Information management systems centralize and update organizational knowledge in real-time, saving time spent searching for information.
As a research analyst at a financial firm, you put together information to create investment strategies, provide portfolio recommendations, and keep up with the evolving market landscape.
This requires you to constantly switch across multiple systems and applications scattered across your data ecosystem to find and compile the right information. According to a global survey by the Association for Financial Professionals in collaboration with the research firm APQC:
“Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals spend 75% of their time gathering data or administering the process, and the biggest reason is inadequate systems and tools.”
That’s where an information management system – acting as a centralized, dynamic, single source of truth – can help. Let’s see how.
What is an information management system?
An information management system is a single repository for all data sources – financial statements, news, emails from industry experts, internal chats on market data. This significantly reduces time and effort that research analysts spend on gathering and analyzing data.
Such a system frees up your time so that you can focus on higher-value or strategic tasks, such as portfolio analysis or investment recommendations.
How does an intelligent information management system help research analysts?
An information management system can help you increase your productivity and deliver better insights quickly. With the advent of Generative AI, the process of data collection, organization has gotten even more simpler. You spend your time analyzing and leaving the mundane tasks like information gathering, and organizing to an information management system that does it for you.
Here’s how it helps:
- Decreases the time spent looking for information
- Reduces the time-to-insight from your data
- Discuss data and collaborate with others in your organization easily
Decrease the time spent looking for information
As a research analyst, you spend hours scouring through numerous internal documents, external websites, email threads, and call recordings.
You have to go through financial statements, company announcements, circulars from stock exchange websites, news articles, and reports from industry experts with a fine tooth comb to look for opportunities or useful insights.
When you have an information management system in place, you can use a single platform to look for the information you need, as it pulls together data from multiple sources in real-time.
Think of it as your information dashboard with Google search. So, you can search for and get the right context – information source, date, format, owner, summary – at a glance.
As a result, you spend less time searching for what you need and more time analyzing and interpreting it.
Reduce the time-to-insight from your data
Besides reducing the time spent searching for data, a unified information management system also ensures that you have easy access to relevant data whenever you need it.
For instance, the system would compile information from financial data providers, news feeds, research reports, and emails in real-time. You can search for regulatory trends, market share, or growth rate from a single location.
Depending on the system you choose, you can further fine-tune the search results by filters, such as the data source, year, owner, and more.
By reducing the time you spend looking for and organizing information, you can deliver more value while making better-informed decisions.
Discuss data and collaborate with others in your organization easily
Another benefit of having a platform that acts as your single source of truth is that you can connect with the right people and share information easily.
For instance, if your investment team is working on a potential investment in a fintech software company, the software specialist in your team might have insights on specific product features driving the company’s growth. Meanwhile, the industry expert might comment on market trends, the company’s competition, market share, and so on.
With an information management system, each team member could add comments, insights, notes, etc. in a single location, rather than discussing over email threads, chats, or calls. You can also share the relevant information with a link rather than sending emails with bulk PDF attachments.
Think of it as a real-time information workspace for knowledge sharing and collaboration – no more data silos.
Additionally, since the system updates in real-time, everyone ends up working on the most updated versions of reports, documents, and other information sources.
Let’s see how to pick a platform that offers these benefits and transforms your information landscape to enable data-driven decision-making.
What to look for in an intelligent workspace for information management
If you try looking up the essential capabilities of an information management system, you’ll see a laundry list of ‘must-have’ features.
A better way is to understand the use cases specific to research analysts within your organization and then map the capabilities that would match those requirements.
So we’ve put together some key capabilities and split them into the ‘why’ (i.e., the use case) and the ‘how’ (i.e., the feature).
Let’s have a look.
For research analysts in financial firms, an intelligent information management workspace must be equipped with the ability to:
- Build a unified view of all your trusted information sources
- Curate and synthesize the information that matters to you
- Run deep searches across your entire data landscape
- Share information and collaborate easily
Build a unified view of all your trusted information sources for better data integration
Generally, research analysts must track news alerts from the industry and companies in their portfolios, stock exchange circulars, calls and meetings with their teams and investors, research from paid subscription platforms, emails, chats, and more.
An intelligent information management workspace like Needl.ai would integrate all data sources into a single platform and send live notifications or updates whenever an important news article or industry report is available.
A platform like Needl.ai also lets you import tables, texts, and charts from PDFs or images. So, you build a well-organized institutional memory and all of your information is backed up on a cloud and always available to your team.
As a result, the research analysts can stay up-to-date on the latest developments and make more informed investment decisions.
Curate and synthesize the information that matters to you to organize information better
Traditionally, research analysts would spend hours tagging and classifying the data gathered from various sources. Filtering out all the noise and extracting the right information would also be a largely manual process.
As the volumes of information grow, such processes become unfeasible, error-prone, and unreliable.
A real-time information management workspace automates repetitive tasks, such as sorting, tagging, or filtering data, regardless of the format. It also lets you set up customized feeds that prioritize certain data sources and types over the others.
For instance, you can set up a feed that alerts you whenever a company from your portfolio files a financial statement or other such disclosures.
Run deep searches across your entire data landscape to speed up decision-making
When you’re conducting diligence on a potential acquisition, you must be able to search for information on the company’s market, competition, performance, and the trends shaping its industry.
For instance, merely typing a search phrase like “ABC performance 2021 Q1” should display the relevant reports and news articles.
An intelligent information management workspace uses NLP (natural language processing) to help you search through your data universe with a Google-like search interface.
The search spans across emails, chats, cloud-based drives, text within documents, social media, emails, images and newspaper clippings. You can fine-tune the search results using advanced filters, such as the data type or date range.
Furthermore, you can preview documents in the search results and view details such as file type, report type, category, date, and company name. So, you don’t have to download filings or circulars from stock exchange websites and scour through their contents before deciding whether they’re relevant.
This makes searching for, discovering, analyzing, and comparing data a breeze.
Share information and collaborate easily with your teams, peers and customers using a single platform
Sharing data is a challenge for research analysts as they must attach heavy documents, or take screenshots of the most relevant information and attach them to emails or chats. This practice leads to duplication of efforts, redundant data, and overall data chaos when someone’s left out of the loop.
With a real-time information management system like Needl.ai, sharing data is straightforward. You can create and share customized data feeds for each company, research topic, project, team, and more.
You can also share documents, PDFs, images, charts, and more with just a link. Needl.ai also lets you integrate email, Google Drive, Slack, Telegram, and other communication tools to share information and collaborate seamlessly.
Needl.ai comes with a range of collaboration features that let you tag colleagues, add comments, notes, and assign tasks. So, you can get inputs and feedback quickly from your team members, peers, and managers.
Such a system helps you build an information management workspace where an entire organization can discuss and share data easily.
As a result, you can reduce communication silos, improve productivity, collaborate more effectively, and make better decisions with real-time feedback and input from everyone involved.
If you're looking to add such a platform to make your professional life much better, sign up for Needl.ai today!