Behind the Scenes with Data
Brandon Parks – 04/28/2021
You are surrounded by data. It’s the influencer for decisions you make each day. Often, those decisions require information to be gathered from different sources so you can understand the entire picture. Just think about how many reviews you read and websites you scour just to decide where to eat or what to buy. Likewise, it's no different when advisors are helping their clients make financial decisions – okay it may be a little different. But each case requires numerous inputs from various sources to arrive at a meaningful answer.
That’s why the Black Diamond® Wealth Platform is powered by robust and accurate information from a wide range of data sources. The team looks at data in two ways: core data and supplemental data. Core data affects a majority, if not all firm and client users as it has historically focused on traditional investment accounts and asset types such as equities, funds, fixed income, etc.
Each day Black Diamond reconciles data directly from custodial partners to track accurate performance in client accounts while also leveraging Morningstar for benchmarking and ICE for detailed security information. The Advent Custodial Data (ACD) network is another source offering access to 800+ financial institutions for unrivaled connection to data in the portfolio management space.
As clients’ financial lives have become more diverse and advisors increasingly offering value-add services, Black Diamond has answered. Expanding the platform to incorporate annuities, insurance, trusts, and alternatives with a goal of supporting this data in parity with traditional asset classes. As part of the SS&C family, Black Diamond has had a unique opportunity to leverage InnoTrust from SS&C Innovest for trust-specific accounting and SS&C Fund Services for alternative investments through The Next Round (TNR). Plus, the recent launch of the Advent Insurance Marketplace is providing direct access to fee-only insurance and annuity solutions.
Once all available data is sourced the real trick begins – automation. Black Diamond’s heaviest investment is, and has always been, geared towards providing the most accurate data while requiring the least amount of user intervention. No one wants to manually input records when they can be automatically parsed, normalized, and assigned. Although not all data within Black Diamond is automated, we are actively working towards a world where it will be. A great example of the innovative work being done can be highlighted through the integration with SS&C Fund Services and the TNR platform. Before the partnership, alternative investment performance within Black Diamond was imported using a manual bulk upload process. Now, there’s a direct feed with TNR to source and report on alternative investments within Black Diamond. With the success of TNR, the team is continuing to build and work with additional alternative feed partners to offer even more coverage in the automated alternatives space.
To complete the picture, advisors and their clients are also empowered to add and manage outside accounts using third-party account aggregators or the platform’s data import wizards. Thus, centrally capturing a holistic view of all assets and liabilities for ease of total net worth review and detailed balance sheet reporting.
The platform is constantly evolving, as are the forms of data consumption. From flat files to real-time API’s the Black Diamond team has a steadfast focus to ensure accurate and timely data. This will make it easier for advisors to provide informed financial guidance without having to go behind the scenes with data.
To learn more about joining the Black Diamond community, request a personalized demo today.