In today's age of smartphones, 4G speed and an app for just about everything, it's almost impossible to imagine that data, the fund industry's most strategic asset, is largely processed manually into spreadsheets. It would be tough to debate that what has always worked for fund administrators in the past would continue to work much longer.

That's because fund administrators won't be able to keep up with the increasing amount and demand for data. Indeed, the amount of data available in the world is growing at a rate of about 50% a year, or more than doubling every two years, estimates International Data Corp., a technology research firm. Many industries are already critically thinking about how to manage, analyze and use this valuable data to their competitive advantage. The financial services industry is no different. With the global nature of the fund business, the need to find ways to manage the data explosion is more critical than ever.

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