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With both the economy and consumer confidence in tatters because of the global coronavirus pandemic, professionals across the Financial Services industry face an uphill battle in 2020. Relevant business intelligence enables data-driven decision making, a crucial advantage for navigating the uncertainty ahead. But in order to get maximum value from research for financial professionals, you’ll need to address three challenges.
The issue of fake news has grown exponentially in recent years, thanks to the ease and speed at which memes and misinformation are shared on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter, however, aren’t the only way fake news spreads. Research by the Yale School of Management found that investment websites like Seeking Alpha and the Motley Fool have seen their fair share of deceptive articles. The research suggests that “These fakes may erode public trust in real financial analysis.” The loss of trust is a significant problem, but it’s not the only one.
Yale research found, “After fake news about small firms was published, the companies’ stock prices temporarily rose and then fell. The deceptive articles often coincided with press releases and insider trading, suggesting that those firms tried to artificially inflate prices and sell their stock in a “pump and dump” scheme.” The problem hasn’t escaped the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In 2017, the SEC cracked down on articles purported to be independent financial analysis when they were actually the work of PR firms hired to produce the bullish articles about clients to boost stock prices. More than 27 individuals and entities were charged with misleading investors and to date, 17 of them have agreed to pay more than $4 million in fines to settle the charges. Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy said in a press release. “Investors looking for objective investment information should be aware that fraudsters may use these websites to profit at investors’ expense.”
Data visualization is useful for understanding for identifying relationships or patterns in large volume data much more quickly than manual processing of data—whether it’s a scatterplot or a word cloud. For instance, applying data visualization to customer click data can help financial services organizations understand shifts in customer behavior. Analysis of data related to market conditions and trends can provide insights into emerging opportunities or fuel product innovation. But those aren’t the only reasons for making use of data visualization.
There’s a reason that infographics are so popular. According to research, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. What’s more, combining images with text increases recall by 650%—just what is needed when sharing critical research findings to colleagues or the C-suite. By using data visualizations financial professionals tell a more compelling, memorable story about the data, which can increase trust in data-driven decisions.
Financial services organizations generate and collect a lot of data on transactions and customers, but they also need alternative data to provide added context and support decision makers across the business. The problem? As the volume of big data grows, finding the right information to fuel digital transformation, enhance customer experiences, manage risk, and achieve strategic goals becomes more difficult.
That’s one reason that conducting research for financial professionals shouldn’t be done on the open web. On top of the fake news from anonymous sources that permeates the internet, the open web also prioritizes the results returned based on factors like paid ads, sponsored content, and clever keyword use. Plus, search results tend to focus on content based on the user’s country, making it more difficult to find information that covers multiple regions or countries.
Financial professionals can benefit from using a research platform like Nexis® for Finance for multiple reasons:
Plus, conducting comprehensive research allows financial professionals to verify findings against multiple sources, reducing the chance of being misled by biased or false information, and enabling them to provide clients with information they can trust.
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