The financial advisory industry is very much a data-driven business, and yet nontechies can be intimidated by some of the jargon and buzzwords that surround such information. Clearly, advisors need to use the data that they have collected to improve the service they offer and enhance their firm's performance.

From the first interaction with a prospect to the last day with a client, financial advisors are collecting and storing all types of data. Birthdays, vacation homes, risk objectives and historical investment performance, to name a few, are collected and stored in advisors' computer systems.

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