ASFA Conference 2017 - The Underlying Truth


The underlying truth of ASFA 2017 was that if your data quality is not there, there is nothing a superannuation fund, insurer, bank or any company can do with any degree of success or comfort that it is fail proof (...decision making, innovation, comms, transformation or just good governance).

The industry push for data quality is an unarguable proposition. Hit and miss member engagement campaigns and ‘one off’ remediations versus real-time, repeatable and robust data management practices, take centre stage here and now.


Put another way, what is the point of just ‘fixing’ it now, if it is going to happen again? What is the point of member comms if the message is wrong and the recipient becomes confused or unhappy? The industry is coming ever closer to these conclusions and making great headway.

In addition to discussion around data, strong themes were:

  1. Member behaviour (consumer behaviour, behavioural economics etc.)

  2. Social licence (Royal Commission, conduct, and community expectations)

  3. Geopolitical risks and uncertainty

In no specific order my highlights from ASFA 2017 are briefly talked-through below.



Always a pleasure to see familiar faces and make some new introductions to the QMV family. Had a great time!


Continue to be front of mind in all discussions if not directly, certainly by extension. It was all about the interaction, the feel goods...the hugs. By way of example, several of the key notes focused specifically on:

  • adapting to change

  • understanding consumers

  • why do ‘we’ (consumers) buy

  • trusting technology

I noticed there was little focus on the ‘how’. The technology, implementation, execution and analysis. In any case, the underlying factor was access to and ongoing management of quality member data.   

Kim Beazley AC

Mr Beazley’s session provided fascinating insight into the world of Washington, in particular how reliant we are on the US. The dollar value of trade and interaction with the US is exponentially higher than any other country or region. There is the growth in China we hear so much about, but the US relationship is multiple times stronger and the outlook appears for this to continue.

We were warned of impending potential conflict with North Korea and the flow on (or maybe direct) impact on our country. Mr Beazley also shared with us commentary of the capability of the US to take preemptive action and its readiness and force was confronting. Scary.

Consumer behaviour

The question, “what percentage of salary will you need in retirement” was debunked with respondents indicating 70% of salary, as being sufficient to afford a comfortable retirement.

When probed about the lifestyle people wanted to lead in retirement, Australians said they want to go on holidays, eat good food, buy new cars etc. The salary needed to sustain this lifestyle creeps up to 130% of current salary!

What did this prove? That consumers have no idea? Or perhaps the wrong question is being focused upon ... maybe a bit of both.

I circle back to the intro. If there were only one thing to take away from ASFA 2017, it was that data integrity and quality is paramount.



Daniel De Marinis - Lead Consultant


If your fund has data front of mind and would like to get more from data you might be interested in checking out QMV’s purpose built superannuation data quality management platform Investigate.

QMV provides independent consulting services and technology systems to superannuation, wealth management, banking and insurance organisations. For further information please telephone our office p +61 3 9620 0707 or submit an online form.


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