Investment in big data technologies continues to expand, according to Gartner’s most recent big data survey, in which 73 percent of respondents—comprising 300 members of the Gartner Research Circle’s core of IT and business leaders—have invested or plan to invest in business intelligence solutions in the next two years, up from 64 percent in 2013. The survey also indicates that organizations are coming off the fence about their big data options: the number of organizations stating they had no plans for big data investment fell from 31 percent in 2013 to 24 percent in 2014. Finally, the results show that the most dramatic changes stemming from business intelligence (BI) tools, in various industries, have centered on enhancing the customer experience.
And that’s key, because service is an important differentiator in the financial industry, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, which reported that poor service drove many customers to change financial institutions, and that many banks are misfiring with selected segments of account holders, including Millennials, who desire immediate resolution as well as more personalized service and information.
BI tools can help in this area by generating new opportunities for banks to bolster marketing and service efforts. Frequently, consumers employ a blend of channels—including brick and mortar, smartphones, tablets, PCs and social media—to engage banks. But how many banks recognize a customer trail when the relationship crosses channels? Do banks know, for example, if customers start a HELOC search via mobile phone and then complete it on a different channel? This data plays a vital role in defining an integrated marketing and service strategy.
And such a strategy is needed because consumers encounter these types of experiences in other transactions. The rules of the game are changing. So, for banks to succeed in today’s competitive market, they must leverage BI tools to turn data into business practices that serve all types of customers.
Today’s consumers, particularly Millennials, have a different view of banking. They don’t compare their encounters with Bank “A” against those with Bank “B,” but instead weigh their banking experiences against those they receive at, for example, Southwest Airlines or Amazon.
Millennials still reach out to banks, but more so to gain financial advice, which is forcing branches to transform, to some extent, from transactional areas to consultative centers. And using analytics, financial institutions can answer their complex questions by accessing a variety of data.
Further, banks want to know who their most profitable customers are, as well as the types of products and services they most utilize. With BI tools, financial institutions needn’t become experts in creating data analytics models that draw out this information. The solutions can pull this data together and create detailed reports on such topics as spending patterns from debit cards, loan prepayment speeds and deposit decay rates. The reports also can provide cross-application research capabilities that track patterns across the board to compare DDA and loans data, for example, in robust detail.
And advanced BI tools give banks the ability to unlock their dark data, which Gartner describes as “information assets that organizations collect, process and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”
With advanced BI solutions, financial institutions can:
- Produce advanced ad-hoc and cross-application reports
- Utilize dynamic search tools, and save and share tailored reports
- Capture high-level summaries of data through visual representations that show at-a-glance views of daily and monthly activities and trends
- Obtain “deep dive” reports
- Gain secure access to information anywhere, anytime via PC or tablet devices
BI solutions empower banks to understand their lines of business and revenues—and customers.
Making an investment to consistently strengthen customer engagement and information delivery is a key differentiator for financial institutions going forward. It is critical that financial institutions anticipate their customers’ needs and expectations and rise above not only banking competitors, but also all other retail experiences.
Jason Young serves as product manager for CSI NuPoint. He is responsible for overseeing CSI’s robust suite of business intelligence solutions, including CSI IQ, Financial Dashboard and Relationship Pricing. Jason holds a diverse banking background, having served as a credit analyst/underwriter as well as a commercial relationship manager prior to joining CSI. His experience gives him a unique perspective on the impact data and technology can have on profitability and success.