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At our recent Backstop Connect event in New York City on November 3, 2016, more than 110 attendees gained valuable insights into how alternative investment firms can effectively manage an ever-increasing amount of data. Our event included training workshops, a keynote speech from our CEO, Clint Coghill, to launch our new agility initiative, and of course, cocktails.


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In addition to learning about data management best practices, our attendees  also had the chance to network over cocktails. 

The industry discussion portion of the event was led by Michael Siminoff, Founder and CEO of Madrone Software and Analytics, and our own Bob Goldbaum, SVP, Product and Market Strategy here at Backstop. During their presentation, Michael and Bob shared 4 data management best practices for the Alternative Investment Industry to spur more agile operations.

The challenge and potential of more data.

Alternative investment industry professionals are finding themselves facing increasing amounts of data. Consequently, they’re seeking more effective ways to centralize and utilize that data to make investment decisions. While the growth of data holds great potential, it also presents challenges, such as how to curate that data to provide actionable insights. As Michael explained, “While [the] financial services [industry] is not into ‘big data’ yet, they are certainly into complex data.”

These 4 data management best practices can help alt professionals move toward their goals of greater business agility:

  • Create ACTUAL data. Data in paragraphs can’t be analyzed or sorted or manipulated as easily. Put this data into fields, and also use time series data to look at trends.
  • Use STANDARDS. Data can’t mean different things to different people. Standards should be agreed upon, and those agreements must be upheld by everyone to reduce future normalization efforts.
  • CENTRALIZE data. Putting data into a central database with relational links reduces redundancy and aids in reporting.
  • Adopt PUSH automation. Set automated alerts within the system so that insights can be “pushed” to stakeholders. Push automation will help reduce the time it takes for constituents to mine data for insights, and ensure those insights get to the right people at the right time.

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Why does data management matter?

Superior data management translates to superior performance by increasing an organization’s agility, enabling it to respond to internal and external forces, while remaining focused on generating exceptional results.

In the ever-changing world of alternative investments, responding quickly to new developments, adapt to changing regulations, and manage increasing risks is vital. Alternative investment firms that implement agile data management practices can respond to those dynamics faster, while maximizing efficiency.

For additional information on data management best practices for the alternative investment industry, please contact Backstop at your convenience.