Banking on Analytics in 2013

by Edward O'Brien 0

As banks and credit unions search for ways tobe more competitive in 2013, many are examining analytics toimprove the customer experience while increasing their efficienciesand overall operating effectiveness.

Today’s financial institutions are among the most data-intensiveorganizations in business today, and their use of data isincreasing at an unprecedented rate. Not only do financialinstitutions collect, analyze, and use structured data as part ofevery transaction, they also feeding their CRM and other enterprisemarketing systems with such data. In addition, they are nowbeginning to collect and analyze unstructured data to better minesocial network data for use within their systems, making themprodigious creators and users of “big data.”

Many financial institutions are concluding the only way to keep upwith this data avalanche is by using analytics tools. Without arobust processing method, such data is merely bits and bytes, andmeaningless without context.

But what is analytics? It’s such a broad term that it can meandifferent things to different people. Typically, topics such asdatabases, data warehousing, data mining, business intelligence,marketing analytics, and predictive analytics are top-of-mind whendiscussing analytics.

Conventional descriptions vary, but a common component ofanalytics technology is the categorization of data in a relationaldatabase or centralized data warehouse. Relationships are organizedin tables, with queries of the data often made from table views.These queries are typically executed through a Sequential QueryLanguage (SQL) interface, through SQL statements, or similar dataextracts using variations of SQL or other methods through productinterfaces.

Analytics products and methodologies enable drill-downs into thedata, offering nuggets of information not available withtraditional reports or other processes. The end result of suchefforts is deep insight into customer needs, wants, andbehaviors.

For financial institutions seeking ways to increase theircompetitiveness in their markets, expanding the use of analyticsshould be on their short list. Analytics can help identifyrelationships between disparate data sources that might otherwisebe unknown or unavailable, and offer visibility into attributesthat can contribute to an increase in customer satisfaction andloyalty, a decrease in attrition, and the creation of a trulysuperior customer experience.