Accenture Survey Finds Public Pension Data is Untapped Goldmine

PR Newswire

ARLINGTON, Va., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all (92 percent) of surveyed decision-makers at U.S. public retirement systems believe their organizations would benefit from increased use of data analytics, according to new survey findings from Accenture (ACN).

"Every public retirement agency is required to maintain information about members in its system, which often amounts to decades worth of data," said Owen Davies, who leads Accenture's North American public pensions practice. "And, with nearly 20 million members, public pension managers are sitting on years of untapped data, a goldmine of information with the potential to yield insights and strengthen pension performance. Data-driven decision-making can help cash-strapped retirement systems provide appropriate benefits and services to their members, an increasingly challenging responsibility, as well as help in areas such as investment efficiency and compliance."

The survey – of 100 decision makers and C-suite executives at national, state and local public retirement agencies – found that the overwhelming majority, 87 percent, of respondents said their organizations already use some degree of data analytics, but only 19 percent of respondents said their organizations use analytics "a great deal."

Among those whose organizations already use data analytics, almost all (93 percent) said it was worth the effort. Accenture's survey found strong agreement regarding the potential value of data analytics for specific purposes, with 80 percent agreeing that it can help retirement organizations provide appropriate benefits to members. There was also substantial agreement on the potential value of analytics by retirement organizations in these critical areas: 

  • Analyzing portfolio performance statistics (69 percent)
  • Analyzing portfolio risk (69 percent)
  • Minimizing error and fraud (62 percent)
  • Compliance with reform mandates (46 percent)
  • Streamlining records and transactions (44 percent)

"The findings indicate strong interest in analytics among pension organizations, in particular to tap data more extensively to improve operations and become more insight-driven," added Davies.

Methodology
Accenture surveyed 100 executives in national, state and local public retirement agencies from August 5-30, 2013. The survey was fielded by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) to capture general attitudes and usage of data analytics within U.S. public retirement agencies.

Learn more about Accenture's pensions work and Delivering Public Service for the Future for Human Services.

About Accenture 
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 289,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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