Predictive analytics key to unlocking super fund engagement


Superannuation funds will need genuine business intelligence and predictive analytics to help build engagement among fund members.

Big data is an “over-used” buzzword and superannuation funds will need genuine business intelligence and predictive analytics to help build engagement among fund members, according to Financial Synergy’s chief executive, Stephen Mackley.

Speaking at a media event yesterday, Mackley announced that Financial Synergy will embed OpenText’s big data analytics functionality into its Acurity platform in a bid to deliver a “predictive and more customer-centric environment” for its superannuation fund clients in Australia.

 “We are offering a powerfully flexible tool with which our clients can use strategic, predictive knowledge to create new, efficient business models. It will also enable deeper segmentation, to ‘market of one’ levels of customer service,” he said.

Big data for the Acurity platform was first touted as a pivotal cog in Financial’s Synergy expansion framework in November last year, as the superannuation and investment software provider increased its consultancy and product development teams as part of a broader strategy to prepare for continued growth in 2016.

“One of the things we were looking at is: where do we go with business intelligence. We were looking around to see where the market is going,” Mackley said.

“We are growing quite strongly – this year we [will] grow by 45 per cent – and we really did want something that would ‘wow’ our clients.”

Mackley said that Financial Synergy will draw on OpenText’s columnar database technology to help drive what he affirms is “a revolution” in member engagement.

The columnar database will allow Financial Synergy to import data quickly into a client’s environment as well as allow users – including fund managers and business analysts – to get access to the data in “split-second response times”.

“Democratising data is no longer in the hands of IT, it’s putting data and the ability to analyse data in the hands of real users,” he said.

“This tool enables super funds to understand the data they have and understanding the reasons for [members] leaving [as well as] giving them access to information that’s out there in the wide world of the internet.”

The next steps for Acurity

Currently, Financial Synergy service 30 superannuation clients, reaching a scope of 4 million Australians and totalling $250 billion in funds under management.

Financial Synergy’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Bruce Hassed, said the firm had a three-pronged strategic approach for its Acurity platform over the coming months, which would involve a greater focus on big data, digital functionality, and a move to a HTML5 interface.

“Making sure that we are covering our full client base is the major challenge we face as we update the user interface,” Hassed said.

“There’s additional functionality that clients and advisers have asked to be able to do online as well as straight-through [processing] to help … create more efficiencies but also provide members with more service.

“All of our clients are on the same software. We’re trying to keep it simple [and] that’s always a challenge for us.”