Simplifying the impossible – data integrations in financial services

March 11th, 2024 | Viewpoint

Simplifying the impossible

By Gary Shepherd

Have you peeked behind your TV/stereo amplifier recently? OK it’s an odd question to start an article, but the reason for asking is to remind you of that feeling when you do look – you realise what a mess there is and the overwhelming feeling of having to sort it out!

So, what does this have to do with financial services? And more specifically, integrations and data feeds? Well… just like that nightmare that’s lurking behind your TV/amplifier, knitting pieces of software together along with the data that powers them can be a real challenge.

Yes, there are clever ways to do this now with APIs and yes, you can join two systems together relatively simply, but what happens (using our analogy with the TV/stereo amplifier) when you have multiple connections to organise?

Imagine connecting 3 or 4 TVs with other amplifiers, CD players, digital radios etc? This is the horror scenario, but now go back to thinking about the software and data feeds in your business… It can feel overwhelming identifying how to remedy this problem, let alone spending the time and effort working out how to try and resolve it or having the technical skills (or inclination) to get everything working correctly. To compound the confusion further (again using our analogy), what if all these cables had different connections, plugs and sockets? It’s unthinkable…

Thinking more specifically about financial services and the oft-dreaded integrations, it’s a similar picture. One (often expensive) software system doesn’t speak to another, and even if they did they might need XYZ to make it work. Just more complications advisory firms don’t need in their lives.

But there is a way to simplify the impossible.

Here at Sprint Enterprise, we had to untangle the data mess with our client reporting system Fastrak. It’s taken 13 years (that’s a lot of TV cables to clean up!), as each investment platform had its way of doing things, different data formats, different transaction codes and API endpoints (we’re at 3,000+ so far). We simplified the mess and normalised/homogenised all those so the wealth management industry can benefit, ideally making their (data) lives less complicated and freeing them up for the ‘day job’.

I should point out for reference, that Fastrak uses data from our FINIO data hub and that’s where the magic happens. Just imagine all multiple cables coming into a data hub on one side, and a single cable coming out the other, that’s essentially what we do at Sprint Enterprise.

If you’d like me to clean up your TV cables, don’t call me, but if you’d like to know more about how we can clean up your data/integration problems, I’d be pleased to have a chat.

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