMPE External Audits, both facilitating conversations and development bespoke tools. Ahmed is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland. His main analytical tools are Alteryx, VBA, SQL, Tableau and PowerBI.
Jessica is a Partner within our Investment Management and Private Equity Audit and Assurance Practice and the UK lead for Family Office audit and assurance. She has spent 15 years at Deloitte helping to build our cross-service line Family Office team, and delivers a range of audit and assurance services to those clients, as well as other private asset managers – including large PE houses, Sovereign Wealth Funds and Endowment Funds. Jessica is passionate about the ESG agenda, and has presented at a number of events on the topic – specifically as it impacts private investment managers.
Jutta is a Director in our Investment Management and Private Equity practice specialising in audit and assurance for family offices. She has experience working with private equity houses, sovereign wealth funds and family offices. In addition to external audits, Jutta has delivered a number of AAF, ISAE3402 and SOC1 control reports, and has experience in performing bespoke operating model, asset verification and other reviews.