Investment data repository platform – Ed Kemp
Case Studies
  • Central repository platform enabling any member of the fund industry to store and share secure investment data

  • At a glance

    Managing fund data is a huge challenge for many organisations, so Asset Logic have created a centralised platform for investment data which allows any member of the fund industry to create an online data and documents repository. The platform aggregates data and documents from any internal or external system into one online location so members can share data.

    Project type

    Web development platform

    Business sector


    Ed, Mercer loves the look of your forms. Well done. We really like what you have done already too, thanks for getting this over so quickly.

    Sam Gilstrap, CEO & Founder of Asset Logic

    Project details

    • Requirements gathering

      Following my research I discovered that the Asset Logic platform essentially enables their member to upload data, and then once uploaded it gives the ability to set up a flexible data structure so members can mirror their exact investment structures. Once the investment structure is setup, the platform then offers the ability to share specific parts of the data structure with users of their firm, or different counter-party users from other external firms. The platform also enables users to assign a responsible party to each field or set of fields, who becomes responsible for keeping them updated.

      The platform architecture consisted of 15 different financial 'object' types including Funds, Private equity, Loans, Share classes. Each object type would contain multiple objects of that type, and when clicking into each object it would take the user into a details page which contained an extremely long page consisting of all the data for that object and with other linked object associated. The functionality of the platform was extremely powerful for members, but it was also extremely complex so it was my role to help re-design the user experience to assist in making things easier to use for the members.

    • Quick forms

      From research conducted with a key member Mercer who regularly use the platform, it was discovered that managers need to update their financials each month but at the moment there was no quick and easy way for them to be able to do this. Previously they would have to go in and out of the "Long form" (see details below) each and every time to update a couple of fields across a lot of objects.

      A user research workshop was conducted so I could better understand the objects and fields the Asset managers needed to update on a regular basis. A solution was designed which enabled the editing of the regularly accessed fields via a series of "Quick forms" for performance, strategy and firm clients assets under management.

      The new quick form solution was very warmly received by the users (the Asset managers) making a time consuming monthly administrative task for them much easier, and quicker. The CEO of Asset Logic passed on the following feedback to me;

      "Ed, Mercer loves the look of your forms. Well done."

    • Long form overview

      Despite the new addition of the time saving Quick forms, there still would be occasions where users would need to view/update/add/remove other information not in the Quick form across any of the Objects.

      So it was the "Long form" which contained every single data field stored against each and every object, and the existing UI for these pages was extremely long, extremely complex and not very user friendly.

      My challenge was to re-design this long form to cater for every possible different data type that could be entered, viewed and edited. As the form was so huge and so complex, I tackled the form in sections and provided initial UX solutions to the client to help implement both quick wins and user led priorities. Overtime I then moved onto more system wide structural changes and continued to work through all the other areas in the quick form to improve the general usability and findability of each and every type of data field making it as easy and clear as possible for users to find, view and edit any form field in any object on the long form.

    • Long form "Repeat groups"

      What the client called "Repeat groups" was essentially where there was a set of data displayed in a table in the view state, but each line item within the table had more information associated to it which also needed to be displayed. So essentially my challenge was to try and work out how to display a table within a table within a table!

      There were many different types of repeat groups in long form, but I based my sketching and designs on the data set called "Assets Under Management" as this was the most complex and extensive, so if I could find a solution for this data set then i should be able to iterate this design pattern to work for the other repeat groups.

      I also spent some time researching into Mercers existing admin area to be able to understand what data is most useful to be able to display within the new repeat groups tables, and I designed this design pattern which solves the problem of how to house a table within a table within a table.

    • Long form (edit mode)

      I was also asked to re-design the full edit view to make each and every field type across all objects editable. The previous edit mode contained no navigation to find your way around, which meant the user had to literally scroll through hundreds of form fields to find the field they wanted to edit. So I firstly designed a left navigation which enabled the user to get a sense of where they were on the page and also to be able to navigate to a section and sub section of the page.

      The left navigation was pinned to the left side of the browser so it was fixed, with the central/right hand column scrollable.  When any of the form category headings were clicked, the page on the right would swing up and down accordingly to anchor points. A nice piece of UX interaction design which felt good but was highly useful to the user.

      I also introduced a keyword search, filter, view and sort by to enable the user to have other methods of finding the set of form fields they were wanting to edit.

    • Other Long form UX improvements

      I designed a master level Breadcrumb for the header of the page so the user could skip quickly from one long form object to another without having to click back to load a data heavy landing page.

      Hiding away uncritical table columns, made more space for the display of the more important information.

      Housing together all the icons in an "overflow", so all the actions for each item are always found in one place via this icon. This also saved space and allowed more room for the main information column in the table.

      I designed an accordion style function to be able to open/close each section of the long form in order that the page length is reduced and the user is then less overwhelmed by what they are seeing.

      The "inline editing" functionality, also enabled the user to quickly and easily edit one form field without having to load the whole edit state for each and every form field.

    • Sharing wizard

      One of the other most important areas of the platform is the ability for members to be able to share specific parts of their investment data structure with users of their firm or different counter-party users from other external firms.

      My brief here was to design a series of landing pages for incoming and outgoing sharing relationships for pending, current and past requests.

      In addition to this was a firm directory of all the external organisations a member can share data with where they can then view and edit exactly what they share with each organisation by creating permissions sets.

      I then designed a sharing wizard which helped take a member though 6 steps asking them questions about who they want to share with, the type of sharing request, whether they would like a default or custom permission set, and the specific objects they would like to share.

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