routinely generate and distribute reports on a monthly and quarterly basis. As wealthy families usually have complex investments, they often deal with large volumes of data, leading to stacks of PDFs and Excel sheets that can be overwhelming. Moreover, these reports may be long and dull, failing to paint a complete picture of the data presented. And without a clear image and proper understanding, it can be challenging for family members and advisors to see the forest through the trees and make sense of it all in order to make informed decisions. Luckily, tools like Power BI offer robust data visualisation and storytelling capabilities to tackle these challenges. Below are a few ways they can help family offices:
Mobile-first and accessible data
Family offices are often located in geographically distant locations from family members who may be spread across continents. To help family offices create reports that can be accessed from anywhere, Power BI offers mobile-friendly reporting tools. This allows family members and stakeholders to access financial and investment data and get updates from any device with an internet connection, no matter where they are.
The ability to access real-time data and insights on mobile means family members can track their portfolios and spot opportunities as they happen. In addition, the convenience of using their preferred devices can improve family engagement. That can lead to increased interaction with advisors and participation in discussions and meetings, creating a more collaborative and informed environment.
Customisation and adaptability
Power BI helps family offices simplify their complex reporting processes with its flexible open platform. It works with a wide range of data sources, allowing firms to connect to databases, cloud services, spreadsheets, and web APIs. This seamless integration makes it easy for family offices to collect, process, and analyse data, streamlining their workflows.
For example, using Power BI, family offices can connect directly to their accounting software, such as FundCount. They can extract their financial data and accounting information with ease and generate reports instantly.
Moreover, family offices can create and access those same reports from their own dashboards which can be personally customised based on their specific needs and preferences. The platform allows them to choose from various visualisation tools such as charts, graphs, tables, and maps to represent their data in a way that makes sense to them.
Natural language querying
In a world where ChatGPT is becoming a go-to, Power BI offers a Q&A feature that allows users to interact with their data using natural English language queries. So, instead of using complex formulas to extract the correct information, users can simply type in questions in plain English. Power BI not only responds with text and numerical data but can also generate visualisations, making it easier for users to grasp data insights quickly.
This feature can help family offices significantly in communicating with their technical experts and non-technical stakeholders. Advisors can easily explore and gain insights from reports by typing out questions as if they were having a conversation. In addition, even family members without a technical background can interact with the data as if they were text messaging.
From data to storytelling
Traditional family office reporting typically follows a set format that presents data in a fixed layout. The reports lack interactivity, which limits clients to simply reviewing the information provided. They are usually based on historical data, making it difficult to explore current or dynamic trends. As a result, clients are left in a passive position concerning their investment decisions.
On the other hand, interactive reporting tools like Power BI bring data to life, fostering deeper engagement with clients. Much like using their own iPhones, clients can click on data points, apply filters, and receive instant responses, encouraging them to delve deeper into the information. The dynamic visuals, customised dashboards and access to real-time updates turn data into stories, uncovering hidden insights and trends.
Empowering investment decisions
Preparing and providing regular financial and performance reports to family members are family office functions that ensure transparency in financial matters and decision-making processes. Power BI helps family offices carry out this important duty by empowering them to deliver reports that are more aesthetically satisfying, useful and intuitive to their various stakeholders.
It offers interactive visualisations and insights that help to clearly identify key performance indicators, trends, and risk factors. By better assessing risks and understanding opportunities, family offices can make investment decisions that take into account a fuller, deeper picture. It also enables them to share their own reports, fostering collaboration and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
FundCount is a unified general ledger solution that improves operational efficiency and brings actionable intelligence to investment management professionals. Based on a general ledger, they started in the hedge fund space but today provide fund- and partnership accounting to a wide range of asset- and wealth professionals with offices in Boston, Toronto, Singapore, and Dubai.