If you would like to provide online access to data for your clients, there are a few things you should consider in order to make their experience useful and meaningful.
How recent will the data be? Is last night sufficient, or do you require mid-day updates? Are you going to provide access to a large amount of data, or just a subset? For the site to be useful to all of your clients, you probably need to consider providing access to a wide range of data, including performance results that are as recent as daily.
Will the data be cleansed and reconciled? Some clients may be willing to accept unreconciled data, but most won't. You need to have systems in place that allow you to verify the accuracy and cleanliness of the data, and have controls that allow you to decide if data can be released to the client web.
How will you control who has access to what data? At a minimum you need to control access on an account basis, and depending on how your clients' business is structured, you may also need to filter data on various subsets.
How powerful does the hardware you run the site on need to be? This, of course, depends on the number of clients you have, and how often you expect them to access the data. As well, you need to have high-availability hardware in place to handle natural and unnatural events that may affect your data center.
What flexibility do your clients need? Most clients will not be satisfied with a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather will want to be able to customize the site to meet their requirements in terms of the columns they want to report and how they can drill from one report to another. Most clients will also want a 'favorites' folder or an equivalent so they don't have to recreate the same view of the data every day.
Particularly for institutional clients, being able to have selections that make it easy to operate the website will be important. For example, once an account has been selected, or a selection of accounts, then only the other options that are relevant to that selection should be shown. It doesn't make clients view your site positively if they have to guess at combinations of report options that actually generate data for them.
The creation of a client site that provides access to data is not a trivial task, and requires you to spend time pondering exactly how it is going to be used and, even more importantly, what benefits you want your clients to receive. Your client-facing web is another reflection of your firm – so make sure it shows you in the best possible light.
SS&C's Pages™ client reporting solution offers the ePages™ module for on-demand web reporting. ePages allows you to create a customizable web experience for customers. Customers can choose the level of detail they want to see, define the format of a report, and can drill from one view of their information to another. To find out more about how you can enhance your customers' self-service experiences, contact us today.