AFTAs 2021: Best reporting initiative—Charles Schwab Investment Advisory

OVERVIEW

Charles Schwab’s Chart Library’s legacy production process was completely manual and it took more than four months to update all the quarterly and annual charts. Every chart was its own bespoke system enabled by Microsoft Excel, R, PowerPoint and Tableau. 

The existing business process was not scalable enough to handle the growing need to offer new cryptocurrency asset classes and Active ETFs. 

Digitization was required to respond to client needs. 

THE SOLUTION

The team is using Plotly Dash, a Python-based library for data visualization and reporting, as a foundation that allows for customization as well as rich out-of-the-box capabilities. 

The complete application required developing automated data harvesting, an analytics pipeline framework with plug-in data enrichment and aggregation functions, style guides, dynamic annotations and disclosures, and a control center where users could customize chart parameters and publication style.

“Our mission at Schwab Center for Financial Research is to help clients achieve their financial goals through timely and relevant investment and financial planning insights. Chart Library supports this mission by providing timely insights that reinforce the principles of wealth planning and financial planning management. In an increasingly complex financial landscape, tools such as Chart Library help distill market and financial planning insights into easy-to-digest graphical narratives. Schwab’s Chart Library application is another example of its embrace of digitalization and personalization. This application offers exceptional capabilities and makes us industry leaders in terms of client-facing chart capabilities.”

WHAT’S TO COME

The Chart Library is to follow an adoption curve to scale the application’s use cases across Schwab Private Client and eventually the retail business.

The goal is to give clients a view of their financial reports that is tailored to their stage of wealth accumulation. 

Ultimately, Chart Library will facilitate client communications across a broad range of client offerings. 

There is a plan to provide a curated set of customizable charts for individuals to use online free of charge to assess their financial goals and options.

WHY THEY WON

Through Chart Library, Charles Schwab Investment Advisory and the Schwab Center for Financial Research are aiming to provide more personalization and financial literacy to users.  It signals a further embrace of digitization and personalization for client-facing applications. 

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