Custom fields vs. Standard
solution design considerations
where will it be saved today and the impact tomorrow
That was then…
In the Wild West days of Xplan – that wasn’t that long ago – crafting solutions like Fact Finds and Advice documents often meant you ended up creating many custom fields and groups along the way.
This was generally fine because in some cases Xplan had no standard element or suitable place to store the data you needed. Other times it just didn’t matter, since very rarely if ever, did modules of the system link in with one another.
It’s hard to imagine now that only a handful of years ago there was next to no linking or sharing data in the Xplan modules:
- Imagine sitting down and re-entering your super fund data into supersolver, when you’ve done that already in Client Focus; or
- Re-entering most financial items manually into Xtools+…when you’ve done that once and the data is now sitting there in Client Focus.
This is now: the interconnected Xplan
The Xplan of today is interconnected with its data, the general idea being that a user should only enter client data once and that same data then flows to all the advice tools and modelling. Ending double-entry has become crucial with the most basic reasons being, it’s an easy boost to user efficiency to not enter data multiple times as well as making for an overall smoother user experience.
Yes the above is still a work in progress for IRESS but you can see this improving quite a lot and it’s a large jump from how it was.
The trade-off of entering data once and having it flow across all the areas of Xplan is that it needs a standard place to draw from and if custom fields aren’t standard….
Classic example: Goals group
It wasn’t uncommon in the past to heavily modify standard goals areas or just outright creating your own.
For a while now Xplan has had its standard goals group ($client.goals) which started by linking in with the Mindmap, then with portfolio accounts and more recently it’s a key component of the objective based advice tool, PRIME.
So creating custom groups for this now standard piece of Xplan functionality is at best inefficient and at worst, going to cause data issues and re-work in the future if your client wants to use those areas.
There’s lots of little examples like this in the system even for fields.
Often clients just want one field where they can enter their clients super contributions. However, adding it into the super plan (existing funds) element of Xplan and under the relevant plan: a) you can add more data that you might not have otherwise recorded and b) that all then flows through into WealthSolver and Xtools and so forth.
It can’t flow through if its recorded against a custom field just sitting in your site.
The ability to create custom groups and fields is one of the strengths of Xplan but these days before you do so, look around and try to make as much use of the standard areas as possible.
Test to see what flows through into the advice tools, revenue, benchmarks, Xtools/Xtools+ or double check with support and your Account Executive. Even standard areas that aren’t flowing through or interlinked yet, when they do, where are they likely to draw from?
All those things need to be taken into consideration to ensure you are building solutions that promote data efficiency and integrity – solutions that solve for today while keeping tomorrow in mind.